Source description last updated: 13 February 2020
In brief: The Rift Valley Institute (RVI) is a Nairobi (Kenya)-based non-profit organisation that seeks to promote a better understanding of local realities in Eastern and Central Africa to shape policies in the region.
Coverage on ecoi.net:
Reports and other relevant publications
Covered monthly on ecoi.net for countries of priorities A, B and C.
The Rift Valley Institute (RVI) was “founded in Sudan in 2001” and aims “to advance useful knowledge of the region and its diverse communities, […] to bear on social and political action. […]
The RVI works with institutions in the region to develop and implement long-term programmes that combine action-oriented research with education and public information.”
The RVI conducts research and policy analysis “in the areas of human security, cultural conservation and social development. […]
The Rift Valley Institute operates in Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Somaliland, Kenya, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In those countries where government structures are intact and educational institutions remain functional, the Institute offers specialist services to development agencies, universities and research organisations. Where war has disrupted government and eroded civic life, the Institute aligns itself with researchers and community activists—from the region and its diasporas—in the effort to sustain local institutions and restore standards of research and public information. The RVI’s partners include activists, writers and artists, civil society organisations, government ministries, museums, universities and cultural associations.” (RVI website: About RVI, undated)
“The RVI is supported by grants, course fees, publishing income, consultancies and individual donations. Funders include private philanthropic organisations, governments, and intergovernmental organisations.” (RVI website: About RVI, undated)
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Uganda
Thematic focus: security, justice, governance, social development, cultural heritage etc.
RVI reports have been written by researchers based at European universities (see, for example, RVI: Insecurity in Goma: Experiences, actors and responses, 2019) or academic institutions in the region (see, for example, RVI: Mobility and crisis in Gulu Drivers, dynamics and challenges of rural to urban mobility, February 2018). The reports take a “primarily qualitative approach, drawing on extensive fieldwork” by both Western and local researchers. (see, for example, RVI: Insecurity in Goma: Experiences, actors and responses, 2019, p. 7 and RVI: Violent cities, violent society: Analyzing urban violence, 2019, p. 5)
Interviews and focus-group discussions are “complemented by the author’s previous research, and desk-based research with a variety of academic, government, media and NGO resources.” (RVI: Insecurity in Goma: Experiences, actors and responses, 2019, p. 7)
Many interviews are “conducted on condition of anonymity.” In such cases, any reference to the source is kept generic. “[A]ccounts of potentially disputed events” are “confirmed by multiple sources with first-hand knowledge of the events under discussion.” (see, for example, RVI: Insecurity in Goma: Experiences, actors and responses, 2019, pp. 7-8 and RVI: Violent cities, violent society: Analyzing urban violence, 2019, p. 5)
The reports may contain footnotes with reference to sources (comprising both oral and written sources). All cited sources may also be listed in a bibliography at the end of the report. (see, for example, RVI: Insecurity in Goma: Experiences, actors and responses, 2019, RVI: Violent cities, violent society: Analyzing urban violence, 2019 and RVI: Un système d’insécurité: Comprendre la violence et la criminalité urbaines à Bukavu, 2019).
Languages of publication:
English and French
Further reading / links:
On Think Tanks: Mark Bradbury, Director of the Rift Valley Institute, 15 August 2017
All links accessed 13 February 2020.