Development Cooperation with Chinese Characteristics? Partnerships Between International NGOs and Chinese State-Owned Enterprise

Men work to connect water pipes in DR Congo
29 October 2019

Mercy Corps collaborates with Harvard University on new research

Mercy Corps’ IMAGINE programme, in cooperation with the Congolese parastatal water company REGIDESO, has subcontracted two Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) for the implementation of construction works, which aim to improve the quality, quantity and reliability of water supply by way of rebuilding the current water system in Goma and Bukavu. As this is the first major collaboration between Chinese SOEs and an international NGO, the IMAGINE programme offers a unique opportunity to study the opportunities and pitfalls of such collaboration, including from SOE and local community perspectives. To this end, Mercy Corps is conducting a collaborative research project with Harvard University.

Harvard is exploring several interrelated research questions: How and to what degree are the needs of the beneficiaries and key stakeholders met as a part of the collaboration between international NGOs and Chinese SOEs? How do citizens perceive INGO-SOE partnerships and how do they view different project administrators, such as Chinese SOEs, the Chinese government, the local or national government, or INGOs? Is there any variation in outcomes between Goma and Bukavu? Finally, how can INGOs collaborate with and support contracting Chinese SOEs to meet social and environmental challenges?

This research is ongoing: results will be published here when they are available.

Learn more about the IMAGINE programme ▸