Improving healthcare at the intersection of gender and protracted displacement amongst Somali and Congolese refugees and IDPs


DiSoCo is a GCRF Protracted Displacement project that aims to help Somali and Congolese displaced people to access appropriate healthcare for chronic mental health conditions associated with protracted displacement, conflict, and sexual and gender-based violence. 

DiSoCo is a multi-sited project focusing on Somali and Congolese Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Somalia and Eastern DRC respectively, and Somali and Congolese refugees and asylum seekers in Kenya and South Africa. 

The DiSoCo team brings together researchers and practitioners from international development, migration studies, gender studies, medical anthropology, public health and health policy, and medical sciences to undertake interdisciplinary empirical research in these protracted displacement contexts.

Specialists at Panzi Foundation (DRC), ARQ International (Netherlands), and Queen Margaret University (UK) support teams of researchers based at:

  • Kinshasa School of Public Health (DRC)
  • Université Evangélique en Afrique (DRC)
  • Somali Institute for Development and Research (Somalia)
  • Amref International University (Kenya)
  • University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)
  • The University of Edinburgh (UK)
Decorative image: Somalia pots


DiSoCo consists of seven work packages each addressing a different objective: 

Phase I (2020):

  • Identify existing policy process and models that could be made applicable to our various protracted displacement contexts.
  • Identify key neglected chronic mental health conditions (and comorbid physical conditions) associated with displacement, violence, and gendered conflict.  
Research themes
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