Citizens demand for better services – RGB

While the majority of Rwandans across the country are satisfied with service delivery in sectors such as agriculture and health, they have however expressed dissatisfaction with services offered by some institutions, including local governments.

While the majority of Rwandans across the country are satisfied with service delivery in sectors such as agriculture and health, they have however expressed dissatisfaction with services offered by some institutions, including local governments.

These sentiments are captured in the recent ‘Citizen Report Card, 2013’ in which the Rwanda Governance Board sought the views of over 11,000 respondents from across the country on service delivery in agriculture and livestock, land, infrastructure, health, education, justice, local entities and social affairs.

“The objective [of the survey] is to stick to the government principles of being a citizen-centered government in policy making,” said Anastase Shyaka, the Chief Executive Officer of RGB. 

According to the scorecard, the people expressed satisfaction in agricultural services, especially the One-cow-per family programme and land use consolidation. 75 per cent and above were also happy with human rights issues.

The most cross-cutting challenge is in the energy, water and ICT which has the lowest levels of satisfaction of less than 25 percent.

As far as energy is concerned, Rwandans voiced concerns over poor access to electricity, especially in rural areas.

In Kigali, it is Kicukiro District residents who expressed the highest level of satisfaction with energy supply at 81 percent followed by Gasabo with 57 percent while those in Nyarugenge had the lowest approval rate of below 44 percent.

Residents of Eastern Province are the least satisfied with access to water. But, like in the energy sector, even where the water infrastructure was available, service delivery remains poor, the citizens say.

In Musanze, for example, although 80 percent have access to clean water, residents claim that water services remain below average. 

“Citizens explain that although they have water infrastructure, their taps take several weeks without a drop of water,” Shyaka said.

Shyaka said that even in the City of Kigali where access to water is above 90 percent, water services fall below the average, especially in Gasabo and Nyarugenge.

Early this week, while on a visit to EWSA, parliamentarians raised issues with service delivery, especially billing.

Mere perceptions

While officials agree that some services are wanting, they say some progress has been achieved. Caritas Mukandasira, Governor of the Western Province, said: “We have come from very far in energy. While we were below five percent of in last few years, we are now achieved 10 percent access rate, and we are optimistic about the future.”

EWSA Deputy Director General for water, James Sano, said that the report was about perceptions, not facts.

But Shyaka said that it is clear citizens are demanding for more in terms of quantity and quality of services. He said that in the health sector for example, people no longer complain about insurance, but delays in accessing medical services.

He said that in some areas lack of satisfaction can be attributed to limited availability of resources, but in some areas the level of responsiveness by service providers is to blame.

Governance

The score card shows that five districts scored below average in accountable governance the measure of general service delivery. They are Nyamagabe, Nyanza, Nyamasheke, Nyarugenge and Gatsibo. Star performers include Gisagara, Ngoma and Kirehe and Burera.

Alphonse Munyentwari, the Southern Province governor said that given that the responses were simply perceptions, it may not be accurate to say that some districts were performing better than others. 

“Governance across the country has many success stories, yet all the districts still have room to improve,” he said.

But Shyaka said that leadership style in every district determines the level of service delivery. He pointed out four characteristics of leadership:

They include production-based leadership in which leaders focus on production and pay little attention to the needs of the citizen. The second is what he called sentiment-driven leadership where leaders seek to please the constituency without production.

The third type is mediocrity leadership which lacks both sentiments production, but the ideal leadership, which citizen report card seeks to promote as a model, is transformation leadership. It considers the needs of citizens and production.

 

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