A new UNDP report has praised Rwanda’s record of rolling out homegrown solutions, which it says have played a key role in improving citizens’ welfare. The Third National Human Development Report, launched in Kigali on Thursday, August 12, found that there was a strong link between country’s homegrown solutions (HGSs) and notable progress across all three dimensions of human development – a long and healthy life, access to knowledge, and a decent standard of living. It shows that between 1990 and 2017, Rwanda’s Human Development Index (HDI) value more than doubled, from 0.250 to 0.524, recording the highest average annual HDI growth in the world. The report, which assesses five of Rwanda’s 13 HGSs, was virtually launched by Uzziel Ndagijimana, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning. The five homegrown solutions include Girinka (one cow per poor family), Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP), Community -Based Health Insurance (CBHI, or Mutuelle de Sante), Umuganda (community work), and Imihigo (performance contracts). Girinka The report shows that the Girinka scheme has contributed towards “longer, healthier and productive lives of poor Rwandans in multiple but related ways including an increased household food security and raised the incomes of beneficiaries.” “There was a 17 per cent increase in the likelihood that programme beneficiaries would seek a medical consultation, even for minor health visits, an increase in literacy by 47 per cent where beneficiaries of the programme invested in the education of their children,” it indicates. Commenting on the scheme during the launch of the report, Minister Ndagijimana said, “The Girinka programme was introduced in 2006 (and has since) improved food security and nutrition for many beneficiary families in different ways.” Hundreds of thousands of households have over the years received at least a cow under the national scheme. VUP UMurenge Regarding the Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme, the report shows that poverty among VUP beneficiaries fell by 10 per cent between 2013/14 and 2016/17, while the initiative is also associated with a significant increase in access to health care. “The social protection programme has increased household consumption and lowered poverty rates, by providing the poorest households with monthly cash transfers, public works and financial service support for micro business,” Ndagijimana weighed in. Community-Based Health Insurance CBHI, best known as Mutuelle de Sante, contributed to increased households’ access to health services based on reported medical consultations, as well as access to health services through medical consultation, the report says. “CBHI increased the likelihood of attending or seeking a medical consultation by approximately 194 per cent.” Umuganda According to Maxwell Gomera, UNDP, Resident Representative in Rwanda, Umuganda’s contribution to the country’s development from 2007-2016 is estimated at more than US$127 million. “In addition, over 3,172 classrooms have been constructed through the programme, contributing to increased access to nine-years basic education goal, and in the period 2017/18 alone, more than 3,400 houses were constructed for vulnerable people,” he said. Twelve health posts were constructed in 2016/17, bringing health care closer to rural people, he added. Imihigo Imihigo aims at deepening local accountability, establishing innovative leadership and promoting participatory governance while fast-tracking poverty reduction and local development, according to the new UNDP report. “Through Imihigo, district resource allocations are based on a multifactor formula considering poverty levels and other factors as well as bottom-up priority setting, and it allows for differentiated responses to the challenges experienced by every district,” it adds. Imihigo involves local leaders signing performance contracts with a set of targets to be achieved over a given fiscal year, and a team of experts take part in assessing implementation later on. Speaking about Imihigo during the launch, Usta Kayitesi, Chief Executive Officer, Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), said: “This programme seeks to ensure the participation of every Rwandan in the Government’s development programme while using the available means to reach development goals.” Each Imihigo cycle starts with participatory grassroots consultations, with citizen assemblies at the village level identifying development challenges and prioritising needs, she noted.