Connecting With Hard-to-Reach Audiences to Prevent Floods in the DR Congo

How understanding local populations’ perception and preparedness towards flooding in the DR Congo can help mitigate disasters.

UNDP DR Congo: Case study - Standard Insights

Use Case

Utilize innovative market research methodologies to efficiently collect representative feedback from local populations for the design of effective strategies for disaster preparedness, response, and prevention.


International Affairs


The Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Situation

Understand the impacts of flooding in the DR Congo

Severe flooding in Central and West Africa has displaced 2.9 million people, including those in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where at least 169 people died in the capital city of Kinshasa in December 2022. The increasing frequency of these natural disasters raises concerns about the preparedness of the population and authorities in the DR Congo to respond effectively.

To address this issue, the UNDP Acceleration Lab in the DR Congo has partnered with Standard Insights to explore innovative approaches to gather representative real-time data for improved decision-making and crisis detection.

As a first step towards this goal, the UNDP DRC recognized the need to understand the local perception of past and current floods and how citizens were preparing for potential future risks in the district of Lubumbashi and Kinshasa.

The Solution

Connect with hard-to-reach audiences

To gain a better understanding of the local population’s perception and readiness towards flooding, Standard Insights collaborated with the UNDP DRC Acceleration Lab to conduct a survey of over 700 residents in 23 diverse districts of Lubumbashi and Kinshasa.

The survey was designed to collect information about the situation and outlook of local individuals towards flooding, with a particular focus on their preparedness. To obtain more in-depth feedback, a qualitative component was also included in the survey.

The survey focused on simple questions regarding the flooding situation, including:

  • Key areas affected by flooding
  • The frequency of flooding
  • The degree of preparedness of these individuals for flooding
  • The existence of any form of insurance or coverage in this regard
  • And more

The survey was conducted through social media, targeting a specific demographic group of individuals residing in the two cities. A sample of 703 people over the age of 18 was collected, providing valuable insights into the population’s understanding of and preparedness for flooding.

The Results

Develop effective civil protection policies

Qualified Respondents

The results of the survey conducted by Standard Insights in partnership with the UNDP DRC Acceleration Lab have provided valuable insights into the local population’s situation, readiness, and outlook towards flooding in the cities of Kinshasa and Lubumbashi.

The aim of this preliminary survey was to test how rapid data analysis can help in understanding a development challenge and vulnerability signals during crisis situations, as observed during the flooding in Kinshasa, from the perspective of evidence-based policy decision-making. AI-powered data analysis cannot replace policy-makers, but it can provide a more comprehensive, faster, and evidence-based approach in the context of short-term crises.

The insights obtained from the survey can be used by the UNDP DRC to develop proposals for civil protection policies and plans to prevent new disasters, especially in the context of global climate change. By listening to the voices of those affected by the floods in the region, the UNDP DRC is well-positioned to understand and address the human and structural challenges of flooding and capture the population’s contribution to a sustainable solution.

Our experience with Standard Insights has been both efficient and professional. Their innovative approach which combines artificial intelligence and data collection on social networks allows us to have valuable insights into the challenges of the local population but also their contribution to the construction of a solution.
Serge Kusinza Buhendwa
Head of Exploration/ Communication lead – UNDP DRC

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