14 January 2014

Rwanda: Govt Conducts Evaluation Exercise for Social Sector Programmes

The Ministry of Local Government (Minaloc) and other ministries with social protection under their docket last week embarked on a two-week evaluation exercise aimed at providing basic needs to the community.

The evaluation exercise will focus on provision of shelter for the needy, returnees and the vulnerable elderly, solving problems concerning estates of genocide survivors, and fighting malnutrition among others.

The technocrats carrying out the exercise were drawn from different monistries including Minaloc, Ministry of education, disaster preparedness and refugee affairs, gender and family promotion, agriculture, health and the Ministry of Labour.

The team will spend two days in every district, analysing reports on the progress in each component, before comparing with what is on the ground, according to Minaloc officials.

Starting from Kicukiro District on January 7, the teams visited health centres, schools and beneficiaries of Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP) to see where improvements were needed and where the district would share experience.

The officials said the exercise is not linked to the performance contracts (imihigo).

Florence Uwayisaba, the Kicukiro District vice-mayor in charge of economic affairs said: "The assessment is timely; the team advised us on how to transform the vulnerable people into a self-reliant force. It is always important to get advice from outsiders. We welcome such constructive criticism."

During the assessment, a checklist is used to show the areas to look out for, and after the exercise, a report will be compiled to give the general picture countrywide.

For example, in the shelter sub- section, the country has different beneficiaries, including ex-combatants, the elderly, people evacuated from high risk zones, and families formerly living in grass-thatched houses among others.

The evaluators will look at the screening criteria for the beneficiaries, suitability of the site chosen, sustainability of constructed houses, and an update on people relocating from high risk zones.

Albert Gasake, the legal advisor of the Survivors' Fund of Rwanda (SURF) called for a holistic approach to address issues affecting Genocide survivors.

He said there was need to actively involve the survivors, adding that it is a shame that 20 years later, some Genocide survivors do not have shelter.

According to last year's Ombudsman report, while the government spent around Rwf20 billion to shelter the Genocide survivors, at least 3,000 households lack shelter.

Beside this number, 5,000 houses were built but were not completed.

Esperance Mwiza, a Member of Parliament urged evaluators to critically look into issues hindering adherence to the health insurance scheme, Mutuelle de Sante.

She said: "We need to find out why some people fail to pay their premiums."

Mwiza also challenged the team to come up with a clear roadmap on how family planning can be enhanced.

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