Development Cooperation in Rwanda
NPA has worked in Rwanda since 1994. It has been a period of immense social and political change, from chaotic times after the genocide to the re-establishment of local organizations, decentralization reforms and opening new spaces for people’s participation.
Rwanda and the Great Lakes Region have a troubled history of wars and genocides. Due to decades of authoritarian regimes, there has not been much space for citizens to actively participate in democratic governance and in building a democratic society.
Rwanda scores poorly with regard to citizens being able to participate in selecting their government, freedom of expression, freedom of association, and free media (Voice and Accountability Index). There is evidence of deepening poverty and growing inequality in the country, especially for rural women, youth and people with disabilities.
During the emergency relief phase 1994-1997, NPA carried out activities and provided services especially within the health sector. In the following period, 1997-2000 NPA focused on institutional support to Rwandan health and justice institutions. After 2000 NPA has been supporting local civil society organizations.
Through a range of local partners, NPA is involved in two projects, The Public Policy Information, Monitoring and Advocacy and Ending Gender Based Violence.
The Public Policy Information, Monitoring and Advocacy (PPIMA) gather 13 local partners in a unique collaboration effort in order to sensitize citizens of public policy issues and give them the necessary skills to engage with government and express their own opinions and interests to be raised with decision makers and service providers. The partners organize debates/dialogues with citizens and decision makers on emerging issues related to policies, laws and programs, and finally share their learning from experiences and processes. The project is funded by SIDA and DFID.
Ending Gender Based Violence (EGBV): 6 local partners join forces as a response to gender based violence including physical, economic, sexual and psychological violence, a key challenge to more than one-third of Rwandese women. The goal is to add impetus to the national struggle against gender based violence. Sensitization and training activities, conflict resolution, counseling and trauma related coping mechanisms and factors for change are mainly undertaken by trained male and female volunteers. Many of the volunteers are couples that have succeeded in their own transformation process. The EGBV project has been very instrumental not only in reducing domestic violence at the household level but also in building community capacities to self-mobilize and act collectively against this issue within the society. The project is funded by NORAD and the Norwegian Trade Union NTL.