The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), in partnership with the Government, yesterday, initiated the Strengthening Civic Participation Project (SCPP), a three-year countrywide project aimed at strengthening civic participation at the local government levels in Rwanda.
During a function held in Rulindo District, it was revealed that the project will be implemented in two phases. One that began yesterday in both the Northern and Western provinces, and the second is slated to begin July 2011.
Speaking to the district mayors of the Northern Province, Jennifer Orgle, the Technical Advisor of the MCC project, said that all districts would receive grants, training and implementation support to make sure that the programme is successful.
“The government of Rwanda is very supportive of the civil society. For this reason, we partner with the government to increase civic participation at the local level where citizens can participate meaningfully with the local government,” Orgle said.
Orgle said that through the program, local government officials will be trained to be more accountable to citizens by soliciting, facilitating and encouraging citizen participation in policy formulation, budgeting and service delivery.
“The growth of civil society has been one of the most significant trends in international development,” Orgle said.
“At the end of the project, we want to see local leaders better representing their members’ interests and also capable of analyzing and providing input into public policy.”
In an interview with The New Times, Orgle said that all activities will be embedded into the country’s decentralization framework, so that all efforts can be coordinated to support local government development.
“The programme will aim first at capturing districts with faster population growth and those with a high proportion of vulnerable people,” Orgle added.