Multi-stakeholder service providers and state-building legitimacy in a war-stricken society and empirical weak state

In the conflict-affected state of the DR Congo many non-state actors take up roles of the state, such as the provision of basic services and social protection. This research will look at the way in which interventions of these non-state actors impacts on state-building processes and people’s perceptions of the state.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is a conflict-affected state where many of the basic services such as health and education are of poor quality and limited availability. In many places where the state is not able to provide basic services and social protection, non-state actors such as international organisations, local NGOs, and private parties take up part of the void and act as providers of services and protection. In this research  we zoom in especially at the health sector to see to what extent the involvement of multiple actors has an impact on the perception people have of the state. Some of the interventions in the health sector depart from the assumption that institutional capacity of the state will improve through this support. Yet, thus far there is little evidence available for this. We therefore intend to look at the impact of these interventions on building state capacity as well.

Supervisors: Dorothea Hilhorst, Carolien Jacobs, Murhega Mashanda