The Rwanda Governance Board (GBV) on Monday has rewarded local civil society organizations which promote good governance.
The first phase, which concerned projects dating from July 2011 until today saw 14 projects rewarded, the top three being respectively Transparency International Rwanda (TI-Rw), COPORWA (Rwanda Potters cooperative) and Isango Star Radio.
The three best performers were selected based on indicators of promoting good governance, the ability of the project to attract partners and the direct impact of projects on citizens' lives, while others were evaluated over one indicator of good governance.
"We focused on media, local NGOs, groups working with marginalized groups, and in the education sector we had two higher learning institutions (KIE and NUR)", said RGB's CEO Prof. Anastase Shyaka, adding that the winners were transparently selected by an independent committee.
The 14 projects also received financial support from RGB of up to Frw 8 million each. "We want to strengthen civil society organizations' participation in policy making and implementation," Shyaka explained.
According to the Minister of State in charge of Social Affairs in MINALOC, Alvera Mukabaramba, who was the chief guest at the ceremony, good governance is measured through the impact it has on people's lives. "Every program promoting the welfare of citizens, promotes good governance. I have visited all your stands and seen that you have those community-outreach programs, you are on the right track."
The State Minister added that government and civil society should closely work together. "As the government, we are not rivals with the CSOs, we are partners. We must have a fruitful collaboration, because we both need each other for advice and many other contributions towards sustainable development," she pointed out.
Immacule Ingabire, the chairwoman of TI-Rw which won the first prize, explained that the organization focuses on gathering information about service delivery in local administration. "It is not simple to gather information about leaders, so we used the suggestion boxes placed at the sector offices. For sure we got a lot of information," she remarked.