Corruption impeded efforts to increase the transparency of public services. Free education is a constitutional right, but in reality the education system is largely directly financed by parents through school fees and levies. Part of the fees are ostensibly dedicated to the construction and maintenance of buildings, yet most schools still do not meet minimum Congolese education standards. Schools are overcrowded and often lack equipment, water and sanitation facilities, and adequate teaching and learning materials.
As a result many young people are left behind and fail to gain the skills they need to secure their future.
It is this lack of citizen voice and influence over education and health services that prompted efforts to improve service delivery in these sectors by working on the relationships between service providers and service users. Also, the existence of clearly identified local level service providers in these sectors, operating within formal service delivery systems for which Congolese norms and standards exist, offers opportunities to bring the demand (citizens/users) and supply (State, faith-based organizations, doctors, nurses, school principals and teachers) sides together through a governance intervention that addresses the problems described above.