Family performance contracts transform lives

Households performance contracts are playing a central role in improving the socio-economic wellbeing of families, residents have said.

Households performance contracts are playing a central role in improving the socio-economic wellbeing of families, residents have said.

Introduced about three years ago, the family contracts were inspired by the national performance contracts, commonly known as Imihigo, whereby leaders set targets to achieve in a certain period of time.

The programme, which sought to involve individuals, saw households sign performance contracts committing to meeting certain targets within a given period of time.

Under the programme, residents are presented with a performance notebook (ikayi y’umuryango) and each family lists targets in the domains of economic development, social wellbeing and good governance, set a timeline for their realisation and come up with guiding strategies.

Every step is written down in the notebook, which then acts as a tool local leaders use to monitor each family’s achievements.

Speaking to The New Times in separate interviews, last week, residents said the programme has allowed them plan for their own development, work hard to achieve and possibly exceed targets and set ground for self-evaluation.

It also encouraged competition and the quest for proper welfare among individuals living in the same communities while at the same time giving room for the sharing of skills, best practices and experiences between individuals seeking to transform their lives, the residents said.

Emmanuel Ndagijimana, a resident of Rwanza cell, Gisagara District, said the introduction of the family performance contracts has allowed him and his wife to deeply think of how best they can improve their living conditions.

He said the programme has encouraged him to work hard for a better welfare.

“At the beginning of last year, I set targets of owning animals and today, I am a proud owner of animals,” Ndagijimana said.

The farmer currently owns a cow and four goats that, he said, he acquired as a result of efforts he made after signing his family’s performance contracts.

“Above all, the contracts allow families to decide on which targets they want to achieve and work altogether to attain them,” Ndagijimana said.

For Veronique Mukankusi, the contracts are a driving force that is pushing individuals to always want to achieve more.

“When you reach one point, you always want to move to the next level and this keeps you growing,” Mukankusi said.

As planning takes centre stage in the lives of families, local leaders believe the contracts will continue to spur development and thus drive the national efforts toward achieving socio-economic welfare and sustainable development.

“Working on contracts and targeting a set of goals encourages innovation and hard work and as a result, people’s lives are transformed,” said Leandre Karekezi, Gisagara District mayor.