Some 288 development partners in the Eastern Province have contributed Rwf42.8 billion towards districts’ socio-economic development activities through the Joint Action Development Forum (JADF), according to Rwanda Governance Board (RGB).
However, the lack of strong coordination is still regarded as a challenge.
JADF includes national and international non-governmental organisations, religious-based organisations, private sector players operating in the district, district administration and public sector institutions.
One of JADF’s missions is ensuring sustainable socio-economic development and improved service delivery.
Despite announcing that the forum has significantly contributed to district activities, Judith Kazaire, Director of Service Delivery, Good Governance and JADF Department at Rwanda Governance Board, said the impact of the partners should be enhanced.
She pointed out that JADF members injected significant amount of money in the district development and played a significant role in District Performance Contracts (Imihigo).
“Some partners, however, do not attend meetings; moreover, they do not submit their reports on time, which makes our data less than what they actually did,” she said.
There should also be an increase of commitment on district leaders’ side, according to Kazaire, who is also a former governor of the province.
Eastern Province Governor, Fred Mufulukye, said: “If we use JADF properly, we can solve many problems”.
“Both JADF and its framework are there; the only thing missing is the coordination to put our forces together. If we solve the coordination problem; the budget and financial problems have relation with lack of coordination”.
Dr Usta Kayitesi, RGB interim Chief Executive Officer, noted that both partners and districts should have the same understanding that the country always promotes citizen-centred governance, and to do what is in the interests of citizens.
“If religious institutions led others in fighting drug abuse and teen pregnancies,” she said, “they would reduce drastically dramatically.”
“If JADF was operating well, we would not need to intervene in closing churches like we did, recently” she added, explaining that the civil society would have done it first as it was in interest of the worshippers.
Gideon Dukuzimana, JADF secretary in Ngoma District, said there is still need of coordination of activities, especially regarding religious organisations.
“There is still weakness in coordination of faith-based institutions, a religion is important and has a great contribution in district development, but it is still hard to find activities they are planning to do, we only see them when they report what they have already done,” he said.
The private sector, on the other hand, signed performance contract a few months ago with district officials, vowing to establish infrastructure in their districts’ urban areas.
Célestin Munyaneza, chairperson of Private Sector Federation in Rwamagana District, said they were mobilising the necessary funds to support disadvantaged families with community-based health insurance.
“We are mobilizing money to construct modern livestock market; this is our own performance contract as PSF,” he said,
“I think JADF in Rwamagana is active and its contribution is visible,” he said, “well, as private sector we do not have many achievements as we wish because most of the entrepreneurs still believe that their role ends with paying taxes. But this is not enough, I think in the next two years we will have achieved much more”.