Colloquium Kim Baudewijns

Published on
June 8, 2015

You are hereby cordially invited to the presentation of the thesis of Kim Baudewijns entitled 'Governance and Sanitation in Gemena, Democratic Republic of the Congo'

Supervisor: Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen (co-examinor: Otto Hospes)

Date and time: Tuesday, 16 June, 11:30-12:30 hours

Location: room 3048, Leeuwenborch, Hollandseweg 1, Wageningen


As a result of its social and historical context, the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is currently not able to provide sanitation services for its citizens. In this research, the inability of the government as the central actor to implement services is defined as an area of limited statehood. As the theory on areas of limited statehood suggests these areas are not chaotic, ungoverned spaces. The spaces give the opportunity to variety of actors to step in and constitute the governance. This is the case for the governance of sanitation in Gemena, a town in the north of the DRC.

The objective of this research is to understand the social capital in governance practices concerning sanitation in Gemena, a context of limited statehood. This objective has been operationalised through two research questions. The first research question addresses the historic and social background of the town relevant for understanding current sanitation governance practices. The second research question concerns the types of social capital that are present in sanitation governance in Gemena. 

To understand the relations between the actors organising sanitation in Gemena, the types of social capital are studied. Social capital entails the networks and collaborations, and relations of trust and reciprocity in a society. Three types of relations based on social capital –bonding, bridging, and linking- are distinguished.

The results show that the governance of sanitation is mainly constituted through a collaborative program between the Ministry of Health on local level, some international organisations and certain local organisations. However, this program does not include all of the actors working on sanitation in Gemena. Concerning trust the results show that there are challenges for local authorities and also between organisations. The types of relations between the actors involved in sanitation governance in Gemena are illustrated through bonding, bridging and linking social capital.