Adaptive Programming and going with the grain: IMAGINE's new water governance model in Goma, DRC

Resource type
Adaptive Programming and going with the grain: IMAGINE's new water governance model in Goma, DRC
Motivation This paper explores adaptive approaches to development programmes that aim at improving service provision in underperforming sectors in fragile and conflict affected states (FCAS). It does this through a case study of the Integrated Maji Infrastructure and Governance Initiative for eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo's (IMAGINE) public-private partnership model for water provision. Purpose The processes and decisions that culminated in IMAGINE's model emphasize the need for programming that is culturally and politically aware, responsive to events, learns in real-time, is entrepreneurial, and works with the grain of local institutions to support change. Detailed case studies of such ways of working are crucial for programmes that seek to challenge and reform the status quo in FCAS. Methods and approach The paper is based on 42 semi-structured interviews conducted in the summers of 2019 and 2020. They reflect the broad spectrum of actors – individuals, public authorities, and organisations – involved in IMAGINE's evolution. Findings The narrative focuses on IMAGINE's attempts to professionalise and commercialise Goma's water sector. It shows how as IMAGINE repeatedly adapted to ground realities, it took on the characteristics of a public authority, thereby, engendering backlashes that threated its longer-term goals. However, by revisiting its initial values and logics it was able to get things done and achieve it aims. Policy implications IMAGINE's story suggests that adaptive programmes should put politically savvy local development professionals in key positions and enable them to carefully construct coalitions of allies across the systems they aim to disrupt. This may also require them to revisit and adapt their initial ideas, guiding principles and values as greater understandings of development problems are gained. A pubic authorities lens, attuned to the logics programmes seek to address and introduce to FCAS, may help analysts to foreground the implications of such adaptations.
Development Policy Review
Short Title
Adaptive Programming and going with the grain
24/03/2023, 10:08
Library Catalogue
Wiley Online Library
Kirk, T., Green, D., Stys, P., & Mosquera, T. (2023). Adaptive Programming and going with the grain: IMAGINE’s new water governance model in Goma, DRC. Development Policy Review, n/a(n/a).