Case Study: The Ripple Effect in the DRC

Our aim is to fund movements and groups that will keep up the momentum for women’s human rights. But how is something so complex measured? Global Fund for Women uses our Change Matrix to track the impact and effectiveness of each of our grants. We ask grantees to report on if, as a result of their work, they saw impact in four distinct areas:

  • Increased awareness, agency, and action;
  • Increased resources and power;
  • Changes in mindsets and practices; and
  • Changes in laws and policies.

What does this look like when it comes to actual impact on the ground? We can look to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as a case study. In a country that is recovering from years of civil war, and where many rebel groups still operate, causing violence, chaos, and fear, women’s groups are having a powerful impact.


In FY2017, 11 grantee partners in the Democratic Republic of Congo reported on their outcomes based on the Change Matrix. Here’s what their work meant for women and girls in the DRC:

  • AWARENESS, AGENCY & ACTION. All 11 groups reported that the women and girls they worked with experienced increased awareness, agency, and action, enabling nearly 7,500 women and girls to become more empowered and vocal leaders in their communities.
  • RESOURCES. Eight groups showed gains in access to resources; six improved access for almost 2,700 women and girls to sexual health and reproductive rights services; and two groups helped more than 200 women gain access to gender-based violence services, like psychosocial counseling and workshops.
  • SOCIAL NORMS. Ten groups helped to change social norms; for example, by participating in or placing stories in local media, reaching almost 75,000 people. Additionally, two groups influenced more than 2,400 men and boys to change their perspectives on women’s human rights.
  • LAWS & POLICIES. Three grantees demonstrated an impact in changing laws and policies, including one group that played a role in the elimination of forced labor on Saturdays in the mines in Kailo, DRC.


Fonds pour les Femmes Congolaises (FFC), or Congolese Women’s Fund, is a longtime Global Fund for Women partner and supports emerging grassroots women’s organizations across the country. As a partner in the Women’s Platform for the Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework in the DRC and the region, FFC supported 15 grassroots women’s organizations in Eastern DRC, the region most affected by the ongoing conflict, so that women could participate in peace-building processes. In a region where heads of governments and peace accords have largely failed to bring peace, these grassroots women’s groups have had a powerful effect. For example, women’s groups supported by FFC initiated dialogues between different ethnic groups that have long been in conflict. This led to reconciliation and renewed trust between these communities. Women’s groups supported by FFC also organized outreach sessions with parents and youth on peaceful cohabitation, leading to two children leaving armed groups and returning to school and 150 young people committing to talk to their peers about leaving armed groups; they helped ensure that three women were included in local security councils; and they produced more than 18,000 brochures on the peace accord that raised awareness and understanding of the peace process in the local community.