Thousands of IDPs remain in many camps across North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This working paper explores the experiences of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the setting of Mugunga 3 camp in Goma through the livelihood framework. We challenge the assumption that IDP camps are places of passive vulnerability and demonstrate that IDPs are able to rebuild their lives by engaging in various trade activities, inside and outside of camps.
Inside of the camp, residents developed livelihood strategies around three activities: namely, manual labour, petty trade and employment/entrepreneurship. Camp residents labelled as vulnerable by humanitarian actors were also able to make a living through participation in IDP associations, as well as programmes and projects set up by humanitarian agencies. The livelihoods approach to development recognises the range of people’s coping strategies, differentiating between population groups to enable a fuller picture of IDPs breadth of experiences of the camps.
Combining life stories, in-depth interviews and field visits, this research initially interviewed 75 IDPs. It was important to select research participants who could be traced both in the camp and outside of the camp, as some had two residences. Interviews were conducted both inside the camp and also in the Goma neighbourhood (the Rusayo, Kibati and Kibumba groupings in Nyiragongo territory and Kitchanga grouping in Masisi territory), where many participants’ worked.
This research is part of the Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium (SLRC) programme
Nguya, G. (2019) ‘We are all IDPs’: Vulnerability and livelihoods in Mugunga 3 camp, Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Working paper. London: Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium.
We are all IDPs’: Vulnerability and livelihoods in Mugunga 3 camp, Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo