Why leaders need to recognise citizens’ contribution towards devt effort

Many people wonder whether the citizenry should have a say on the budget, know the worth of their contribution or be recognised for their efforts. This raises questions like, who should decide on budget allocations and the role of the communities and authorities in the budgeting process. At each step, either at budget preparation, execution or accountability, both play a role.
Richard RUTAYISIRE
Richard RUTAYISIRE

Many people wonder whether the citizenry should have a say on the budget, know the worth of their contribution or be recognised for their efforts. This raises questions like, who should decide on budget allocations and the role of the communities and authorities in the budgeting process. At each step, either at budget preparation, execution or accountability, both play a role.

The masses ask for accountability because it is their budget. Whether they have contributed or not, still, they have full rights over the budget. The citizenry should, therefore, be encouraged to contribute to the development activities like construction of classrooms as it happened in Rwanda in 2009. To show appreciation of their efforts, the local authorities should put up a signpost indicating the worth of their contribution.

Like an employee is appraised at the end of the year and rewarded, likewise, citizens should be recognised in a simple way by showing what the community contribution was worth. This would encourage them to start looking at the project as their own.

Such recognition does not require a lot of money, neither does it need someone with a degree, but commitment and understanding of the results thereafter.

Looking Rwanda, for example, citizens contributed passionately during the construction of 9YBE, and their role and contribution need to be recognised. What motivates people is not seeing classrooms only, but also knowing how much they contributed.

Assume that you are a manager, who wants to motivate staff to enjoy their work, or maybe you have a particular problem with an employee, but want to motivate them to perform better.

No matter your approach, motivating them would remain elusive. So, we need to understand that not every citizen is motivated by the same thing. In fact, they might value recognising them in public more than giving them an award.

Like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, physiological needs fall the first level of the pyramid. Therefore, citizens need to know how their money has been spent to have that satisfaction of having contributed to the project.

Managing performance requires skills on how to encourage teamwork and give feedback and rewards. To understand this scenario, let us look at a big picture of a manager appraising his or her staff.

The target is to acknowledge their hard work and reward them accordingly. Why performance appraisal? one might ask, when it could be easy to state that the goal of review process is to recognise achievements, appraise job progress and then to design further development of skills.

The leaders would be asked how citizenry contribution would be recognised. Taking that path, citizenry would evaluate their elected leaders on grounds of how their achievements were recognised and not on speeches.

It is refreshing at how development partners market their different activities by putting up sign posts wherever they spend their penny. But have we ever done the same to appreciate the contribution and support of the citizens towards local development?

Why shouldn’t the citizenry, who sacrifice time and money to construct classrooms, the sector offices or bridges, be applauded? It is, therefore, important to understand that recognising the citizenry contribution to the local budget and the budgeting process provides true accountability, motivates the masses and cultivates the spirit of ownership among the citizens.

The writer is an operations manager
LG Consult Ltd (Powered by RALGA)

 

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