The Rwanda Civil Society Platform (RCSP) will, today, host a debate about citizen participation in policy formulation, with a particular focus on Imihigo (performance contracts) and the universal health insurance scheme, known as Mutuelle de Sante.
It is evident that Rwandans have increasingly played a bigger role in governance issues since the adoption of the decentralisation programme more than ten years ago.
Indeed, gone are the days when citizens had no clue about what their government was doing, supposedly on their behalf. Today, Rwandan citizens are empowered and enlightened, thanks to various people-centered initiatives, that have enabled them make their own choices.
It is through the involvement of the masses that we are witnessing public ownership of development programmes.
Involving citizens in policy formulation and implementation is as important for the people as it is for the government. Once citizens are adequately consulted on issues of public policy, the government stands a better chance of having its policies achieve their desired objectives, due to the resulting public support.
Experience has shown that progress is sustained when citizens’ concerns and ideas are given due attention and consideration during the policy drafting process, and, therefore, initiatives aimed at encouraging public participation in governance issues, such as today’s forum, should be supported so as to achieve optimal results.