Our work in the Democratic Republic of Congo
LPI’s programme in DRC has its office in Bukavu, DRC. Building upon 15 years of experience in the region, LPI supports and works with Congolese peacebuilding civil society partners in Bukavu. LPI and its partners’ work in DRC relies primarily, but not solely, on Participatory Action Research (PAR) methodologies in which the communities that are part of and affected by a given conflict engage in the identification of the underlying issues of a conflict and work together with others to resolve their differences non-violently and build constructive relationships.
LPI launched its DRC programme in 2002 in response to a comprehensive analysis of the situation in DRC, conducted by LPI at the request of Sida. The programmatic approach and theory emerged out of the realization that while conflicts in eastern DRC occur at different levels (from the local to the national, regional and international), peacebuilding responses focused on the national and sometimes regional aspects of the situation in DRC, while neglecting the local nature of the conflicts in DRC.
LPI and its partners therefore work to transform local conflicts that are often centred around land, identity and power at the community level. LPI and its partners promote interethnic community dialogues, support existing platforms or help communities to establish new formal and informal structures that allow for non-violent transformation of conflicts among communities.
Further, the programme also utilizes advocacy and policy engagement at different levels in order to complement its bottom-up peacebuilding work and address the structural problems behind the violence.
What we do
By supporting civil society organizations, influencing key political decision makers to support non-violent conflict transformation (CT), and through continuous reflective learning about conditions for success, LPI and partners aspire to contribute to constructive conflict transformation in the Kivu provinces.
Congolese civil society organisations (CSOs) constitute legitimate and ideal structures able to work for sustainable and in depth CT with local conflict actors. LPI DRC provides support to CSOs in their programme implementation, administration, finances and general organisational development.
Through the work of LPI with its partners new actors involved in conflict transformation have emerged at the local level. The permanent peace committees that were put in place as a follow up to the Participatory Action Research focusing on the Rastas Armes Group in 2008 and 2009, together with LPI’s partner UPDI, was a first example of such local initiatives.