RGB rolls out campaign for ‘The Governance We Want’ programme as recipe to citizens’ centred governance
Written by: George Kalisa
Monday, July 22nd, 2019, 1:03
Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) is currently raising awareness on the principles of good governance under the programme dubbed “The GovernanceWeWant” locally known as “Imiyoborere Twifuza” rolling out in all institutions and Rwandan citizenry as a recipe to “The RwandaWeWant” - defined by transparency, improved service delivery, fighting corruption, fighting forms of injustice, promoting the role of citizens in decision-making.
RGB officials have said that this programme is part of a long list of programmes adapted to fast-track “The RwandaWeWant”. Thus, the “The GovernanceWeWant” programme seeks to promote awareness of the citizen-centred mode of governance (Umuturage ku Isonga) where citizens’ participation in governance speeds up the process of attaining quality service delivery, a commitment in the seven-year government programme.
Now, RGB says that both leaders and citizens need to understand the governance programmes to move forward together as well as holding leaders accountable to improve mostly service delivery.
“RGB introduced TheGovernanceWeWant is the programme to enable citizens and leaders agree on aspects of complementing one another and was tailored it to key activities that affect people’s lives,” Judith Kazaire, the Director of Service Delivery, Good Governance and JADF Department at RGB told The Light Magazine.
This programme came on the heels of another programme called Nk’Uwikorera which emphasizes and instils in people the culture of serving others as if they are serving themselves.
The core objective of both programmes is promoting service delivery in a bid to enhance the livelihoods of Rwandans and hence they complement each other.
Kazaire says that sometimes poor service delivery leads to less citizens’ satisfaction in spite of on-going initiatives aimed to improving people’s welfare.
“Nkuwikorera campaign is intended to increase awareness on effective service delivery between service providers and service recipients. We know that a number of initiatives in the country are on-going but sometimes citizens don’t get services as required due to poor service delivery,” notes Kazaire.
A Kigali resident receiving his construction permit (PHOTO/Courtesy)
The Citizen Report card in 2018 on service satisfaction indicates that 69.3% falling short of 90% projected by 2024, also the same rate in the seven-year government programme.
President Paul Kagame, the author of home-grown solutions, blamed leaders’ poor attitude and mind-set for falling short of the national targets.
“Have a better attitude, the correct mind-set and the implementation based on some of the good policies we actually have. We should not just be coming here to repeat apologies. We need to be explaining why we are falling short on our goals,” observed President Kagame during the 16th National Leadership Retreat [Umwiherero] this last March.
Partnership with relevant sectors, local government entities and the Office of the Ombudsman is one of the strategies RGB adopted to ensure success of “TheGovernanceWeWant” programme. The partners have been instrumental in identifying key areas with “great impact on the Rwandan citizens”.
In its first phase, the programme has roll out in 17 districts focussing on 32 sectors in the City of Kigali, Eastern, Western and Southern Provinces where RGB has created awareness on citizens’ rights and obligation, listening to their complaints alongside assessing how services are delivered.
“Basically this programme entails awakening citizens on their role, encourage leader to embrace the people-centred approach for everything that we do the citizens must be on top,” observed Kazaire.
Rwanda’s governance body will “advise relevant institutions on the best measures to address the gaps in service delivery”.
In Kigali, non-compliance, particularly in issuance of construction permits had become a challenge in the implementation of the city master plan. Hence, the focus there was on creating awareness of construction permits as a way of increasing compliance.
“We focussed on construction permits – what’s the procedure, status of service delivery in terms of issuance of permits (…) because the city focuses so much on infrastructure where complaints of non-compliance with existing rules and regulations the sector had become a big business of the city authorities,” observed Kazaire.
RGB contends that citizens’ compliance should come along with “effective services” and hence they argue the city authorities and institutions to respect this requirement in an effort to raise citizens’ satisfaction in the sector.
In the Eastern Province, agriculture impacts on the people according to the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI) and the campaign focused on improving agricultural activities. Veterinary officers were provided with toolkits in order to “provide services in a quick and professional way”.
Demonstration farms were established to help citizens practice gainful agriculture by passing over to them knowledge and skills that increase productivity per unity of land. Besides, the programme also explains the kind of services which farmers should expect from the local government.
While in the Western Province RGB partnered with Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) to emphasise and raise awareness on the activities they do that improve social protection.
“FBO boast of programmes that enhance resilience and self-sustainability for the citizens,” notes Kazaire.
Their programmes complement government initiatives such as VUP, Ubudehe, Girinka, Umurenge SACCO. TheGovernanceWeWant programme provides an opportunity for RGB and other players to monitor the initiatives with a view of identifying challenges and solutions.
In the Southern Province the programme focussed on agroforestry to boost agricultural yields, including encouraging citizen plant fruit trees like avocados.
TheGovernanceWeWant will address several aspects that affect the livelihoods of Rwandans including access to quality information and social security issues as malnutrition, effects of climate change, hygiene and sanitation, and citizens’ participation.
RGB says the citizens are entitled to accurate, educative, productive and reliable information that particularly encourages citizens’ participation in the management of the country and achieving specific goals in the seven-year government programme.
By and large the two RGB “The GovernanceWeWant” which complements Nkuwikorera campaign aims at promoting citizen-centredness as core in national development.
Residents of the City of Kigali giving their views on the City's Master Plan (PHOTO/Courtesy)