Established on 1 November 2012, the Affinity Group on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a network of leading scholars and researchers working on the DRC who are deeply familiar with the context of the current challenges facing the country after two decades of war, and who can provide long-term analysis and recommendations to help inform international engagement in the region. This “brain trust” on the DRC provides analysis of the crises facing the DRC and situates these challenges in a long-term view of the political, social, and security trends in the country and the region. Where necessary, the Affinity Group identifies gaps in existing evidence and knowledge and undertakes the necessary research to fill the knowledge gaps identified by its analysis.

As with the landmark Ford Foundation Study Group on South Africa in the 1980s, and the short-lived UN Secretary-General’s Resource Group on the DRC established in 1998 at the start of the Second Congo War, the Affinity Group on the DRC seeks to keep its analysis and research firmly distinct from advocacy efforts, yet remains flexible to respond to and help inform policy processes.

Saving the Leopard – The DR Congo Affinity Group’s first commissioned cartoon by Thembo Muhindo Kashauri

DRC Affinity Group members:

Tatiana Carayannis (Project Director)
Social Science Research Council

Federico Borello
Center for Civilians in Conflict

Mvemba Dizolele
Johns Hopkins University

Jean-Marie Guéhenno
International Crisis Group 

Fabienne Hara
Sciences-Po, Paris School of International Affairs

Pascal Kambale
Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA)

Michel Noureddine Kassa
Initiative for a Cohesive Leadership in the DRC

Jason Stearns
Center on International Cooperation 

Jean Omasombo Tshonda
The Royal Museum for Central Africa at Tervuren and University of Kinshasa

Anneke Van Woudenberg
Human Rights Watch

Koen Vlassenroot
University of Ghent

Herbert Weiss
The City University of New York