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Fieldwork Begins in Eastern DR Congo

Fieldwork Begins in Eastern DR Congo - IMG 01
LINC DRC Social Network Analysis research team prepares to begin fieldwork.

As a sub-contractor to Mercy Corps on the DFID-funded IMAGINE project, LINC manages a five-year longitudinal Social Network Analysis (SNA) of local actors and systems in the Goma and Bukavu municipalities of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). LINC launched activities in August 2015, and recently completed a week-long training of enumerators, data entry personnel and other project staff at Mercy Corps offices in Goma, DRC. In total, over twenty participants were trained over the course of this week.

While field personnel have strong experience and background in experimental research techniques, this is a first-time application of social network analysis in this context. Training was therefore structured to provide staff with a fundamental understanding of the SNA method, analytical techniques, and provided opportunities to practice and test skills in enumeration. Piloting of the instrument throughout the week not only built enumerator skills, but provided us with great insights to refine census instruments.

We expect to complete approximately 700 interviews throughout the course of October 2015. This will result in a baseline network analysis report by the end of the year, including a set of recommendations on program strategy and partner engagement. We will conduct the analysis again with the same network actors at the project midterm (June 2017) and endline (February 2019) to assess network change and report on impact.