The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is amazingly beautiful. Though torn by decades of war and violence, I understand why others have referred to the region as a ‘land of plenty’ — good soil and regular rainfall create lush green hillsides in every direction.
Skuk Jones and I traveled last month to North Kivu province in eastern DRC as part of a “Multiple Displacement and Resilience” project. Hosted by our consortium partner, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), we talked with a dozen different organizations and had focus groups with internally displaced persons (IDPs) in sites of displacement.
It was a useful and eye opening trip for us. Skuk and I are experts in system dynamics and the creation of useful decision support tools but are coming up to speed on displacement in the DRC. Over the course of two weeks, we were able to refine our system map (or causal loop diagram) and refine our theories about how displacement affects families and their communities. (Nothing to report on that front yet, but hopefully later this year!)
We’ll be making regular trips to the DRC as part of this project, but as the first trip into the field, this one deserves special mention.