Country Director, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Steven Sharp joined Counterpart in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in May 2016, where he manages a civic and voter education program working with 35 local NGOs in 16 of 26 provinces in the country. Looking ahead to elections in December 2018, program initiatives funded by USAID, UKAid, and the U.S. Department of State have informed over 3.2 million people of their rights and responsibilities in a democracy and advocates for peaceful participation in elections.
Steven managed large umbrella grant programs supporting civil society in Sri Lanka (1996), Cambodia (1997-2001), DRC (2001-2006), and Kenya (2006-2011). In Cambodia, the program supported development of new civil society organizations where only socialist-style mass movements had existed. In DRC, local groups were assisted in participatory post-conflict problem solving through rehabilitation of social infrastructure, while in Kenya civil society organizations were supported to design and implement advocacy and policy change campaigns at the national level focusing on legislative development and strengthening natural resource and wildlife regulation.
An Urban Planner by training, Steven helped develop a 15-year urban development plan for a mining company in Katanga province in DRC between 2012-2013. The community adjacent the mine had grown by 10,000 people per year for eight years and was expected to double in population by 2025. He worked closely with mine, provincial, and local government officials and community representatives to develop an innovative framework to implement the plan in the absence of viable planning institutions.
Steven served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zaire from 1973-77.