New examiner begins review of performance targets for districts

There were allegations of inaccuracies or contradiction between what the districts reported and what is actually on the ground.
Winners in the implementation of Imihigo display their trophys in the past. File.

All the 30 districts are being evaluated to check the progress of the performance targets – Imihigo – which they committed to achieve during the just-concluded Fiscal Year.

The review is, for the first time, being carried out by the National Institute of Statistics (NISR). The exercise started last week.

The previous Imihigo evaluators did not put emphasis on aspects such as the impact of the targets and the link to national priorities.

There were also allegations of inaccuracies or contradiction between what the districts reported and what is actually on the ground.

This prompted authorities to re-think the impact and implementation assessment model. Among the recommendation was to hand the evaluation task to NISR and revise the methodology for measuring progress.

According to an official from NISR, when evaluating the targets, the verification team will, this time around, look at the completion rates, meeting of deadlines, quality of output and impact.

“We are also going to the field and conducting spot checks to verify whether what is in the reports is actually on the ground. On the field, we interact and interview citizens and local leaders too. We interview District Councils, Mayors, and the citizens.

“For example, we visit a water system that was supposed to be built and, we examine it and talk to area residents who tell us if it is of benefit or not,” the official said.

The City of Kigali Mayor, Marie-Chantal Rwakazina, described the Imihigo as one of the homegrown solutions “that we are proud of as Rwandans and leaders in particular.”

“We appreciate its impact in terms of increased accountability of leaders to the population and other stakeholders; the Imihigo have improved delivery rate. We still need to improve on how we measure the results of Imihigo on the lives of people and I understand this is being addressed with the current evaluation which is conducted in collaboration with NISR,” Rwakazina added.

The officer in charge of communication at the Ministry of Local Government, Joseph Curio Havugimana, could not shed more light on what is going on presently, saying “NISR is in the best position to answer as [the] leading institution in assessment.”

The schedule indicates that the exercise will be wrapped up on July 30 and 31 in Kamonyi, Bugesera, and Rulindo districts. The field exercise will be followed by a period of data analysis and final report compilation before results are made public. 

Imihigo was introduced 12 years ago as a home-grown performance management tool. It seeks to promote decentralization of governance and fast-track development.

The Performance targets are set annually and signed by the district mayors and the President.

Whatever the Mayors committed to implementing is documented and the verification teams check progress and grade each district based on the performance.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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