Democratic Republic of the Congo

In the DRC, colleagues from Leiden University and the Social Science Centre for African Development (KUTAFITI) jointly carried out research on internal displacement and the network connections of IDPs living in Bukavu, South Kivu. In total, 500 people participated in their study.

Internal displacement and network connections in the DRC: Findings and Recommendations

Internal displacement and network connections in the DRC: Findings and Recommendations

Résumé des principaux resultats et des principales recommendations de l'étude sur les personnes déplacées et connectivites au Sud-Kivu en 2019-2020 / Kifupi ya matokeo ya utafiti juu ya wakimbizi na uhusiano ndani ya Kivu ya Kusini na pendekezo kwa 2019-2020

In French and Swahili

This document provides a short introduction in both French and Swahili of the special issue on protracted displacement in the DRC's South Kivu region and Internally Displaced Persons’ network connections that has been published by TRAFIG’s Congo team. We provide a short description of each of the articles, which relate to TRAFIG’s five main themes. The work is based on our research in and around Bukavu, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. At the end of the document we provide some recommend... Read more

In the shoes of a Congolese refugee / Workshop at Leiden University

In the shoes of a Congolese refugee / Workshop at Leiden University

On 14 March 2022, TRAFIG partner organisation Leiden University will organise a workshop (in person) about findings from the TRAFIG research on displacement in Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which was conducted together with DIGNITY Kwanza and KUTAFITI as local partners. Next to the presentation and discussion of findings, the workshop will be used to present and play the game "the DIGNITY Kwanza method", which was developed in the context of TRAFIG and is based on the stories of Congolese urban refugees living in Dar es Salaam.

Find out more about the workshop and the game here.

Details:

When? Monday, 14 March, 14-16.00h, followed by drinks

Where? Leiden Law School, Steenschuur 25, room B0.31

By whom? Jochem Scheelings (former MA African Studies)... Read more

Mobility and agency in protracted displacement

Mobility and agency in protracted displacement

Available in English, French and Arabic

The latest issue of the Forced Migration Review includes a special feature on mobility and agency for those living in protracted displacement, produced in collaboration with the TRAFIG project. Read more

  • Understanding the dynamics of protracted displacement
  • Mobility dynamics in protracted displacement: Eritreans and Congolese on the move
  • Family networks and Syrian refugees’ mobility aspirations
  • ‘Constrained mobility’: a feature in protracted displacement in Greece and Italy
  • Humanitarian Admission Programmes: how networks enable mobility in contexts of protracted displacement

TRAFIG Practice Note No. 4 now available in French

TRAFIG Practice Note No. 4, focussing on resilient connections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is now available in French: TRAFIG Note Pratique No. 4: "Renforcer les connexions résilientes en République Démocratique du Congo".

Find out more here.

Forced displacement in 2021: much to commemorate, little to celebrate

Forced displacement in 2021: much to commemorate, little to celebrate

Published in the OECD Blog series 'Development matters'

It is primarily the responsibility of states to provide durable solutions to people in protracted displacement. A state-centred approach, however, risk underestimating or even disregarding the ambitions and capacities of displaced people themselves. In a contribution to the OECD blog series ‘Development matters’ Martin Wagner and Caitlin Katsiaficas (both ICMPD) and Benjamin Etzold (BICC) present some insights on TRAFIG research on the mobility of displaced people in the Middle East and East Africa and the role of networks in their everyday lives. They conclude that many refugees rely first and foremost on their own human, social and financial capital to build a more secure future.

Find the article here: Forced displaceme... Read more

The Upward Spiral Towards Local Integration of IDPs: Agency and Economics in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Upward Spiral Towards Local Integration of IDPs: Agency and Economics in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

An article by Carolien Jacobs, Stanislas Lubala Kubiha and Rachel Sifa Katemberain in Refugee Survey Quarterly, 2020, 39.

In public discourse, displaced people are often portrayed as burdens to their host communities that add additional pressure to already scarce resources. Recently, scholars and practitioners are paying more attention to the resilience or self-reliance of refugees. Our article takes yet another step by arguing that rather than being dependent or merely self-reliant, displaced people may in fact enrich local economies by introducing products from their communities of origin into the host markets. Based on qualitative research with internally displaced persons in an urban setting in the east of Congo, we show that, through entrepreneurship and innovation, displaced people... Read more

TRAFIG policy brief no. 2

TRAFIG policy brief no. 2

Leveraging networks to overcome displacement

Urban internally displaced persons in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

In the quest for sustainable solutions to record global displacement, promoting displaced persons’ self-reliance and supporting them alongside host communities in regions of displacement have become buzzwords in global and European policy discussions. But despite such pledges, TRAFIG research in Bukavu, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) finds that internally displaced persons (IDPs) in urban settings are largely ignored and unassisted by the state and international humanitarian and development interventions—and are proactively seeking their own solutions. The lack of institutionalised assistance means that IDPs mostly depend on the solidarity of others to... Read more

Networks and mobility as tools for solutions to protracted displacement

Networks and mobility as tools for solutions to protracted displacement

Contribution by the TRAFIG project consortium to the Virtual Space of the 2021 High-Level Officials Meeting and the Digital Platform for the Global Compact on Refugees

