In 2003, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) initiated the program “Paix et Decentralisation” (PED) to support and accompany the decentralization policy adopted by the Rwandan government in 2000. The process which involved a transfer of several Central government responsibilities to local governments required a larger and skilled number of staff, more infrastructure and equipment. SDC committed itself to assist Rwanda in this process by supporting four districts of the Western Province: Karongi, Rutsiro, Nyamasheke and Rusizi.
More specifically, PED has contributed to the creation and implementation of four main tools: grading evaluation, the revolving equipment fund, FORMADIS and financing several projects.
There are a total of 714 projects which were funded by PED for the amount of 1'620'000FRW (2'760'000 USD) from 2003 to June 2010. The projects aimed at developing the four districts in four areas: infrastructure and equipment, social projects (building schools, roads, etc.), and capacity building.
In the equipment area, PED in collaboration and upon-request from districts, funded computer (laptops) and logistics (motorcycles) equipment. This equipment has been given to districts to create an equipment fund and serve as hire purchase to generate new equipment. This system has shown a positive impact on the quality of services delivered by the beneficiary staff, their motivation and the good management of the material received. This support has also resulted into the speeding-up of reports drafting and the projects’ field monitoring.
The program also initiated the “Formadis” structure in the districts to improve professional skills of the staff and the organizational performance of the districts through training. Autonomous, “formadis” is in charge of planning, organizing, and executing trainings as well as checking the quality of trainings and the post-training monitoring. Functional, “Formadis” cells established in each district have gained a remarkable and very satisfying experience. Since 2003, 16'043 staff has been trained on various topics such as planning, procurement, project management, financial management and accounting, use of computer, etc.
In 2007, in order to contribute to the improvement of the quality of work work provided by the local administration, PED introduced the concept of grading evaluation. With this tool, the local authorities of Karongi, Rutsiro, Nyamasheke and Rusizi districts, were able to assess the performance of governance structures such as the district council and the JADF (Joint Action Development Forum) on a grade scale ranging from excellent to poor. This allowed them to improve their work by identifying good and bad practices, to improve the poor and maintain the excellent.