Identification of districts potentialities expected to foster Local Economic Development and achievement of SDGs
Rwanda Association of Local Government Authorities (RALGA), with support from the Belgian Development Agency (ENABEL) through the Rwanda Decentralization Support Program (RDSP) is supporting 24 districts to revise their potentialities documents. At the same time, the 6 remaining districts – Secondary City Districts- are being supported by LODA (Local Administrative Entities Development Agency). From 14th to 22nd November 2019, the draft potentialities documents were presented to the districts supported by RALGA for inputs prior to their approval. Upon approval of the district potentialities documents by the beneficiaries, branding and marketing strategies will also be developed.
A consultative and participatory process
Considering the importance of the potentialities documents, RALGA wished to make sure the beneficiary districts are involved in the whole process for ownership, starting from the data collection step. It is in context that emphasis was put on the organization of various focus group discussions and workshops involving various stakeholders at all levels of local administrative entities.
To make sure that the identification of the district potentialities has been as exhaustive as possible, validation workshops were organized at district level and targeted senior district leaders and staff, as well as key stakeholders of the districts. These are members of the District Executive Committee (Mayors and Vice-Mayors), Representatives of the District Council Economic Commission, District Executive Secretaries, District Division Managers for Corporate Services, all Directors of District Units, Executive Committee members of the Joint Action Development Forum (JADF), representatives of Faith Based Organizations, the Youth Council Coordinator at district level, the Women Council Coordinator at district level, the Coordinator of the National Council of Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) at district level as well as representatives of Higher Learning Institutions where they exist.
Considering the turn up to the validation workshops and the quality of inputs provided by participants, it is clear that the beneficiary districts expect a lot from the documents under development. In addition, and as testified by various participants to the validation sessions, the potentialities documents as well as the branding and marketing strategies will play a very important role in the attainment of local, national and global development goals as identified in the various policies and planning documents. These include the Local Economic Development Strategy, the District Development Strategies, the National Strategy for Transformation, the Vision 2050 as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to name but a few.