Humanitarian actors have been present for over 20 years in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in response to an ongoing armed conflict and low-state capacity in the mountainous east of the country. There is an increasing demand from donors, policymakers and implementing agencies to know what works and why, to ensure that resources are used efficiently and effectively. In 2014, the Rapid Response to Population Movements (RRMP) programme operated in four provinces in eastern Congo: Oriental Province, North Kivu, South Kivu and Katanga. RRMP operates within a highly complex local context of low state capacity, on-going low-level violent conflict involving dozens of armed groups (some supported by neighbouring countries), weak infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illness, high rates of population displacement (many households are displaced multiple times), refugee inflows from neighbouring countries, myriad humanitarian and development actors, and the political uncertainty of a new democracy.
RRMP provides humanitarian assistance in four sectors: non-food items (NFIs), health, education, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). The sector(s) addressed in any particular response depend on vulnerability scores generated during a multi-sectoral assessment (MSA). MSAs are carried out by RRMP implementing partners as soon as the Comité de Pilotage (CP) decides that an emergency meets RRMPs mandate. Each of the four provinces in which RRMP intervenes has a CP that meets weekly to discuss any alerts received since the last meeting.
This evaluation will address the following question:
What is the effect of humanitarian assistance (specifically the provision of non-food items and health care) provided to recently displaced people on health, well-being, and social cohesion and cooperation?
In intervention areas communities, RRMP assigns to each household a vulnerability score. Normally, only households with a score above a threshold receive assistance. In this evaluation the research team will only consider up to 200 households below, but near, the threshold. They will be randomly assigned to receive assistance (vouchers for NFIs) or no assistance.
Qualitative methods will be used to deepen the theory of change, ensure that the quantitative survey instrument is appropriate for the context and provide information about the channels through which any causal effect operates, including direct and indirect effects (i.e. spillovers).
This award has been granted to Catholic University of Bukavu.