CASE STUDY – Democratic Republic of the Congo

Social and gender dynamics of youth clubs in Budikadidi: A mixed-methods micronarrative study

Data Analysis

Thematic Analysis

Data Visualisation


Budikadidi has been working through youth clubs which promote confidence and capacity for young people in the communities of focus. These clubs have aimed to 1) raise awareness of early marriage; 2) increase confidence and capacity for income generation and entrepreneurship; and 3) support improvements in water and sanitation in the villages.

This study was a partnership between Budikadidi and PRO-WASH using tools found in the online qualKit – an online toolkit of qualitative assessment tools for projects exploring gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) in WASH interventions. 

This study is one of six collaborative coaching partnerships between USAID funded activities and the PRO-WASH focused on assessments of GESI and WASH in programs and strengthening confidence in conducting qualitative assessments.

Assessment Objective

To understand the social and gender dynamics within the youth clubs so that the project can boost leadership and communication skills of female respondents for the final year of the program.

Micronarrative Prompts

  • Prompt 1: Please share a personal experience from this club that made you feel excited or disappointed. (109 responses)
  • Prompt 2: Thinking about your involvement in this youth club, please describe a personal interaction with club members of the opposite gender. It could be a positive or a negative interaction. (98 responses)

Data Collection

Micronarratives, also known as micro-stories or participatory vignettes, are a collection of short stories written by participants around a particular focus area. Micronarratives help program’s understand a breadth of experiences from participants. Other examples of micronarratives have been used to explore gender-based violence in DRC (Bartels et al. 2021) and Lebanon (Bartels et al. 2019). Bakhache et al. (2017) have discussed the strengths and challenges of using micronarratives with youth and in gender-based studies.

Micronarratives were collected in French by Budikadidi WASH Promoters in October 2022 using the Kobo Toolbox Platform and The interview guides were reviewed by program leadership and tested with a subset of respondents prior to use.

Data Analysis

Analysis was done in a mixed-methods approach and responses were translated for analysis using DeepL from French into English.

  • Descriptive statistics and charts were created in Google Sheets to summarise aspects related youth club participation disaggregated by respondent gender. 
  • The micronarrative stories were coded in Airtable thematically.
    • For story 1 –  Three rounds of iterative coding were used to cluster and group stories thematically.
    • For story 2 – Self-signification clustering was used – which relies on respondent identifying codes, helping to amplify the voices of participants and decrease the requirement for external coding.

Utilising Results

In the next phase of the program, the team wants to: 

  • Conduct follow-up training for club treasurers and other interested members on financial management and accounting best practices. 
  • Conduct further assessments to explore if these findings hold in other regions and clubs within the project. 
  • Consider rebranding the club’s organisational structure to give each member a substantive role and rotate meeting chair positions. This will help to reduce the power nodes of the president and vice-president. This also could address challenges in the running of meetings and meeting expectations. 
  • Explore opportunities to conduct gender awareness training to address toxic masculinity that has crept into some of the clubs.

Key Findings

  • The social and power dynamics of the clubs are just as complex as the gender dynamics. This includes the diversity of educational status, age and access to resources. 
  • Based on the story responses, the assessed youth clubs have been effective in many of their outcome objectives: 1) raising awareness of early marriage; 2) increasing confidence and capacity for income generation and entrepreneurship; and 3) supporting improvements in water and sanitation in the villages.
  • Overall the study shows that inter-gender interactions have been broadly positive and related to collaboration and mutual learning. 
  • However, conflicts and disagreements about money and resources remain complex and gendered.  This is because women and girls are primarily responsible for treasure and financial positions in the clubs, putting them at risk of backlash and conflict.

Outputs (coming soon)

  • Learning Brief in English and French