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Launch of digital initiative will strengthen support and engagement with rural communities in Republic of Congo

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Operating in the north of the Republic of the Congo, Congoalise Industrielle des Bois has been present in the region since 1968.

The Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability team of CIB have immense knowledge about the region. Every week they go out on the field to sensitise the communities and indigenous populations on various themes pertaining to health, safety, rights, and family related issues. Earlier this year, we launched Project OKA, where audio related to various topics was recorded in Lingala and Mbengele in questions-answers format, and saved in devices for the communities to listen.

However, there is a human element in these visits that no device or technology can replace. When the members of the social teams return, they report their observations over discussions or emails to the team. This deep understanding of the region is always supported with pictures, videos, audio interviews. However, this fragmentation of the knowledge, and the loss in narrative when the employee leaves the organisation, leaves a gap in understanding.

Lisanga

The idea of Lisanga was born in 2019. Lisanga means ‘together’ in Lingala, the national language of the Republic of Congo. Project Lisanga is a digital playbook, a reference compendium, of information of every village and community that is based in our five concessions - Pokola, Kabo, Loundoungou, Enyelle and Pikounda. On Monday 2nd November 2020, CIB launched Project Lisanga at the ATIBT Think Tank.

Besides the baseline data like population, demographics, the location of the community, important contact details of administration and authorities, there are plenty of abstract and softer details that capture the essence of the villages. The database is connected to multimedia in the format of audio interviews, pictures, videos, maps made by the cartography teams. There are local aspects in consideration like gps location of the points where mobile connection is available to make emergency calls, partners active in the region and in which themes. We have gone beyond data entry and tried to capture what are primary conflicts in the region and how effectively are we resolving it. Observations made by the Social Team members on their predictions of ground realities and how to preempt a situation before it occurs.

This is a indefinite and longitudinal project. By the end of 2020, we will verify the database. In the first quarter of 2021, we want to make extraction and data analysis. By mid 2021 we want to open the the database for our partners for their use in various researches, analyses helping the villages with support that is backed by understanding and knowledge.

We are now open to collaboration on Lisanga - an ambitious project that can help not just north of Congo, but all remote communities that depend on partnerships and support.

Reach out to communicaiton@cibpokola.com if you would like to collaborate.

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