The relationship between decentralization and poverty reduction in Rwanda

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Establishing clear goals for a sustainable framework of good governance and development based on increasing equality and citizen participation has been the main concern of the government of Rwanda since the 1994 genocide. This was to be achieved by implementing decentralization based on the principle of participation and empowerment of local communities through the provision of mechanisms which encourage and motivate local citizen to initiate and implement development activities based on local needs.One particular interesting initiative has been the design of new institutional arrangements for decentralization of political, fiscal and administrative institutions for the purpose of good governance and, in particular, for poverty reduction. To attain this, strategic objectives were implemented, these included: Enabling and reactivating local people to participate in initiating, making, implementing and monitoring decisions and plans that concern them taking into account their local needs. Strengthening accountability and transparency in Rwanda by making local leaders directly accountable to the communities they serve. Enhance the sensitivity and responsiveness of public administration to the local environment by placing the planning, financing, management and control of service provision at the point where services are provided. Enhancing effectiveness and efficiency in the planning, monitoring and delivery of services by reducing the burden from central government officials who are distanced from the center where needs are felt and services delivered. Developing sustainable economic planning and management capacity at local levels that will serve as the driving engine for planning, mobilization and implementation of social, political and economic development to alleviate poverty. The aim of this study is to explore the linkage between the implantation of decentralization and poverty reduction. The implementation of the policy of decentralization for the purpose of poverty reduction in Rwanda has seen mixed results.

Includes abstract.

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 122-131).