About Us

The mission of the Integrated Research Institute (IRI) is to encourage and empower faculty, students and affiliated researchers at the Université Chrétienne Bilingue du Congo (UCBC) to use the resources of academic inquiry to engage problems relevant to our community, to collect meaningful data about DR Congo, and to publish excellent research consistent with UCBC’s core mission and values of transformation. In other words, the IRI conducts and promotes research that’s transformative for the communities of DR Congo. Some of the IRI’s activities directly benefit UCBC as an institution. Other activities assist UCBC with accomplishing its goal of engaging social issues through intervention-based research and public policy in DRC.

The IRI is an initiative at the Christian Bilingual University of Congo (UCBC) Founded in 2007 by Dr. David Kasali. The Université Chrétienne Bilingue du Congo (UCBC) takes an innovative approach to higher education in eastern Congo by integrating academic rigor with service learning to educate and empower the next generation of Congolese citizens and leaders. Located in North Kivu province, UCBC offers a range of academic degree programs in the applied sciences, communications, economics, theology and counseling in English and French. UCBC adopts a holistic approach to education, providing opportunities for its students to play an active role in the local community. The Congolese government has identified UCBC as a model for the reform of the national higher education system.

IRI Capacity and Skills

  • Qualitative and quantitative research skills and experience
  • Multilingual staff: English, French, Swahili, Lingala, Kinande
  • Computer Programming and Application development experience
  • Data Collection and Analysis Capacity
  • KoboToolBox, ODK Collect, etc.
  • ArcGIS, QGIS, GPS Essential
  • GLTN’s Social Tenure Domain Model land tool
  • Geomapping experience
  • Database creation and management
  • Communications: multimedia content production, photography, videography
  • Participatory Development and Community Organizing Methods
  • Sustainable development
  • Urban development
  • Community development
  • Sustainable environmental management
  • Land policy guidelines
  • Urban policy guidelines
  • Natural resources governance
  • Prevention mechanisms and alternative methods for land conflict resolution
  • Community resilience

Current Projects

“Urban Development: Support project for sustainable urban development in the secondary cities of the eastern DRC through the development of provincial urban policies and an urban development strategy for the pilot town of Beni”

  • Funding: AACID – BOOYONG
  • Technical Partner: UNHABITAT
  • Implementing partner: Architecte Sans Frontière Belgique
  • Location: City of Beni in North Kivu – RDC
  • Duration: 1 September, 2021 – 30 May 2022
  • Purpose: Develop sustainable provincial urban policies in North Kivu and urban development strategy for the city of Beni

“Programme Intégré REDD+ Oriental (PIRRED-O)”

  • CAFI Investment
  • Funding: FONAREDD – PNUD
  • Duration: 1 July, 2020 – 31 December 2022
  • Location: ITURI
  • Purpose: Improve natural resources governance, reduce the impact of human activities on the forest and improve living standard of local communities in the REDD+ issued areas.

Research Project: “Securing Tenure, Sustainable Peace? The challenges of Localizing Land-Registration in Conflict-Affected Burundi and Eastern DR Congo” Ref: T2S2016 project

  • Sponsors: Wallonia and Brussels Federation, Belgium Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, Netherlands International Social Science Council
  • Duration: 16 July, 2019 – 31 December 2020
  • Location: Rutshuru and Lubero Territory in the North Kivu Province
  • Purpose: Analyze the challenges of localized land registration in conflict-affected  settings and how policy makers and development organizations deal with theses in order to develop understanding and promote research on transformations to sustainability which are of significant social, economic and policy concern.

Project “ Artisanes de Paix: Setting inclusive Peacebuilding Networks in Tanganyika and addressing land issues in displaced Twa and Bantu communities”

  • Funding: Tearfund UK
  • Duration: 18 months
  • Location: TANGANYIKA Province
  • Purpose: support the UN women, peace and security agenda by promoting women-led conflict transformation initiatives that address the Twa – Bantu conflict in Nyunzu Territory in order that these initiatives move from the margins to a more prominent role. Thus advancing women’s meaningful participation in peace-building and protection to address gender-based violence including pre-existing forms of discrimination, facilitate the resolution of conflict disputes and promote fair and equitable access to land in Nyunzu Territory.

Project: “Program support to the DRC’s Land Reform and Elaboration of the national Land Policy Document”

  • Funding: Central African Forest Initiatives (CAFI) through FONAREDD
  • Technical Partner: UNHABITAT – GLTN
  • Government: National Ministry of Land Affairs, CONAREF

MoU: CAFI Phase 4

  • Purpose: By 2023, ensure a fair, inclusive and gender-responsive national land policy in the DRC with evidence that land rights promote a sustainable forestry and agriculture development by involving minorities and vulnerable populations such as women, young old and indigenous people as change makers.

Completed Projects at IRI

Project: “Program support to the DRC’s Land Reform and Elaboration of the national Land Policy Document”

  • Funding: Central African Forest Initiatives (CAFI) through FONAREDD
  • Technical Partner: UNHABITAT – GLTN
  • Government: National Ministry of Land Affairs, CONAREF

MoU: CAFI Phase 1

  • Duration: 1 July, 2018 – 31 March, 2021
  • Location: MAMBASA territory – ITURI Province
  • Purpose: Experiencing the Community Land Register approach to secure customary land tenure

MoU: CAFI Phase 2

  • Duration: 1 July, 2018 – 31 March, 2021
  • Location: ITURI and MAINDOMBE Provinces
  • Purpose: Developing methodological guides and relevant land tools

