The Rwanda Governance Board has recently released the fourth edition of the Rwanda Governance Scorecard (RGS), which since its inception in 2011 has become a credible and reliable data source which has alerted policymakers and practitioners on areas with performance shortcomings and incited others to improve and perform better.
The RGS 2016 is based on primary and secondary data drawn from over 200 questions. It considers 8 observed dimensions of governance that constitute 8 composite governance indicators with 37 sub-indicators and 150 variables.
RGB reckons that it is important to learn from the past and to continue to improve the accuracy and relevance of the RGS. For this reason, the 2016 edition has retained the 8 aggregated indicators of governance, which are:
The primary data sources of the RGS 2016 comprise the assessment by Rwandans themselves (citizens and experts), as well as verified data from Rwandan institutions. The RGS 2016 is comprised of data collected in 2015 and 2016.
The overall methodological approach for the RGS has been mainly maintained, but the scoring and ranking methods have been reviewed upwards:
Overall, RGS clearly shows that Rwanda has over the past five years made commendable strides in building and sustaining a social developmental democratic state.
In the RGS 2016, six indicators improved compared to the 2014 scores: Control of Corruption, Transparency and Accountability which performed the best with a percentage increase of +7.52, followed by Political Rights and Civil Liberties which improved by +4.78.
The Economic and Corporate Governance indicator recorded a +4.62 increase, while Participation and Inclusiveness, Quality of Service Delivery, and Safety and Security indicators went up slightly by +1.65, +0.93 and +0.66 respectively.
Two indicators decreased, namely Investing in Human and Social Development by -6.66 and Rule of Law by -2. This is mainly due to the introduction of new sub-indicators and variables these two indicators for better assessment.
The RGS 2016 slightly changed the composition of the sub-indicators of Rule of Law as a new sub-indicator of the use of ICT in justice service delivery is added to the existing sub-indicators.
The indicator’s score decreased to 79.68% from 81.68% in the previous scorecard. But also, the performance of judiciary decreased by -5.24% compared to the previous scorecard. The main challenge is seen where the disposal pace of cases is affected by backlog. The access to Justice sub-indicator decreased by -3.77%.
The two sub-indicators introduced in the RGS 2016, are the performance of the legislature and use of ICT in delivery of justice which scored 72.27 and 82.85% respectively.
Out of the 7 sub-indicators making up the Political Rights and Civil Liberties Indicator, 4 ranked green and 3 yellow. The overall indicator scored 81.83%, up 4.78 from the RGS 2014.
Nearly all sub-indicators have contributed to the indicator’s improvement. There has been quite an improvement on the editorial independence, which increased by 24.1 from 66.4% in RGS 2014 to 90.5% in RGS 2016. This indicates the expansion and a conducive and flourishing environment for media freedoms.
The sub-indicator of academia performance is still low as well as citizen access to information.
Of this indicator’s 5 sub-indicators, 2 are green, while 3 scored yellow.
The general score for participation and inclusiveness is fairly high with 76.48%, a light increase compared to the previous 75.36%. Yet the Citizen Participation sub-indicator which previously scored 71.68%, dropped to 61.93% in the current edition.
It is clear that citizens are demanding more involvement especially in the planning and budgeting processes. Noteworthy is the Civil Society Participation sub-indicator which registered a considerable increase from 63.65% in RGS 2014 to 72.45% in RGS 2016.
The RGS included Safety and Security as one of the key dimensions while making this the governance measurement tool. This indicator consists of four sub-indicators: Maintaining Security, National Security, Personal Security; and Unity, Reconciliation and Social Cohesion.
In the RGS 2016, all the 4 sub-indicators are green, as are 11 out of 13 variables (the 2 remaining ones are yellow). As a result, Safety and Security has an overall score of 92.62%, the highest among the 8 main indicators.
This indicator includes sub-indicators such as Education, Health, Social Protection and Climate Change and Environmental Resilience. The overall score of Investing in Human and Social Development is 73.68%, a significant reduction from 81.54% in the RGS 2014. This indicator was the least performer, mainly due to the fall in the sub-indicators Education, Climate Change and Environmental resilience.
