The community score card (CSC) increased the citizen participation and social accountability. This is what was stated in a policy dialog on supporting citizen participation in planning and budgeting process, organized by Norwegian people’s aid (NPA) and PPIMA civil society partners in collaboration with Rwanda Government Board (RGB), that was held at Kigali convention center on April 3rd, 2018.
From 2010, RGB partnered with NPA and other Non-Governments Organizations (NGO) in PPIMA project now operating from 8 districts, to engage citizens’ participation, where the CSC is a social accountability tool created to collect citizens’ views and concerns on the implementation of public policies and government programs.
Through PPIMA project, local NGOs started to use the CSC to collect citizens’ wishes to mainly take into consideration while planning in local government. In 8 district of the country where this approach is used, citizens are happy to have such opportunity. Even local authorities testify that the CSC has enhanced the social accountability, which increased the success of district performance contract of the districts in which PPIMA project is operating.
The PPIMA CSC is a tool for participation and dialogue whereby citizens identify their issues and score them for prioritization, explained Noel Ntahobari, the governance and rights team leader of Never Again. It was initiated at a time there was alarming researched evidence that citizens’ satisfaction in service delivery, local leaders’ accountability and in own participation in key public decisions (local planning, performance contract and budgeting) was very low and very limited CSOs’ vibrancy in terms of influencing government.
“The CSC helps to choose which issues in a certain cell are more prior than others to be taken care” said Emmanuel Byukusenge, the Executive secretary of Mulinga sector in Nyabihu district. He added that the CSC increased the citizens’ awareness and confidence, that nowadays they meet with their leaders feeling more welcome and freely.
Melchior Ntahobari, a citizen from Gatsibo district said that they are different from people of other districts in which PPIMA is not operating. When what they asked is not done, at least they get to know why, while others will just wait to see either it is done or not without explanation from the leaders.
In Nyamagabe district, the road Kaduha – Mushubi was requested by citizens’ through CSC, it facilitates them to reach Kaduha Hospital, stated the Mayor of District Mr. Bonaventure Uwamahoro.
When he was unveiling the 2017 CSC, Professor Anastase Shyaka, the Chief Executive Officer of RGB, said that the current state of citizens’ participation in planning and budgeting shows better results than it was three years ego, even if it is still low indeed.
The most recent Rwanda Governance score card (RGSC) (2016) has noted an overall improvement in citizens’ participation at 61,93%.
The sub-indicator on citizens satisfaction in their participation in preparation of district budget and plans was one of overall lowest scored indicator at 7,40%. The RGSC recommends improved citizens participation in decision making especially in the planning process of district performance contract, planning of district development plans and budgeting as well increased citizens’ participation through available platforms at local level in order to meet societal needs.
Francine Andrew Mukase