New evaluation system for performance contracts
As one of the recommendations of the Imihigo evaluation team, government has promised to improve on the monitoring of performance contracts of district leaders.
The move comes after findings by the team depicted that several districts commit to lower targets so as to score highly during the evaluation exercise, hence having no significant impact on their communities.
Speaking to The New Times, Monday, Cyrille Turatsinze, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, said the central government has established quality assurance teams that will be monitoring the impact of the districts’ targets.
“Performance contracts should not be after gaining good marks; they should be aimed at improvement of people’s lives,” Turatsinze said.
“It will be the quality assurance teams to award districts basing on their assessment of implementation of the process.”
He said the ministry has also come up with Imihigo manual that will provide guidelines on the setting up of targets in line with national policies.
The President of Rwanda Association of Local Government Authorities, Justus Kangwagye, attributed the practice to lack of proper planning by some district officials to skills gap.
“There has been lack of a capacity building plan to enable some of the leaders come up with better targets. We have now urged them to develop targets using statistics assessing where there is need to focus,” Kangwagye, also the Mayor of Rulindo District said.
However, according to Kicukiro mayor, Paul Jules Ndamage, some districts commit their performance contracts with prospects that they may be disappointed by their own revenues.
“I think it’s a matter of being ambitious and this requires developing bigger targets,” Ndamage whose district emerged third in last year’s performance contracts rankings, said.
According to some citizens who talked to this paper, performance contracts should be characterised by developmental impact on their lives.
“This business of including training of officials in performance contracts should stop and instead focus go to development of their communities,” a Gasabo resident said.
“We want those underperforming district officials to be dismissed, they are hampering development,” another resident of Gasabo said.
The Local Government ministry has been assesing development margins the districts achieved through the performance contracts (Imihigo) in the 2011/2012 fiscal year.
During the evaluation exercise, it was also realised that some districts commit targets that are beyond their capacity while others lack knowledge on how to set their targets based on the unique needs of their districts.
According to the latest evaluation indicators, 60 per cent of the total evaluation goes on economic progress, social transformation accounts for at least 30 per cent, while governance will make up 10 per cent.
Imihigo were introduced in 2006 as a tool to help accelerate
Contact email: implementation of development programmes. fred.ndoli[at]newtimes.co.rw