REALISE Project: Understanding Marginalisation from Education in Civil War

The Institute of Development Studies is leading two research projects on education in contexts of violent conflict, REALISE and BRICE. The REALISE research project is a partnership between IDS and Marakuja Kivu Research, and part of a larger educational intervention (REALISE) funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and implemented by Save the Children and World Vision International

The research project focuses on understanding how violent conflict alters dynamics of marginalisation from education, in particular the intersection of economic, gender, social and political marginalisation. The project focuses centrally on the province of Tanganyika, DRC, and particularly the areas affected by the ongoing ‘Twa-Bantu’ violent conflict. It has a secondary focus on the province of Ituri, DRC. The project seeks to inform educational programmes and policies which address marginalisation from education in conflict-affected contexts.

The project analyses how long-term, structural dynamics of marginalisation of the Twa populations are recast by the social transformation brought about by the conflict. It shows that longstanding practices of racial discrimination which date back to the colonial education system are exacerbated in the context of acute polarisation created by the conflict.

The project adopts a mixed methods approach, combining quantitative and qualitative methods to analyse the school environment – households, households, students, teachers, and education administrators – as well as the wider social context of education. The penetration of dynamics into the school environment is analysed through innovative quantitative methods using recall data, and qualitative interviews carried out with local authorities, civil society and military actors in Tanganyika and Ituri over a period of three months. The study adopts a holistic understanding of learning, focusing not only on educational outcomes but also the socio-emotional development of children.

The project’s central outputs are two IDS Working Papers and two policy briefings, which will be published in the fall of 2020 on this page, along with associated outputs and blogs.


The research project is part of a larger education programme, REALISE (Reussite Et Epanouissement via L’apprentissage Et L’insertion Au Systeme Educatif), funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and implemented by Save the Children and World Vision International, which seeks to address key barriers to education in six provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The project is done in partnership with Marakuja Kivu Research, a non-profit research organisation based in Goma, which specialises on research in conflict-affected regions.

Project details

start date
10 October 2017
end date
30 September 2021


About this project


Image of Cyril Brandt

Cyril Brandt

Honorary Associate

Image of Deborah West

Deborah West

Project manager

Image of Gauthier Marchais

Gauthier Marchais

Research Fellow

Image of Patricia Justino

Patricia Justino

Professorial Fellow

Image of Sweta Gupta

Sweta Gupta

Research Officer

Marinella Leone (Assistant Professor, University of Pavia)

Paulin Bazuzi (Researcher and Director, Marakuja Kivu Research)

Issa Kiemtoré (Research Consultant)

Olga Kithumbu (Researcher, University of Kinshasa)

Eustache Kuliumbwa (Researcher, Marakuja Kivu Research)

Margherita Bove (Associate Tutor, University of Sussex)

Recent work


Student Wellbeing in Contexts of Protracted Violent Conflict

IDS Policy Briefing 184

In contexts of protracted violent conflict, school environments play a key role in children’s psychological, social, and emotional wellbeing. Research by the REALISE education project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) provides a better understanding of how violent conflict...

14 September 2021