The FINANCIAL -- The U.S. Agency for International Development and the Eastern Congo
Initiative released an online video series detailing a database of
community-based organizations located in the Democratic Republic of the
The database is a searchable online tool, first made available in 2012, that assists aid agencies and philanthropists in identifying and directly connecting with community-based organizations that provide vital resources to populations in Eastern Congo, according to USAID.
"Data-driven insights are critical to creating effective and efficient partnerships,” said Ricardo Michel, USAID’s Acting Director for the Office of Innovation and Development Alliances. “We are pleased to recognize organizations like the Eastern Congo Initiative that are leveraging technology in the service of international development and working to increase access to information that will lead to more informed funding and programming decisions,” he added.
In the DRC, one of the principal obstacles to delivering effective support to community-based organizations is the “information gap,” a lack of precise information about these organizations and their capacity to meet the most pressing needs of their communities. In response to the challenge, and with the support of USAID, the Eastern Congo Initiative conducted a landscape analysis of community-based organizations across Maniema, Orientale, North Kivu and South Kivu provinces. The result is a report and online database that gives policy leaders, investors and analysts insights into the work being done to create sustainable and successful change in Eastern Congo.
The ECI analysis found many capable community-based organizations face serious challenges in getting the support they need, from organizations that remain stuck at the bottom of the funding chain to those that receive little attention because they focus on longer-term solutions instead of areas of immediate need. The online database will help these organizations and donors to overcome these challenges by simplifying the funding chain and shining a light on those organizations that work to address the structural and cultural roots of the problems in Eastern Congo, according to USAID.
“Through the database and the landscape analysis, USAID and ECI have laid the groundwork for augmenting foreign assistance in Eastern Congo,” said Christopher Jurgens, USAID’s Global Partnerships Division Director. “Serving as a model of strategic investment in the region, the partnership’s assessment will shape future engagement and elevate awareness and commitment to the region within international development and donor communities,” he added.
Together, the two organizations seek to build a robust development alliance that channels the support of public entities, philanthropists, private sector companies and foundations to community-based organizations working on the ground in Eastern Congo.