Citizens’ participation and success of decentralized services delivery systems in Rwanda: a case study of Rubavu sector

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Kampala International University, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
The study examined the relationship between citizens’ participation and success of decentralized services delivery systems in Rwanda, using Rubavu Sector in Rubavu District as a case study. The researcher used both a case study and survey research designs. A questionnaire (self administered) was used as the main method of data collection.Nevertheless, informal interview data collection method was also used to supplement and validate data that were generated through the questionnaire. The study findings made four main revelations. First,citizens in Rubavu Sector participate in various decentralized services delivery systems in areas of Health, education, drinking water and sanitation, justice, agricultural extension, seeds and roads. Second,citizens in Rubavu Sector use two modes of participation, namely; direct participation at lower level, and representation (by elected Representatives) at the Sector Level. Third, to participate in decentralized services delivery systems, citizens in Rubavu Sector follow several procedures including, appearing for pubic hearing, attending meetings in person and airing out their views freely, deciding on priorities through voting (and use of majority vote rule to make significant decisions), and use of representatives to air out their views at the Sector Level. Fourth, citizens’ participation in Rubavu Sector greatly promotes to the success of decentralized services delivery systems. It should, however, be noted that not withstanding the foregoing, the study revealed as well that several measures are required to make citizens’ participation more vibrant in enhancing the success of decentralized services delivery systems, in Rubavu Sector, in particular, and Rwanda in general. The researcher, therefore, recommends as follows. First, Local Governments should increase the level of sensitization to make citizens more aware of the importance of decentralized services delivery systems so that they can participate actively. Second, Local Governments should endeavor to implement the lower level decisions/views, more so when and if they are genuine and reasonable. Third, leaders of the Local Governments should be more transparent and more accountable to the citizens at the grassroots. Fourth, citizens themselves at the local level should endeavor to get more information about the decentralized services delivery systems that benefit them. Fifth, Central Government should work hand-in-hand with Local Governments and citizens to strengthen accountability and transparency. Sixth, Central Government should work hand-in-hand with Local Governments to reactivate local people to initiate, implement and monitor decisions and plans that concern them. Finally, Central Government should enhance responsiveness of public administration to the local environment / people
Thesis submitted to the school of post graduate studies and research in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of degree of master of arts in development studies of Kampala International University
Rwanda, Citizens, decentralized services delivery