- Main applicant: Dr. K. Vlassenroot (Ghent University, Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, Belgium)
- Co-applicants: G. Cabrera (Cordaid, the Netherlands), and T. Carayannis (SSRC, DRC Congo)
Finding justice in case of grievances or disputes is complicated for poor people, especially in conflict-affected areas with weak institutions. This is even more the case for people who reside outside of their place of origin, such as internally displaced, refugees or urban migrants.
This action research aims to contribute to the objectives of the call by strengthening justice mechanisms in three regions of DRC (the Kivus, Haut Uele and Equateur) through interactive research; enhancing justice initiatives of governmental and non-governmental actors; and inter-regional learning.
The project consists of a number of research cycles that are defined in close dialogue with the societal stakeholders in the programme. The empirical research focuses on displaced people's justice needs, their strategies to obtain justice and their actual experiences with different types of authorities, including the police, justice apparatus and traditional authorities.
Each cycle of research will be concluded with reflection and action on how lessons learnt can be translated in improvement of ongoing justice enhancing initiatives, such as Cordaid's performance based financing of the police and justice sector, NGO mediation practices and women listening groups.
Aid interventions have favoured the East of the DRC for decades, even though indicators of insecurity and poverty are equally bad or worse in other parts of the country. The project incorporates two other regions affected by large-scale displacement and aims to analyze and disclose their realities and to bring applicable justice enhancing mechanisms from the Kivus to the attention of authorities and NGOs in these regions.