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Making investment in education part of the peace dividend in the DRC

Tom De Herdt
Kristof Titeca
Inge Wagemakers


people’ in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Firstly, the population has high expectations from public education: it is shown how it is one of the most important factors guaranteeing employment outside of agriculture. Secondly, state representatives do not enter into a void, but in a space that is already institutionalized by other forces and which is a reflection of local power configurations. The education sector is one of the most important ‘faces’ of the state at the local level, showing the benefits of the state in peacetime. In doing so, education can play an important role in re-constructing the social contract between the population and the state and is therefore at the heart of state reconstruction efforts. However, this is particularly difficult, as the state has largely retreated from the education sector since the eighties, and is instead being organized in a public-private partnership together with religious networks. Moreover, schools have been turned into tax units, in order to respond to the retreat of the state and declining wages of school administrators. This had a clear effect on donor interventions: instead of changing the current system, it became part of these existing configurations and led to an extension of the current system. Although this led to a greater reconnection of the state with the people – for example by financing more teachers and schools – this did not lead to a better performing public service.

Publication Type(s)

Conference Paper

Ten Years of War Against Poverty Conference Papers

Conference: Ten Years of War Against Poverty


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