sharing in governance of extractive industries

How SEBS nearly got imperilled by a word!

2 months ago I was in north eastern part DRC to conduct a Socio-Economic Baseline Survey (SEBS). One of the most commonly used French equivalent of survey is 'enquête' which is synonymous with 'investigation' as in criminal investigation. Because DRC has been struggling with governance for decades, ordinary people have developed an aversion for anything even remotely associated with the legal system; so words such as 'enquête', 'convocation', or the euphemism court orderlies like to use nowadays 'invitation' can evoke unbelievably strong negative reactions. Announcing to the community that we'd be conducting 'une enquête socio-économique' was a big mistake and a key member of the community told us point blank in a Focus Group Session 'if you insist on doing 'une enquête' my people and I would quit'...In his mind nothing good could come out of anything associated with 'une enquête''

We got the point and we switched to 'etude' equivalent of 'study' and they were all fine. Magic!!

It goes to show how multidisciplinary Community Relations can be!

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