The nature and actors of urban violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo is facing violence and growing, ever-evolving urban crime in a time of unstable institutions and security, soaring urbanization, increasing inequality, and a chronic lack of basic public service including employment and education for its youth. Solutions have been suggested to quell this violence; however, they are not backed by evidence-based data that reflect the complex realities of the country or enable a better understanding of this phenomenon. Moreover, these initiatives are not fully developed and have not examined the interrelations between poverty, crime, and inequality. This project, which will be implemented by the Université de Kinshasa, aims to help address these shortcomings. By combining qualitative and quantitative methods, researchers will endeavour to determine the nature and actors of the violence, the forms and modes of action that contribute to social violence in Congolese cities-Kinshasa and Mbuji-Mayi in particular-especially among youth, including women. The study will help explain the multifaceted factors which lead to interactions between poverty, inequalities, and violence in the targeted cities. It will determine the conditions for a fruitful and effective collaboration between state players and foreign stakeholders to effectively fight and prevent criminal violence in these cities. This project is part of the Safe and Inclusive Cities (SAIC) research initiative designed to build an evidence base on the connections between urban violence, poverty, and inequalities. Jointly funded by IDRC and the United Kingdom's Department for International Development, the SAIC program also seeks to identify the most effective strategies for addressing these challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Friday, December 21, 2012


36 months

IDRC Officer

Ramata Thioune

Total funding

CA$ 403,400


Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of Congo, United Kingdom


Governance and Justice, Safe and Inclusive Cities

Project Leader

Sylvain Shomba Kinyamba


Université de Kinshasa

Institution Country

Democratic Republic of the Congo