Rwanda MCC Threshold Program / Civil Society Strengthening Project (CSSP Rwanda)
The Rwanda MCC Threshold Program / Civil Society Strengthening Project (CSSP Rwanda) increases the operational, advocacy, and outreach capacity of national-level civil society organizations to make them more effective in contributing to national public policy formulation and implementation.
The program also works with national-level CSOs to strengthen their working relationships with the government of Rwanda.
CSSP Rwanda is a two-year project funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), managed by the United States Agency for International Development, and implemented by IREX. The goal of the project is to positively impact Rwanda’s MCC Ruling Justly indicators, specifically Political Rights, Civil Liberties, and Voice and Accountability.
• Increase the operational capacity of national-level civil society organizations, making them more effective in influencing national public policy formation and implementation
• Increase the advocacy capacity of national-level civil society organizations, making them more effective in influencing national public policy formation and implementation
• Increase the outreach capacity of national-level civil society organizations and their ability to (legitimately) represent constituents’ needs, giving greater voice and increasing civic participation in national public policy formation and implementation
• Increase the Government of Rwanda’s (GoR)engagement with civil society organizations, and better prepare the GoR to receive input to national public policy formation and implementation
In Rwanda, as in many countries, finding an effective role for civil society in policy formulation is a difficult but crucial process. The capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) is limited – and therefore their interactions with government are ineffective. When fully developed, civil society organizations play multiple roles in relationship to government: an advocacy role to encourage policies and actions that represent their constituents’ needs; a watchdog role, which serves as a check on the power of the government by providing feedback on its performance; and a partnership role, in which CSOs work together with government on policy implementation.
Currently, national-level CSOs lack full understanding of their constituents' needs and lack the understanding of policy formulation mechanisms and the skills to analyze data, leaving them unable to serve as effective monitors or to advocate for or against policies. Finally, as partners of the government, they lack the space and mechanisms for on-going dialogue.
National CSO Training and Grants Program: IREX is strengthening the capacity of national-level Rwandan CSOs in operational management, advocacy, and outreach. After core training, CSOs are given a practical opportunity to apply their newly-gained skills through IREX’s grants program, and consolidate their capacity through ongoing technical assistance.
NGO-to-NGO (N2N) International Partnership Program: A select group of CSOs receive funding to strengthen their technical capacity in their organization’s issue areas from peers in neighboring countries.
Joint Government and CSOs Training on new NGO Laws: Joint training sessions for CSOs and government personnel to identify points of collaboration within the framework of the new NGO laws.
Development of Advocacy Alliances: The program will encourage and support participating CSOs to develop networks, coalitions, and alliances in areas of common interest.
Citizen Outreach and Constituency-Building Training: CSOs will receive focused training on new tools and strategies to reach out to and gather input and feedback from their constituents.
Building of Public-Private Partnerships: The program will design activities to promote partnerships between CSOs and the private sector.
Voter Education and Enhancing of Civic Engagement: The program will increase the role of civil society in the electoral process.
Technology and E-Governance Training for GoR-CSOs Collaboration: IREX will conduct applied technology trainings to provide enhanced technical skills to improve the effectiveness of government personnel and civil society actors.
Workshops and Trainings on the Civil Service Code of Conduct: The IREX team will conduct a training of trainers (ToT) to educate public servants on the contents of the Code.
News & Impact
A training manual from the Rwanda Civil Society Strengthening Program that discusses the different types of data and data collection techniques, and how to prepare a monitoring and evaluation framework for an advocacy campaign.
A training manual from the Rwanda Civil Society Strengthening Program that focuses on the fundamentals of monitoring and evaluation.
A training manual from the Rwanda Civil Society Strengthening Program that focuses on advocacy for legislative policy.
A training manual from the Rwanda Civil Society Strengthening Program that focuses on membership outreach.
An organizational capacity self-assessment tool used as part of the Rwanda Civil Society Strengthening Program.
A training manual from the Rwanda Civil Society Strengthening Program that focuses on gaining insight into the perceptions of CSO advocacy and government engagement, and developing an understanding of advocacy and the stages in an advocacy campaign.