From November 2013-May 2014, ConDev partnered with The Bush School of Government and Public Service to conduct research on malnutrition in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This project laid the foundation for long-term cooperation between the Bush School, ConDev and institutions in the DRC and other fragile and conflict-affected nations. Upon their return to the United States, the graduate researchers presented their conclusions.
With the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, which will support market data collection, and USAID’s Higher Education Solutions Network, which will focus on analysis, ConDev is conducting a market tracking study around Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to track the price impacts of rural electrification. An offshoot of this project is a broadcast market news service, which is expected to improve economic stability and reduce conflict.
How does access to agricultural commodity prices affect price stability and market connectivity in North Kivu, DRC? Most staple crops in North Kivu are sourced from farmers and depots in nearby towns and villages, with market information being shared primarily through informal networks across relatively short distances. The Center on Conflict and Development at Texas A&M University is collaborating with a local university (Université Catholique du Graben, or “UCG”) to examine whether broadcasting market prices publicly across long distances has potential to smooth local-level price shocks and increase market access to traders and other actors who are traditionally excluded from local agricultural trading.
North Kivu and South Kivu share many of the same agro-climatic traits as other coffee production areas in the Great Lakes Region of Africa. South Kivu, especially, has the potential to produce high-quality specialty coffee for international markets. This project is focused on providing technical guidance to introduce and field test high-performing coffee varieties and lead the development of successful models of small-scale, high-quality coffee production, processing, and marketing relevant to the South Kivu context. It aims to inform project implementation as well as advocacy to support the scaling and dissemination of a viable model.
This program aims to improve land stewardship and soil fertility management in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to improve livelihoods, mitigate natural resource degradation, and avoid encroachment on Virunga National Park. So far, this program has focused on coffee and cocoa production. These two crops, along with cassava, have been identified as highly conflict-resistant sources of income and food.
ConDev awarded a Transformative Solutions Grant to Sharing the Land (STL) and USAID recently funded the development of a Research-To-Action Plan on this program. This Action Plan was produced by the Population Reference Bureau under the Research Technical Assistance Center (RTAC).
ConDev personnel are working with the Virunga Alliance and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation to foster economic enterprise based upon new hydroelectric power generation around Virunga National Park. The team is based in the southern reaches of the park near Rumangabo in North Kivu, Democratic of the Congo (DRC). Impacts will be monitored and evaluated.
The aim of the Congo Peace Center (CPC) is to support and achieve sustainable peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and facilitate its integration into a more stable and peaceful Great Lakes region. The CPC is committed to achieving good governance, inclusive economic development, and national integration and reconciliation.