Evaluation of Imihigo kicks off

The Ministry of Local Government began exercises to assess development margins achieved by districts in business year 2011/2012 through the performance contracts (Imihigo) they signed with the President.
Minister James Musoni.
Minister James Musoni.

The Ministry of Local Government began exercises to assess development margins achieved by districts in business year 2011/2012 through the performance contracts (Imihigo) they signed with the President.

A minimum of three districts per day, which started on June 13 will be evaluated until July 14.

In a press conference held Thursday, the Minister of Local Government, James Musoni, said that the strategies within the performance contracts serve as reference point for national and grassroots priorities which are further elaborated in district development plans.

Imihigo have been so important that several mayors on realising that they are far behind the targets have relinquished their posts, according to Musoni, who added that this indicates government’s commitment to development.

Within just a year into their five-year terms, two district mayors—Francois Niyotwagira of Ngoma and Bonane Nyangezi resigned recently while 15 sector executive secretaries have been fired.

“The annual performance of all districts, provinces and Kigali City will be evaluated by a national evaluation team composed of senior officials and experts from different institutions led by the President’s Office,” Musoni said.

The evaluation will assess the implementation progress in all priority sectors and targets indentified in the performance contracts signed between the mayors and the President.

Through Imihigo, the government will identify major challenges that impede effective implementation of targets.”

By showcasing the performance and ranking of each district, the government hopes to promote competitiveness amongst districts as well as identify areas that need strengthening.

“The government through the Vision 2020 and Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) and the MDGs demonstrated strong commitment towards the development of the country. Imihigo are one strong area through which Rwanda strongly believes that true development can be achieved,” he added.

Evaluation will rank economic progress of districts first, at 60 per cent of the total evaluation, whereas, social transformation will contribute at least at 30 percent and governance will be marked at 10 per cent.

Specific targets will be reviewed such as beautification of administrative offices, roll out of the 12 Year Basic Education plan, construction of new toilets and classrooms, as well as payment of teachers salaries.

Governance indicators include districts’ ability to resolve citizens’ complaints, functioning of community assemblies, the availability of performance contracts at family and sector level, as well as exemplary management of finances.

Other indicators include socio-economic integration of historically marginalized people and empowerment of people with disabilities, women and the youth.

Imihigo were introduced in 2006 by the government as a tool to accelerate implementation of priority annual programs.

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