Multilevel governance and control of the Covid-19 pandemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Learning from the four first waves

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impose a heavy burden on people around the world. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has also been affected. The objective of this study was to explore national policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in the DRC and drivers of the response, and to generate lessons for strengthening health systems’ resilience and public health capacity to respond to health security threats. This was a case study with data collected through a literature review and in-depth interviews with key informants. Data analysis was carried out manually using thematic content analysis translated into a logical and descriptive summary of the results. The management of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic reflected multilevel governance. It implied a centralized command and a decentralized implementation. The centralized command at the national level mostly involved state actors organized into ad hoc structures. The decentralized implementation involved state actors at the provincial and peripheral level including two other ad hoc structures. Non-state actors were involved at both levels

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