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Learning Briefs | April 13, 2023

Learning from the Budikadidi Project in the DRC:

The Benefits of Social Cohesion Integration for Multisectoral Programming

Since 2017, a CRS-led consortium has implemented the USAID-funded Resilience Food Security Activity (RFSA) in three health zones of the Kasaï Oriental Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The Budikadidi project delivers multisectoral technical assistance to sustainably improve households’ nutrition, food security, and economic well-being. With the foundational purpose of empowering communities to improve and sustain food security and nutrition for all community members, strengthening governance was an integral component of the original Budikadidi design. Following conflict in 2017, the need for strong governance within local structures was underscored as community members lacked trust amongst each other (horizontal social cohesion) and in their leaders (vertical social cohesion). In response, CRS invested private resources to integrate a social cohesion intervention targeting staff and community leaders. In 2022, the Budikadidi team launched a privately funded robust learning agenda, including a study on social cohesion. The study was designed to document the unique Budikadidi approach to social cohesion and governance integration, explore its influence on project outcomes, and offer recommendations for achieving greater development-peacebuilding coherence in future programs.