Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
We started work in DRC in 2018 in collaboration with ÉLAN RDC by commissioning a market-sizing exercise to assess the size and the scope of demand of goods and services from internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees in selected camps and their immediate neighbourhoods in the DRC. The research also assessed the consumption patterns and preferences, current use and future needs of financial services, informal employment and revenue levels of the target population. Following the research, a three-day Design Sprint was facilitated with four local service providers: Rawbank, Orange, CFC, and Altech. Teams were comprised of three to five cross-functional members. The first day involved a high-level presentation of some initial findings of the study and then in-depth interviews with refugees and IDPs based in Kinshasa. From there, on the second day the teams defined a specific problem to solve, brainstormed ideas and came up with a specific solution they felt had the most potential. On the third day, they built prototypes and then tested them out with the refugees and IDPs to gauge their initial reactions and feedback.
We later invited proposals from financial institutions intent on extending their services to IDPs, refugees and host communities in DRC. There were 19 applications received which are being assessed and selection of 3 possible institutions will be announced soon. Each will get £10,000 seed funding to pilot or prototype their product.