ResCongo is the first and only national network of Congolese researchers working on peace and security.  It is a virtual platform that promotes and facilitates exchanges among Congolese scholars and analysts, and connects and enhances the participation of these researchers in national and international academic and policy discussions. It brings together Congolese researchers from all human and social disciplines working on conflict dynamics, post-conflict reconstruction, peacebuilding, security, and justice issues from across the country. ResCongo was officially launched on 5 October 2016 at the University of Kinshasa.  

Since its founding, the Network has held two annual conferences (2018 and 2019). It also further developed its listserv of researchers, scholars, and interested contacts, and established a Group of Friends network for guidance. ResCongo launched its blog platform in 2019, which provides a further outlet for research dissemination. 

The first annual conference was held from 27 – 28 September at UNIKIN and the Centre Culturel Boboto in Kinshasa. The theme of the inaugural conference was “Insecurity and the Provision of Justice in Urban and Semi-Urban areas in the DRC: Actors, Practices and Perspectives.” ResCongo held its second annual conference from 9-10 October 2019 at Hôtel Beau Lieu in Bukavu. The theme of the conference was “Citizenship, Conflict, and Cross-Border Mobility: A Look at DRC and its Neighbors.” ResCongo invites its members and interested researchers to submit abstracts through a call for proposals. Approximately twenty applications were selected for each conference after a competitive process. Senior Congolese researchers lead the panel discussions, which, in addition to paper presentations, have included panels on research methods in insecure contexts, equitable research collaborations, and how scientific research can best inform public policy. The SSRC is in the process of publishing the conference papers as a working paper series.

The Network is led by two Congolese researchers based in the western capital (Kinshasa) and eastern DRC (Bukavu): Professor José Mvuezolo BAZONZI at the Center for Political Studies (CEP), Faculty of Social Sciences – the University of Kinshasa (UNIKIN), and Professor Godefroid MUZALIA Kihangu, Director of the Study Group on Conflict and Human Security at the Kivu University Research Center (CERUKI) ISP-Bukavu. The group collaborates with the Social Science Research Council (New York) and the Conflict Research Group (Ghent University).  

Seed support for the development of the website and virtual presence of ResCongo came from the SSRC through UK Department of International Development – DFID funding. Support for the first two conferences was provided by the SSRC and LSE’s Center for Public Authority and International Development (CPAID) through funding from the UK Economic and Social Research Council and Global Challenges Research Fund (ESRC-GCRF).  

For more information see the ResCongo Annual Conference 2019, Annual Conference 2018, and the ResCongo Twitter and website.