International Rescue Committee: Tuungane Program

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Location: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Organizations Involved:
Tuungane Program International Rescue Committee
Author: Farzana Ahmed, Peace Direct, Arlette Nyembo, Independent consultant & Alex Martins, Independent Consultant

Do community-driven development (CDD) approaches facilitate successful transition when programs run by INGOs come to an end? This is the key question explored in this case study on the Tuungane program in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Tuungane is a large-scale community-driven reconstruction and development initiative funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). The program was implemented in approximately 1,300 conflict-affected communities across eastern DRC by three large INGOs: lead organization International Rescue Committee (IRC) alongside CARE International and Search for Common Ground. The program began in April 2007 and ended in June 2016, operating with a total budget of £104.5 million (US$133.1 million). During its implementation period, Tuungane was DFID’s largest and longest-running CDD program, and as such several large-scale evaluations have been conducted in order to ascertain its outcomes and impacts. The purpose of this case study is to map out the process of program transition: how it was communicated, managed and evaluated, and how IRC sought to ensure sustainability through working with local actors in eastern DRC. While it is too early to tell whether the program contributed to sustainable outcomes over the long term, especially given the ongoing humanitarian and conflict-driven crisis in eastern DRC, evaluations have shown that elements of Tuungane have been sustained since the program ended in 2016.


Tuungane is an example of an INGO program transition driven by the end of a donor funding cycle. This report outlines how IRC shifted programming priorities in the final phase of Tuungane in preparation for closedown, including working more closely with governance structures already existent in eastern DRC.

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