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Democracy, Human Rights and Governance

A woman shows and educational guide to other women at a training
In Kasai, Oriental Province, women led a civic and voter education session with USAID support in preparation for historic national elections.
USAID/A. Luyoyo

In November 2011, the DRC held its second post-transition presidential and parliamentary elections. International electoral observers reported widespread irregularities, and ultimately deemed that election results lacked credibility.

Despite development progress in some sectors and relative stability in most areas of the DRC, the country continues to face serious challenges in democracy, human rights, and governance. As a result of renewed rebel activities, security conditions have deteriorated in eastern DRC and displaced significant numbers of people. Human rights violations are consistently reported.

The decentralization process, a key element in the 2006 constitution that has recently been reaffirmed as a government priority, will bring government closer to its citizens and improve decision-making and the quality of service delivery. USAID is supporting that process, as well as partnering with other donors to increase the capacity of Entités Territoiriales Décentralisées, the newly created local government authority. This support will ensure their readiness when decentralization is fully implemented, and is already fostering productive and collaborative partnerships between citizens and government officials.


Despite the numerous irregularities witnessed during the November 28, 2011, elections, some aspects of the electoral process were successful. Millions of citizens were received voter and civic education so that they were adequately prepared to cast ballots, and the polls in most areas of the country were peaceful on election day. However, a strong need remains for continued engagement and participation of informed Congolese citizens. For the planned 2015-2016 elections, USAID is supporting civic education to provide citizens with accurate information on participation in democratic process and decentralization. 

USAID is also supporting efforts that:

  • Create a fair and open justice system
  • Promote good governance
  • Protect human rights
  • Fight corruption
  • Strengthen independent media
  • Build the capacity of national and provincial parliaments to better fulfill their legislative role and interact with citizens and civil society

Last updated: August 03, 2016

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