Project Update: Research Support to USAID’s DRC Integrated Governance Activity

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Integrity works to support the implementation of the USAID-funded Integrated Governance Activity (IGA) Program in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The program’s purpose is to create a good governance framework and build the capacity of both government and civil society to improve delivery of key health, education and economic development services.

At the outset of the program Integrity conducted a needs assessment to identify relevant political economy issues at both policy and programmatic levels, relevant to IGA’s implementation. We also provided an assessment of the consortium members’ capacity to adjust programming in response to the oft changing political situation and ability to react to the complex and volatile context.

Photo credit: Helen Stevenson

Since 2017, Integrity has produced two robust Political Economy Analyses (PEA) to support and inform decision-making and programming. We also provide specialized technical assistance by working with trusted national and international DRC experts and key contextual understanding to support the implementing teams.

In our first PEA study Integrity contributed to a better understanding of the interaction between the different levels of government within the health sector. The study focused on the DPS (Direction provinciale de la santé), IPS (Inspection provinciale de la santé) and ZS (zone de santé) triangle, as a lens through which to explore improved service delivery and more accessible health care.

In 2018, Integrity carried out the second PEA study, which focused on interventions at the provincial level in the context of decentralization in the aftermath of the 2015 provincial découpage. The aim was to improve the capacity of selected provincial entities in planning, budgeting and auditing, as well as strengthening the oversight role of provincial assemblies.

The second PEA study was conducted in a very particular timeframe, in the period leading up to and during the long-delayed DRC presidential elections. These had been pushed back by two years and tensions were running high during the period the PEA fieldwork, analysis and writing were taking place. Findings and recommendations had to be adjusted to take into account the election results in January 2019.

The report concluded that the volatile political and security situation had a devastating impact on governance, particularly as governance and accountability should develop within the framework of DRC decentralization. This decentralization process accelerated in 2015, but was poorly prepared and implemented, without the financial transfers from the national level to the provinces to make it a living reality. The form and content of decentralization has yet to be taken on and owned by political personnel, government administrators and the DRC’s citizens and civil society.

Integrity recognises the importance of PEA, understands the theory that underpins it and have an extensive track record of PEA delivery across the globe. Find out more about the Integrity CAT approach to PEA here.

 

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