Rwanda - Local Governments Innovations Competition in Rwanda
Primary thematic focus: Sub-national capacity development: local solutions, national strengths
In a Nutshell:
Since 2007, the Rwandese Association of Local Governments Authorities (RALGA) organises the Local Governments Innovations Competition. The competition awards the best local governments innovative practices in identified domains, which depend on the theme selected by RALGA members.
Since 2007, the Rwandese Association of Local Governments Authorities (RALGA) has organised, on a yearly basis, the Local Governments Innovations Competition. The competition awards the best local governments innovations in some domains, which depend on the theme selected by RALGA members (all the 30 districts of Rwanda). This initiative encourages a healthy competition between local governments in order to identify and encourage innovative good practices by the communities with their elected leaders. In 2009 theme was: “Eradication of extreme poverty, Achievement of universal primary education and Improvement Child and Maternal Health by local governments in Rwanda”. There are different decentralised administrative levels in Rwanda and the lowest one, the village, was identified to submit innovations in these areas. Twenty-five innovations from twenty-five different districts were submitted to RALGA and assessed by an independent selection committee on indicators of participation, transparency, accountability, innovation, socio-economic impact and sustainability. Ten highest-scoring practices were selected as semi-finalists. Each of these was then visited for further verification and final scoring until six winners emerged. The winners were awarded during a big ceremony, which has been organised 5th December 2009. The ceremony is called “Local Governments Innovations Day”. This event organised in Kigali city regrouped hundreds of guests, including local government authorities, governors, government officials, members of parliament, civil society representatives and media.
Examples of awardees included Kiyovu village in Gicumbi District, which won first place and about US$7,500 for an innovative poverty reduction practice, which consist in giving a cattle to a poor person who will raise it and benefit from fertilisation of his agriculture. The rich person who is giving his cattle benefits from the labor for the care of livestock but also to regain his cattle at calving. The two persons are linked by a contract that is signed in the presence of local authorities. In just one year, this initiative has allowed all the poor families in the village to increase their agriculture productivity and to start livestock activities. Mubuga village of Kirehe District (one of the landlocked villages if the district) was also prized for its successful partnership with resident communities in the construction of a health post which now allows for vaccination and awareness of birth control campaigns.
Results and Critical Factors:
The local government’s innovations completion allows local governments to document their innovative practices for future consultation and use; e.g.: Some of the awarded practices of the 2007 session have been submitted to an international similar competition and five of them were selected as semifinalists.
It is a great way to build capacity of local government representatives in Rwanda when the best innovative practices are disseminated and replicated; e.g.: Each year, the awarded innovations are described in a documentary film which is distributed to all the districts and most of them are replicated in many areas of the country.
The work of the local leaders when rewarded encourage them to do even better; e.g.: The awarding ceremony is organised at a national level and all the districts leaders fight (by making efforts in identifying and thinking innovations) for being recognised during it when all levels of decision making organs in Rwanda are represented.
Name of Primary Contact Person: Marie Chantal Rwakazina
Title of Primary Contact Person: RALGA Capacity Building Expert