Youth make up 40% of the Rwandan population, yet they continue to face major barriers to participation in decision-making, fiscal transparency, and budget processes. To address this barrier, Search developed and implemented two projects over the last three years (2018 – 2020). The first EU-sponsored project titled “Ubufatanye mu Miyoborere: Advancing CSO-led Participatory Governance in Rwanda” aimed to enhance the capacity and confidence of youth- and women-led CSOs to promote more inclusive, responsive, and transparent local-level governance. The second project “Promoting Fiscal Transparency in Rwanda” was funded by the US embassy and aimed to increase the engagement of CSOs and Rwandan citizens in fiscal and budget processes at the local level.
Both projects adopted a CSO-led and participatory approach during the implementation of Interventions, fostering trust, collaborative relationships, and active participation among project participants and local government authorities. The key project activities were the training of youth-led CSOs, youth researchers, and selected community radio stations as well as joint community activities, creating space for collaboration and a healthy relationship between local government authorities, youth-led CSOs, citizens, and community radio stations.
As a result of these two projects, both educated and uneducated youth have been equipped with significant skills and confidence to undertake research and advocacy on governance issues and budget processes in their communities while local government authorities have recognised the value of their active involvement.