Congo Demokrasia in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Citizens who want to exercise their right to vote, especially those historically marginalized and left out of civic engagement.
Improving citizen engagement in the political process.
16 provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Equateur, Haut Katanga, Haut Lomami, Ituri, Kasai, Kasai Central, Kasai Oriental, Kinshasa, Lomami, Lualaba, Nord Kivu, Nord Ubangi, Sankuru, Sud Kivu, Tshopo, and Tanganyika.
Training local groups to improve effectiveness in helping citizens know their civic rights and how to participate in democratic elections.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is emerging from decades of dictatorship and conflict. After a controversial national election in 2011, many Congolese people wanted to learn more about the democratic process and how they can participate. Women, youth, indigenous populations, and religious groups are particularly likely to be marginalized in the civic space, yet their inclusion in civic life is essential to the democratic process. Public awareness and voter education activities are critical to help citizens learn how to vote and why their vote matters. Civil society organizations exist for this, but additional resources are necessary to navigate a complex security situation and confront this as a country-wide issue. With tensions high and the eyes of the world upon the upcoming elections, Counterpart is helping these civil society organizations ensure that Congolese citizens are informed about their democratic rights and are encouraged to participate peacefully and to the greatest extent possible in the political process of their country.
In preparation for new elections, the country launched a voter registration process in 2016. After repeated delays, elections are now scheduled for December 2018. Counterpart is supporting democratic processes in the DRC through the USAID- and UKAID-funded Congo Demokrasia project and the . Both support a more fair and transparent democracy by increasing voter participation, focusing specifically on increasing the civic engagement of women, youth, religious groups, and indigenous populations. We are building the capacity of local organizations to deliver voter education programs that help citizens make informed voting decisions and participate actively and peacefully in elections.
With generous support from the U.S. Agency for International Development and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, Congo Demokrasia uses a variety of tools and media to increase the civic engagement of a variety of diverse populations, including women, youth, rural populations, indigenous populations, and other marginalized groups.
A second program, Promoting Increased Civic Engagement in the Lead-up to Elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (PRICE) program, builds on the successes of Congo Demokrasia. Supported by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, PRICE supports a peaceful electoral process in high-risk areas of the country. Partnering with three influential civil society organizations, Counterpart has designed voter education campaigns, citizen forums, and media campaigns about peaceful civic engagement, specifically targeting women and youth, who have been marginalized in past elections.
Counterpart has reached millions of citizens in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Through our programs:
Congo Demokrasia Funders: United States Agency for International Development (USAID) the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (UKAID)
PRICE Funder: United States Department of State