Education decreased from 84.75% in the previous scorecard to 79.98%, among other due to the Citizens’ satisfaction with the education variable losing more than 5 percentage points from 69.10% in RGS 2014 to 63.40% in the RGS 2016.
Climate Change and Environmental Resilience, which had an excellent 95.00% in the 2014 Edition, plummeted to 75.66%;, which is attributed to the newly introduced variables which scored lowsuch as climate change resilience which scored 46.45% and Environmentally sustainable settlement and use of Energy which scored 57.86% in the RGS 2016.
This indicator scored 86.56%, compared with 82.45% in the RGS 2014. All the 3 sub-indicators are in green, as well as 10 of the 11 variables, while only one scored yellow. This performance makes this indicator the best improved one (improved by 7%).
The scorecard shows satisfaction of both citizens and experts with the efforts of public institutions in fighting corruption. The Incidence of Corruption sub-indicator has increased from 76.00% in the RGS 2014 to 86.13% in 2016, while the Control of Corruption sub-indicator has improved from 78.76% to 87.77%.
Transparency and Accountability is the least performing sub-indicator as it increased only by nearly 3%. One of the contributing factors is the decrease in performance of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee compared to the previous scorecard from 85.33% in RGS 2014 to 79.79% in 2016.
Service delivery remained the least performing indicator, although it slightly increased by +0.92% to 72.93%.
Service in education, justice and economic service improved the score of the indicator. The most improved sub-indicator is service delivery in economic sector which improved by 4.11% to 73.47% in RGS 2016. Service delivery in local administration also improved by 3.2%, while the justice sector improved by 1%. Service delivery in social sector dropped by 4.59% from 72.79% in RGS 2014 to 68.20%.
There was a weak performance in the agriculture and livestock sector which led to the citizens’ low level of satisfaction by 56.40% in the RGS 2016. Extreme and harsh weather conditions like prolonged drought especially in the Eastern Province, contributed also to the weak performance.
The overall score of this indicator for RGS 2016 is 76.82%, better than the 72.2% in the previous scorecard. 2 out of 5 sub-indicators ranked green, another 2 yellow and 1 ranked amber.
National Capital and Export Promotion improved by 8.37%, the Macroeconomic sub-Indicator by 7.59%, while Private Sector Promotion increased from 87.04% to 90% in RGS 2016.
However, the sub-indicator of Business Environment Promotion dropped by 4.34 points to 83.14%, which is mainly attributed to the drop in scores of doing business, and protecting investors. Similarly, the decrease of the SMEs development sub-indicator is explained by a sharp reduction in the number of companies registered against received applications from 100% in RGS 2014 to 65.58% in RGS 2016, as well as the cross-border trade which dropped from 71.43% in RGS 2014 to 69.60% in RGS 2016.
The RGS 2016 concludes with 8 recommendations, which are:
1) To scale up and revamp the quality of extension services in agriculture sector to spur high productivity and wealth creation in rural areas;
2) To design and operationalize a multi-year nationwide strategy for mainstreaming climate change resilience into development planning;
3) To design and operationalize a multi-year nationwide strategy for sustainable urbanization and rural settlement as an imperative to achieve a middle income economy status;
4) To design and operationalize a multi-year national strategy geared towards reducing in maximum 5 years, at least 80% of charcoal and firewood consumption by switching to gas and electricity, as an imperative for a sustainable and eco-friendly development;
5) To design and operationalize multi-year innovative approaches to increase Rwanda’s export capabilities in order to reduce trade deficit and improve the overall status of balance of payments;
6) To align sectoral policy implementation of socio-economic development strategies with those of secondary cities‘ development so that these cities effectively become poles of growth;
7) To put up mechanisms for effective and accountable delivery of social development innovations to ensure accelerated graduation from poverty and better livelihood to the citizens;
8) To adopt a national comprehensive policy that ensures compliance with quality service delivery standards in both public and private domains.
Read this article and more in issue n° 73 of Hope Magazine.