The government this week signed an agreement with civil society organisations under which the latter will play an active role in the implementation of the One-Cow-Per-Poor-Family programme, better known as Girinka.
Initiated in 2006, Girinka is a key anti-poverty flagship programme under which the government has donated some 280,000 cows to vulnerable families nationwide.
The target is 350,000 by 2018.
Last year the government took the decision to partner with civil society organizations in ensuring the success of Girinka – a key component of the country’s social protection programmes – after recurring reports indicated that the scheme was being abused, especially at the grassroots level, with some cows ending up in the wrong hands.
Following Thursday’s signing, civil society organizations now partake in the process to identify the deserving beneficiaries, mobilisation of resources, distribution of the cows and following up with the beneficiaries to ensure the scheme achieves maximum impact.
The new arrangement should promote transparency, inclusiveness and efficiency since civil society organisations (CSOs) have an active presence at the grassroots and therefore understand the realities on the ground.
The move is part of the government’s decision to partner with CSOs in the delivery of social protection programmes, which also includes Vision Umurenge Programme (VUP) and the Ubudehe Social Stratification support scheme.
The government will channel a portion of funds meant for these interventions through CSOs.
These efforts are in line with the spirit of public-private partnerships in development programmes and participatory approach to delivery of social services which the government has increasingly promoted over the last couple of years.
The active involvement of CSOs in Girinka and other social protection programmes should translate into efficiency and value for money.
In addition, it is imperative that the different facets of society, including the private sector, religious organisations, civil society groups and individual Rwandans continuously support the government in ensuring that these programmes deliver the intended results within the set timeframe.
This should lead to improved socio-economic conditions of the people.