Transforming DR Congo through research and public policy

About Us

The mission of the Integrated Research Institute (IRI) is to encourage and empower faculty, students and affiliated researchers at the Université Chrétienne Bilingue du Congo (UCBC) to use the resources of academic inquiry to engage problems relevant to our community, to collect meaningful data about DR Congo, and to publish excellent research consistent with UCBC’s core mission and values of transformation. In other words, the IRI conducts and promotes research that’s transformative for the communities of DR Congo. Some of the IRI’s activities directly benefit UCBC as an institution. Other activities assist UCBC with accomplishing its goal of engaging social issues through intervention-based research and public policy in DRC.

IMG_3500The IRI is an initiative at the Christian Bilingual University of Congo (UCBC) Founded in 2007 by Dr. David Kasali. The Université Chrétienne Bilingue du Congo (UCBC) takes an innovative approach to higher education in eastern Congo by integrating academic rigor with service learning to educate and empower the next generation of Congolese citizens and leaders. Located in North Kivu province, UCBC offers a range of academic degree programs in the applied sciences, communications, economics, theology and counseling in English and French. UCBC adopts a holistic approach to education, providing opportunities for its students to play an active role in the local community. The Congolese government has identified UCBC as a model for the reform of the national higher education system.

IRI Capacity and Skills

  • Qualitative and quantitative research skills and experience
  • Multilingual staff: English, French, Swahili, Lingala, Kinande
  • Computer Programming and Application development experience
  • Data Collection and Analysis Capacity
  • KoboToolBox, ODK Collect, etc.
  • ArcGIS, QGIS, GPS Essential
  • SPSS, EPINFO
  • GLTN’s Social Tenure Domain Model land tool
  • Geomapping experience
  • Database creation and management
  • Communications: multimedia, photography, videography
  • Participatory Development and Community Organizing Methods

Current Projects

“Sharing the Land: Land Tools Implementation for Tenure Security”

  • Funding: Global Land Tool Network/UN-Habitat
  • Duration: 01 February, 2017 – 31 August, 2017
  • Purpose: Improve land tenure security through implementing GLTN Land Tools, enhance capacity of DRC’s land administration and promote land governance reform through public policy engagement.

“Developing Agribusiness Leaders to enhance DRC’s Coffee Sector”

  • Funding: Eastern Congo Initiative
  • Duration: 01 June, 2017 – 31 December, 2018
  • Purpose: Agribusiness leaders, entrepreneurs and institutions are equipped to generate an impact on DRC’s Coffee Sector in 2017 and 2018.

“DRC Coffee Atlas”

  • Funding: Eastern Congo Initiative
  • Duration: 15 May, 2017 – 31 June, 2017
  • Purpose: Collect data on Arabica coffee in eastern DRC for an interactive dashboard called “DRC Coffee Atlas” in order to promote DRC’s coffee sector and research.

“Cacao Farmer Certification Project”

  • Funding: ESCO-KIVU
  • Duration: 06 March, 2017 – July 2017
  • Purpose: Enhance ESCO-KIVU’s cacao farmer certification process through digital data collection and management.

Completed Projects at IRI

“Transforming Scholarly Communication and Academic Production in Eastern DRC”

  • Funding: The Elsevier Foundation
  • Duration: 01 January, 2015 – 31 May, 2017
  • Purpose: The goal of the innovative libraries grant is to enhance the capacity of UCBC’s library staff and to improve regional library infrastructure and to promote a culture of research, information and data literacy at UCBC.

“Provide high quality agribusiness higher education to the next generation of agribusiness professionals”

  • Funding: Eastern Congo Initiative
  • Duration: 01 February, 2016 – 31 March, 2017
  • Purpose: Equip agribusiness students with the foundational understanding and practice of Agribusiness.

“Sharing the Land 2015 & 2016: GIS Technology”

  • Subaward No. 06-S150615
  • Funding: Texas A&M University’s Center for Conflict and Development via USAID’s Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN)
  • Duration: 30 August, 2014 – 31 October, 2016
  • Purpose: Address land conflict in DRC through research and by piloting a framework to enhance land governance in Masiani and Les Volcans neighborhoods in Beni and Goma, North Kivu in partnership with the Minister of Land Affairs.

‘Coffee Pre-Solicitation Mapping Study’

  • Funding: Chemonics International
  • Duration: 06 May, 2016 – 13 January, 2017.
  • Purpose: Coffee value chain maps with all the coffee related features for both Arabica and Robusta coffee in Beni and Lubero Territories in North Kivu and Kalehe and Kabare in South Kivu, DR Congo

Focus Group and Survey research on sexual violence and trauma

  • May – August 2016
  • Partnered with and funded by Lindsay Charlie Brink (Masters of Social Work Candidate, University of Michigan).
  • Conducted 3 Focus Groups in Beni Territory, North Kivu and Bunia, Ituri.
  • Sexual violence and trauma data collected in Goma, Beni and Bunia.

 Public Opinion Surveys with the McCain Institute

  • In North Kivu, 12 alumni conducted 600 public opinions surveys in November 2014 and 25 alumni conducted 1200 public opinion surveys in July 2015. The surveys asked the people of North Kivu how feel about the DRC government, the upcoming elections in 2016, and the international community’s involvement in DRC.

Facilitated research projects with and for:

  • Emmanuel Katongole (Faculty, Notre Dame University, USA)
  • Hannah Im (PhD Candidate, Psychology, Wheaton College),
  • Lise van Overbeeke (MA Architecture, University of Waterloo),
  • David Peyton (PhD Student, Political Science, Northwestern University),
  • Jonathan Shaw (PhD Candidate, History, University of Michigan)

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