24 February 2013

Rwanda: Governance Board Accuses NGOs of Wasteful Spending

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the country have been criticised for allocating the great part of their budget on administrative affairs, training and low impact activities.

The Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) Chief Executive Officer, Prof. Anastase Shyaka, also expressed disappointment with NGOs that concentrate on low impact activities.

"Some NGOs have big budgets, but the impact of their activities on the beneficiaries is not clear," he said, last week, while opening a two-day conference to harmonise the activities of civil society organisations across the country.

The RGB's head of NGOs, faith-based organisations and political parties, Sheikh Saleh Habimana, said NGOs should impact on Rwandans.

"The budget of all the civil society organisations in the country is twice that of the government, but we don't see tangible impact of that money on the socio-economic development of Rwandans," Habimana said, adding government now requires every NGO to allocate 80 per cent of its budget for activities of its beneficiaries, with the balance going into operations.

Prof. Shyaka said reports submitted by some NGOs indicate their action plans were lacking.

The vice mayor (economic affairs) in Musanze district, Jerome Mugenzi, said it is difficult to evaluate the activities of NGOs, calling for performance contracts to be used to weigh them.

Dialogue needed

However, Edouard Munyamariza, the chairperson of Rwanda Civil Society platform, said all will be clear once the Civil Society Organisations meet with the government for dialogue.

On allocating much money to training, Munyamariza said training had certain objectives.

"It is not good if we give infrastructure without training people on maintenance and usage,' he said, adding that the way they offer training is comparable to the way the government can offer training to people on some policies or laws.

At the conference that drew the Rwanda Directorate of Immigration and Emigration, RGB and government officials having NGOs in their docket, participants said local leaders are not informed on the activities of NGOs in their sectors, thus the call to involve them in monitoring and evaluation.

According to Habimana, there are 165 registered NGOs in the country.

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