In collaboration with the UNICEF office for West and Central Africa as well as the UNICEF country office, SPRI Global organized and facilitated a 4-day Social Protection Training in city of Zongo, located in Sud-Ubangi Province in the northwestern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The DRC is emerging from decades of brutal conflict which have devastated the country and hindered development. In recent years, with the emergence of a tenuous peace, efforts are being focused on rebuilding and stabilizing the state, building institutions and infrastructure and promoting economic growth. With the drafting of a National Social Protection Policy in 2015, social protection is now a strong focus and in addition to highlighting new and revised approaches to the central concepts of social protection, this training course dedicated specific modules to Shock Responsive Social Protection as well as to the lessons learned from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which is still straining health and economic systems worldwide.

With the goal of helping to qualify the course participants to address the significant challenges of achieving universal social protection in the DRC, SPRI Global Director Dr. Chris de Neubourg and researchers Chloé Van Damme and Gabriel Fernandez focused not only presenting relevant information but on guiding the participants through hands-on exercises. With this strong focus on both theory and practice, participants were given the tools to analyze the specific Congolese context and consider the real world application of the theories and concepts that were introduced.

Over the course of the training, the participants from the country’s Social Fund and several line ministries reviewed the social protection instruments deployed in the DRC in detail. They then presented their findings on the final course day, after which each participant received a course certificate for successful completion of the training.