Rwanda Focus (Kigali)

1 September 2012

Rwanda: RSCP - Donors Should Unfreeze Aid to Enhance Development Effectiveness

The Rwanda Civil Society Platform (RSCP) closed a two-day workshop on aid and development with an appeal to the donors to unfreeze the aid that was recently withheld in order to enhance development effectiveness.

The participants discussed the main essence of development effectiveness and expressed concerns that unfair conditionality and unpredictability of aid compromises democratic ownership and leadership.

"The bureaucratic documentation imposed by donors demonstrates lack of confidence in government technical capacity to design and implement projects effectively," observed Edouard Munyamaliza, the chairman of RCSP yesterday.

"We have agreed to bring together the voices of our member organizations in ensuring that aid is implemented effectively. We have to strengthen our decentralized structure in rural areas."

He furthermore added that RCSP will work through its membership base at the grass-roots level to identify real issues of the community that inform its advocacy.

RCSP requests the government to recognize its rightful role in participating in policy processes. "The government should take a decisive action to enable CSOs to exercise their role as independent development actors and minimize the legal and bureaucratic barriers of its operations in the country," argued RCSP's chairman.

He suggested that donor aid should be with agreeable conditionality and work towards development of partnership agreement. "They have to unfreeze aid to enhance development, align aid with government development plans and programs and consider the country's context in addressing specific needs of the citizens."

"When aid doesn't come, the citizens have to look for homegrown solutions. You cannot force someone to provide aid, but when they (donors) are willing to give it, it doesn't have to come with conditions."

His views was backed by Ryan Myers, the country director of international justice mission and chairman of the network of international NGOs who said that each side that has signed the agreement has to respect it.

"It's not because you are the donor that you have the right to not respect the accountability concept, being accountable means respecting your fellow partners or the country you're helping towards improving the living standards of the poor people - who are the main target of aid."

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