An increasing number of refugees – 16 million in 2020, or 4 million more than in 2016 – find themselves in long-term situations of vulnerability, dependency and legal insecurity, in which they lack, or are actively denied, opportunities to rebuild their lives after displacement. With current policies struggling to find solutions to such protracted displacement situations, TRAFIG is working to identify solutions that are better tailored to the needs and capacities of displaced persons. With a special focus on networks and mobility, TRAFIG’s research supports Objective 2 (Enhance refugee self-reliance) and Objective 3 (... Read more

Personnes déplacées et connectivites dans la province du Sud-Kivu

Personnes déplacées et connectivites dans la province du Sud-Kivu

The Rural Development Institute in Bukavu (Institut Supérieur de Développement Rural de Bukavu, ISDR-Bukavu) in the DR Congo has published a special issue on protracted displacement in Congo’s South Kivu region and Internally Displaced Persons’ network connections in its journal ‘Cahiers du CERPRU’. The special issue Personnes déplacées et connectivites dans la province du Sud-Kivu (complete PDF in French) consists of a collection of papers that are written by the researchers of TRAFIG’s Congo team, and which follow TRAFIG’s five main themes. Their findings are enriched by four life histories of displaced persons. The special issue is further complemented with two articles by Congolese researchers working on related topics. The papers are based on research that was carried out in and a... Read more

TRAFIG practice note no. 4

TRAFIG practice note no. 4

Bolstering resilient connections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Available in English and French

Due to prolonged conflict, millions of people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have fled their homes to seek refuge elsewhere, especially in the east of the country. The majority of these Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) flee to cities and other local communities rather than to displacement camps. Bukavu, the capital of the South-Kivu province, is a case in point. In recent years, Bukavu grew rapidly due to the influx of IDPs and other migrants – mostly from the nearby districts. Yet, in the city, IDPs largely fend for themselves, and many experience socio-economic precarity.

Connectivity is one of the ways in which IDPs can improve their situation. The first and... Read more

TRAFIG working paper no. 4

TRAFIG working paper no. 4

Figurations of Displacement in the DRC

Empirical findings and reflections on protracted displacement and translocal connections of Congolese IDPs

This working paper is based on empirical research on translocal figurations of displacement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It contains methodological reflections, central findings, and reflections on these findings. Drawing on the conceptual framework that was developed in TRAFIG working paper no. 1, this paper explores TRAFIG’s central question: “How are protractedness, dependency and vulnerability related to the factors of local and translocal connectivity and mobility, and, in turn, how can connectivity and mobility be utilised to enhance the self-reliance and strengthen the resilience of displaced people?” The paper p... Read more

Doing research on migration and asylum: Responsibilities and limits

Doing research on migration and asylum: Responsibilities and limits

By Carolien Jacobs, Leiden University

On June 30, we kicked of the H2020 projects' joint webinar series ‘Zooming in on Migration and Asylum’ with a discussion on ‘Doing research on migration and asylum’. Triggered by recent publications by UNHCR and the IDMC, Carolien Jacobs (Leiden University) took the opportunity to reflect, on behalf of TRAFIG, on the responsibilities and limits of field researchers when they are collecting data.

What is striking about the highlights that (social) media take from the reports of the [UNHCR] (https://www.unhcr.org/) and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), is that it is mostly about numbers. The world seems to want to know especially whether the number of displaced people globally has risen; what the country with the highest numbe... Read more

Multi-stakeholder community consultations

Multi-stakeholder community consultations

Multi-stakeholder community consultations as a multi-purpose research tool: Experiences from the Democratic Republic of Congo

by Patrick Milabyo Kyamusugulwa, Joachim Ruhamya Mugenzi, Stanislas Lubala Kubiha, Innocent Assumani and Carolien Jacobs

The Multi-Stakeholder Community Consultation (MSCC) is a participatory research tool that has been developed by the DR Congo team of TRAFIG and that will be applied in other countries in the course of the project too. By bringing together a mixed group of respondents (displaced, hosts, authorities, civil society), the tool is geared towards collecting additional insights through an interactive dialogue on intergroup relations, validating findings gathered through other methods, and jointly seeking solutions for problems that are identified by... Read more

#1: Doing research on migration and asylum. Responsibilities and limits

#1: Doing research on migration and asylum. Responsibilities and limits

30 June 2020, 13:00 – 14:30 CET

What is the role of academic research in better understanding migration and asylum and informing policymaking in these fields?

Mid-way through each year, UNHCR publishes its latest ‘Global Trends’ report on forced displacement, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) presents its ‘Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the European Union’ and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) circulates its ‘Global Report on Internal Displacement’. These reports offer the most recent global and regional data on the number of refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons and other populations of concern, including asylum decisions, pending cases, resettlement, etc. The analysis of such data enables the identification of key t... Read more

"I’d say 100% of the IDPs are still connected to the place of origin in one way or the other"

By Carolien Jacobs, Leiden University

Notes on data collection, analysis and COVID-19 in Congo

The title of this blog gives you a little sneak preview into the discussion we had about our data. It was raised by one of the researchers of the team and agreed upon by his fellow researchers. Keep an eye on forthcoming publications to learn more about this.

The DRC team completed most of the qualitative data collection in December 2019. In February 2020, the team organised a three-day analysis workshop. These were intensive days during which we talked in great detail about the data that we collected thus far and how to make sense of the data in relation to each of the five main themes of TRAFIG. It was very inspiring to see the data come alive and to get analytical meaning. The title of... Read more