Local civil society organisations have been urged to collaborate with the Government in policy creation and implementation in order to drive sustainable development.
The remarks were made on Tuesday by Vincent Munyeshyaka, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC) during a public policy dialogue on the role of civil society organisations in Rwanda.
“We need a stronger relationship with the civil society because they are strong partners in the Government’s development agenda. They should be more efficient in their community activities as well,” he told The New Times.
The outcomes of the meeting, themed ‘An enabling environment is very paramount for Rwandan CSOs to be effective partners in development’, are expected to refresh the partnership between the civil society and the Government in the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) II and other national projects.
According to an April 2015 study compiled by Economic Justice Network, local civil society groups need to improve their involvement and engagement in government policy planning and implementation and service delivery.
Jean Claude Ngendandumwe, the executive secretary of Conseil de Concentration des Organisation d’Appui aux Initiatives de Base (CCOAIB), who spoke on behalf of the civil society groups, promised to improve their involvement in government policy implementation.
“The opportunities for civil society organisations to participate in policy and decision-making processes are institutionalised, but they are not always fully taken into account. The Government should give us enough accessibility,” said Ngendandumwe.
Reacting to civil society groups concerns about lack of funding, Fatuma Ndangiza, the head of the governance, research and monitoring department at Rwanda Governance Board, encouraged them to ‘think outside the box’ instead of waiting for support from external donors.
“Our country’s economic development is moving fast and, as a whole, we need to be vibrant in what we do. We do not need to keep on eyeing support from our development partners without sourcing funding internally,” she said.