EDITORIAL: Civil society should play a bigger role in governance matters

Yesterday, Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) released its third edition of Rwanda Governance Scorecard that assesses governance indicators using scientific measurements and makes recommendations where improvements are needed.

Yesterday, Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) released its third edition of Rwanda Governance Scorecard that assesses governance indicators using scientific measurements and makes recommendations where improvements are needed.

The 2014 scorecard based on 8 key indicators to gauge the progress, and one that scored very highly was the rule of law docket, especially in the separation of powers as well as well as the performance of the judiciary and access to justice.

Safety, security and control of corruption also faired highly, an indication that recommendations in the previous scorecard were put to good use.

But like other comparative studies, some areas still lag behind like the quality of service delivery. Citizen and civil society participation also has room to improve and only consistent awareness campaigns can break the ice.

While political and civil rights were right up there with the rule of law, again non-state actors were conspicuously absent when it came to policy formulation. But should we solely put blame on the civil
society for lack of interest in governance affairs or should the blame be apportioned equally with local authorities, especially at the grassroots level.

Government and non-state actors’ collaboration is mostly visible in Kigali, but the story becomes different once outside the confines of the city.

The media is mostly used as a vessel to transmit news to the public, but it is rare to see a mayor or an Executive Secretary regarding the media as partners who can give some useful inputs. That is where RGB should put more emphasis as it can unlock hidden potential.