Transparency and Accountability are two of the central pillars of good governance. Transparency is also a necessary precondition for the exercise of accountability since without access to clear, accurate and up-to-date information, it is impossible to judge whether the standard promised has been met.
participation and accountability. Participation is chiefly concerned with increasing the role of citizens in choosing their local leaders and in telling those leaders what to do—in other words, providing inputs into local governance. Accountability constitutes the other side of the process; it is the degree to which local governments have to explain or justify what they have done or failed to do
Improved information about local needs and preferences is one of the theoretical advantages of decentralization, but there is no guarantee that leaders will actually act on these preferences unless they feel some sort of accountability to citizens. Local elections are the most common and powerful form of accountability, but other mechanisms such as citizen councils can have limited influence.
Accountability can be seen as the validation of participation, in that the test of whether attempts to increase participation prove successful is the extent to which people can use participation to hold a local government responsible for its actions.
The Public Policy Information, Monitoring and Advocacy (PPIMA) project is a civil society support project aimed at promoting an active interest among Rwandan Civil society organizations and citizens in public policy affairs and helping them to self-organize and acquire the skills they need to engage effectively in national and local level processes of policy formulation and implementation to ensure that policies work to deliver improved services, especially for poor Rwandans
PPIMA Goal: Rwanda government policies and plans are pro-poor and deliver improved public services especially for poor Rwandans
PPIMA Purpose: Rwandan Civil society and citizens in target districts are actively participating in and influencing national and local level policies and plans for poverty reduction
Rwandan Civil society and Citizens in target districts are informed and knowledgeable about government policies and plans (including budgets and expenditures) for economic growth and poverty reduction
Rwandan civil society and citizens in target districts are organized and have the skills and capabilities they need to monitor and inform government policies and plans (including budgets and expenditures) for economic growth and poverty reduction
Rwandan civil society and citizens in target districts are actively monitoring and informing government policies and plans (including budgets and expenditures) for poverty reduction and economic growth
A CS Policy monitoring group is established as a resource to assist Rwandan Civil Society and Citizens in reviewing and informing public policy affairs and decision-making processes
Rwandan Citizens and civil society groups are informed about and are actively engaged in the efforts to eradicate corruption in Rwanda
This initiative started early 2010, with the ambition of promoting active citizen and civil society participation in national processes of policy formulation, implementation and management.
It had also an ambition of improving CSO,s interest, skills and levels of organization and participation in policy processes. This should been achieved through a number of interelated activities aimed at increasing CSO’s access to information on public policies and policy processes, building CSO’s capacities for policy analysis and advocacy, and engaging CSO’s in specific policy and governance improving activities at both national and local levels
This project got major success at national level such the first civil society dialogue with the GoR on critical issues such the freedom of expression in Rwanda, citizen participation in policy formulation and consultation
Civil society organizations in Rwanda under the leadership of CLADHO , have managed to put pressure on the GoR to produce and publish the citizen guide to the budget that explain clearly what is all about national budget, allocations, GoR plans and priorities.
Beside this, the civil society of Rwanda under the leadership of CLADHO, have managed also to analyze the national budget for the year 2010/2011 and 2011/2012.
In addition to that, under this same PPIMA project, CSO’s of Rwanda have managed to conduct the first pre budget hearing with all none-state actors and have produced under this initiative a document called CITIZENS’ PROPOSALS ON BUDGET
FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2011-2012 which have been submitted to the parliament and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN) in order to input the draft finance law that was generated at that time by public budget agencies and consolidated by MOF for cabinet approval Before being send to be tabled at the parliament. This report created a new framework to civil society organizations of Rwanda engage directly with the budget parliamentary commission at the house of representative which called CSO’s for audition in June this year.
At District or local government level , PPIMA project impact is not yet felt, due to its poor system or techniques of collecting citizens concerns and the information packaging from within the community to policy makers .
Advocacy campaigns that are done at this level are still lacking facts and evidences to convince the government or influence policy changes at local and central government level
Regional perspectives with the social watch technology Huduma
After seeing the impact of the Huduma technology tool developed by SODNET to generate facts and evidences in advocacy for policy changes and the improvement of service delivery in Kenya, we have expressed our interest in the use of this Huduma technology tool in order be evidence based and fact oriented CSO’s and create impact and acquire changes we want in our community.
From this , we want to step up from NGO’s with lack of focus ,community not based, spreading rumors and donor driven money (as always say ours governments) and become reliable partners to our governments by providing facts and information that can improve the life of citizens.
Therefore, we want to ask formally the SODNET with its partners via the Huduma social watch approach to:
Introduce to our respective organizations this new Huduma technology tool in order to become credible source of information that can change policies and improve community welfare and service delivery in our respective countries
SODNET and our usual NGO’s should develop an east African framework partnership with like minded CSO’s in the region, to improve service delivery and hold our governments accountable /via Huduma technology tool
We should create synergy around this Huduma tool to hold our east African countries and leaders to account concerning their pledges to meet the MDG’s and the improvement of sectors such as Agriculture ,Education, Health and Infrastructure.