Delegation of the European Union to Rwanda

EU supports Citizen participation in local governance in Rwanda

Kigali, 17/12/2020 - 17:35, UNIQUE ID: 201217_16
Press releases

Friday, December 18, 2020

KIGALI, RWANDA On Friday, December 18, 2020 a workshop will be held from 09:00 to 01:00pm at Lemigo hotel to mark the conclusion of a project co-funded by the European Union and the U.S. Embassy. Entitled "Ubufatanye mu miyoborere", the project aimed at advancing CSO-led participatory governance and fiscal transparency in Rwanda. The project, which wraps up at the end of December, was implemented by Search for Common Ground (Search) in partnership with the Rwandan Scouts Association, Radio Ishingiro, Radio Isangano, Radio Izuba and Radio Huye. The goal of the project was to enhance the capacity and confidence of Rwandan civil society organizations to promote more inclusive, responsive, and transparent local-level governance, including in government budgeting processes.

The project particularly emphasized increasing the engagement of young men and women in governance and decision-making platforms, building constructive relationships between young people and their local leaders to foster development.

The project was implemented in the districts of Ngoma, Gicumbi, Nyamasheke, and Ruhango, while Kigali hosted national level activities. It focused on building the capacity of the Scouts to carry out youth-led research that identifies community concerns around local governance, including those related to the budgeting process and fiscal transparency in the above-mentioned districts. Beyond training youth Scouts on best practices in carrying out research, Search also enhanced their confidence and capacity to use the data they collect to effectively advocate around key issues of concerns as well as build meaningful relationships with key stakeholders, including youth peers, local and national government authorities, other CSOs, media outlets, and community members.

“The most important thing which came from the research is that youth learned their role in governance, and knew what their role in development of their country is”, said Mr Habarurema Valens, the Mayor of Ruhango district. “The conducted research helped in opening a space for them to ask what is going well or not,  what citizens like and dislike and report back to the authorities” he added. This claim is substantiated by Charlotte, a youth researcher from Gicumbi district, who explains that; “Before joining the project, government programs didn’t mean that much to us and we believed that these only concern adults. After being trained I came to realize that I also have a role to play. Today I head different youth associations, and I’m proud that I’ve been able to advocate for people and the issues have been addressed."

“Citizens need enough information on the district budget. Yes, they see the projects, but they do not know where the budget to implement those projects comes from. For citizen to feel concerned in government programs, they need to know the district budget and their role in the budgeting process”, said Umurerwa Rosine, youth researcher from Gashanda sector, in Ngoma district

The end of project workshop will focus on innovations of the project model, evaluation findings, as well as discussion of relevant lessons and recommendations for development stakeholders.

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