MoU: CAFI Phase 3

  • Duration: 1 July, 2018 – 31 December, 2020
  • Location: North and South Kivu, Ituri, Tshopo, Bas and Haut Uele, Maniema, Tanganyika, Lualaba, Haut Lomami, Haut Katanga, Lomami, Sankuru
  • Purpose: Facilitating Multi stakeholders Consultation on the draft of the national Land Policy Document in 13 Eastern Provinces of the DRC

Projet “ZERO COVID19 au Nord Kivu” dans le cadre du programme d’appui à la mise en œuvre du Nouveau Programme pour les Villes (NPV)

  • Bailleur de fonds : AACID
  • Partenaire Technique : ONU HABITAT, Ministère Provincial de la Santé, Ministère Provincial des Affaires Foncières
  • Partenaire de mise en œuvre : NTICo (Nouvelle Technologie de l’Information et de la Communication)
  • Durée : Janvier – Mars 2021 (3 mois)
  • Lieu: ville de Goma
  • Objectif : Renforcer la collaboration entre les acteurs multisectoriels impliqués dans la riposte ; Renforcer les techniques de prévention et de lutte contre la pandémie ; Renforcer les mécanismes de surveillance et d’alerte par le développement et l’utilisation d’une application Mobile et web ; Projeter des réflexions sur la mise en œuvre du nouveau programme pour les villes

Project: “Ensemble Pour Beni” for the stabilization of the Eastern DRC in Beni territory

  • Funding: Fonds de Coherence pour la Stabilisation, ISSSS (I4S) – SSU MONUSCO
  • Duration: 1 July, 2018 – 31 December 2020
  • Location: Beni territory in the North Kivu Province
  • Purpose: Contribute to the stabilization of the Eastern DRC through interventions of “Democratic Dialogue”, Relaunch of Economy” and “Restoration of Authority of the State” in order to facilitate the creation of an environment conducive to stability and lasting peace that will be essential for social development economy of local communities.

“Sharing the Land: Land Tools Implementation for Tenure Security”

  • Funding: Global Land Tool Network/UN-Habitat
  • Duration: 01 February, 2017 – 31 August, 2017
  • Purpose: Improve land tenure security through implementing GLTN Land Tools, enhance capacity of DRC’s land administration and promote land governance reform through public policy engagement.

“Developing Agribusiness Leaders to enhance DRC’s Coffee Sector”

  • Funding: Eastern Congo Initiative
  • Duration: 01 June, 2017 – 31 December, 2018
  • Purpose: Agribusiness leaders, entrepreneurs and institutions are equipped to generate an impact on DRC’s Coffee Sector in 2017 and 2018.

“DRC Coffee Atlas”

  • Funding: Eastern Congo Initiative
  • Duration: 15 May, 2017 – 31 June, 2017
  • Purpose: Collect data on Arabica coffee in eastern DRC for an interactive dashboard called “DRC Coffee Atlas” in order to promote DRC’s coffee sector and research.

“Cacao Farmer Certification Project”

  • Funding: ESCO-KIVU
  • Duration: 06 March, 2017 – July 2017
  • Purpose: Enhance ESCO-KIVU’s cacao farmer certification process through digital data collection and management.

“Transforming Scholarly Communication and Academic Production in Eastern DRC”

  • Funding: The Elsevier Foundation
  • Duration: 01 January, 2015 – 31 May, 2017
  • Purpose: The goal of the innovative libraries grant is to enhance the capacity of UCBC’s library staff and to improve regional library infrastructure and to promote a culture of research, information and data literacy at UCBC.

“Provide high quality agribusiness higher education to the next generation of agribusiness professionals”

  • Funding: Eastern Congo Initiative
  • Duration: 01 February, 2016 – 31 March, 2017
  • Purpose: Equip agribusiness students with the foundational understanding and practice of Agribusiness.

“Sharing the Land 2015 & 2016: GIS Technology”

  • Subaward No. 06-S150615
  • Funding: Texas A&M University’s Center for Conflict and Development via USAID’s Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN)
  • Duration: 30 August, 2014 – 31 October, 2016
  • Purpose: Address land conflict in DRC through research and by piloting a framework to enhance land governance in Masiani and Les Volcans neighborhoods in Beni and Goma, North Kivu in partnership with the Minister of Land Affairs.

‘Coffee Pre-Solicitation Mapping Study’

  • Funding: Chemonics International
  • Duration: 06 May, 2016 – 13 January, 2017.
  • Purpose: Coffee value chain maps with all the coffee related features for both Arabica and Robusta coffee in Beni and Lubero Territories in North Kivu and Kalehe and Kabare in South Kivu, DR Congo

Focus Group and Survey research on sexual violence and trauma

  • May – August 2016
  • Partnered with and funded by Lindsay Charlie Brink (Masters of Social Work Candidate, University of Michigan).
  • Conducted 3 Focus Groups in Beni Territory, North Kivu and Bunia, Ituri.
  • Sexual violence and trauma data collected in Goma, Beni and Bunia.

 Public Opinion Surveys with the McCain Institute

  • In North Kivu, 12 alumni conducted 600 public opinions surveys in November 2014 and 25 alumni conducted 1200 public opinion surveys in July 2015. The surveys asked the people of North Kivu how feel about the DRC government, the upcoming elections in 2016, and the international community’s involvement in DRC.

Facilitated research projects with and for:

  • Emmanuel Katongole (Faculty, Notre Dame University, USA)
  • Hannah Im (PhD Candidate, Psychology, Wheaton College),
  • Lise van Overbeeke (MA Architecture, University of Waterloo),
  • David Peyton (PhD Student, Political Science, Northwestern University),
  • Jonathan Shaw (PhD Candidate, History, University of Michigan)

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