Capacity building in RwandaThursday, May 01, 2014 in Africa Governance Initiative
AGI is pleased to publish the second from our ‘Insights’ series drawing on the experience of AGI staff to provide lessons for others to consider. ‘Two steps at a time’ explores AGI’s work alongside the Government of Rwanda and the establishment of the country’s unique capacity development programme, the SCBI or Strategic Capacity Building Initiative. The SCBI was developed by the Government of Rwanda with support from AGI and was a direct response to President Kagame’s frustration at a lack of capacity to implement change within the Government of Rwanda – a frustration many African leaders share.
By pairing experts and emerging talent within the Government to work on specific problems, the SCBI has achieved the twin goals of delivery and capacity building –at the same time. The SCBI has helped play a role in boosting foreign investment in Rwanda, driving innovation in the agricultural sector and shoring up the country’s energy infrastructure.
The paper highlights six lessons for other governments and development partners from the initiative; notably how Government commitment makes all the difference to delivery and why flexible implementation is a must.
Matt Andrews of the Harvard Kennedy School has written a response to the case study reflecting on the SCBI. He says
“This SCBI approach is full of common sense but is also oddly revolutionary because it is such a contrast to the way development is commonly done (and, it seems, was done in some of these areas in Rwanda previously).The case shows that a locally problem driven, adaptive process works in complex developing country reform contexts and for this reason should be of interest to anyone working in development.”