Multi-Donor civil society support program in Rwanda

The program aims at strengthening the capacity of Rwanda civil society to engage constructively with the Government on policy, planning and monitoring issues. It will improve a bottom-up dialogue and consultation mechanisms and promote the use of evidence in policy making for an effective implementation of the National Strategy for Transformation. The project is in line with Switzerland’s approach of fostering civic participation in Rwanda.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Human rights
Democratic participation and civil society
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
01.01.2019 - 28.02.2022
CHF  1’800’000
Background Rwanda has achieved significant progress in rebuilding its governance system since the genocide of 1994 and registered considerable results in various socioeconomic strands. Despite the progress made, levels of the participation of civic actors in policy making processes and demand for accountability and transparency are still underdevelopped. The National Strategy for Transformation (NST2018-2024) considers strengthening accountability systems as a key enabling factor for delivering on its ambitious economic development targets. Yet, the civil society doesn’t have the required capacities to meaningfully engage with fast changing policy processes in a rather constrained political space context.
Objectives Civil society and government stakeholders engage with one another more constructively to better address policy issues concerning accelerated growth, poverty reduction and social inclusion.
Target groups Civil society organisations (CSOs), professional organisations, research organisations, private sector associations, Government authorities, public institutions like Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), public special commissions, Joint Action Development Forum (JADF).
Medium-term outcomes
  • Civil society and Government partners constructively engage on key issues concerning accelerated growth, poverty reduction and social inclusion, including specific needs of women and men.
  • Partners’ capacity to engage constructively and effectively on issues concerning accelerated growth, poverty reduction and social inclusion is cultivated
  • Mechanisms for consultation and accountability are strengthened to more effectively enable constructive engagement.
  • Research and learning is developed and used to support constructive engagement between Government and civil society.

Expected results:  

  • Technical and financial support to civil society and Government partners to identify and engage on key issues concerning accelerated growth, poverty reduction and social inclusion, including specific needs of women and men.
  • Varied support to civil society partners’ capacity cultivation in contextual analysis and inclusive parnership, organisational resilience and knowledge generation and use are strengthend
  • Rwandan mechanisms for consultation and accountability (e.g. JADF, issue-based policy dialogues etc.) are enhanced.
  • Research on identified governance issues is conducted and results utilised to strengthen engagement between civil society and Government for better inclusive policies.

Results from previous phases:  

Over 30 civil society organisations, policy and research tanks supported to engage with Government on policy issues identified. Some key results include:

  • Revision of eligibility criteria for the Vision 2020 Umurenge Program leading to increased benefits for 13,000 households with people with disabilities.
  • Influencing the GBV prevention and response coordination between a variety of Government and non-state actors.
  • 58 facilitated dialogues in six districts, training of 1,638 district officials, leading to improved mainstreaming of reconciliation in district planning and budgeting, with some district budget allocations made.
  • 630 volunteers in 63 villages across 7 districts were supported to improve coordination of responses to gender-based violence.
  • Evidence provided through research on 4 key government policies affecting citizens and related policy advocacy.
  • Support for improvement of Joint Action Development (JADF) and Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) strategy initiated.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Foreign state institution
  • National State Institute North

Other partners
Delegated cooperation agreement with DFID
Coordination with other projects and actors
  • Regional Governance
  • Transborder dialogue (Interpeace)
  • Regional media program
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    1’800’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    1’650’881 Total project since first phase Swiss budget CHF   1’870’000 Budget inclusive project partner CHF   3’800’000
Project phases Phase 2 01.01.2019 - 28.02.2022   (Current phase) Phase 1 01.01.2016 - 31.08.2019   (Completed)