The Government of Rwanda responded to the COVID-19 crisis with an early lockdown policy, closing schools and all non-essential businesses and limiting movement. There is evidence that this has been extremely effective in containing the spread of the Covid virus but the socio-economic impacts are proving to be severe and far-reaching, especially in the poorer communities. In Nyamasheke and Rusizi districts, where Rwanda Action works, 63 per cent of the population already live in extreme poverty ($2 or less a day).
We are exploring a new solution to poverty reduction by piloting a more targeted approach to delivering our farm training and enterprise programmes. This will enable us to measure their impact more precisely and hence offer a better package for replication.
Key Performance Indicators
Rwanda is divided into districts, sectors, cells and villages. A cell typically contains six or seven villages and a council which is elected locally for a five-year period.
Working with the districts, Rwanda Action will identify the very poorest cells. It will then establish a baseline by visiting all the families living below the poverty line as defined as less than $2 per day, carefully assessing their living conditions and needs
Together with the community and local officials we will devise a plan for helping the poorest people to improve their lives. This will include a selection of our established initiatives:
Each community will have a six-month assessment and planning period followed by 18 months of implementation.
At the end of each year progress in the ten indicators will be measured against the established baseline.
In the third year Rwanda Action will withdraw from direct implementation but continue to monitor and evaluate.
After Rwanda Action has supported six cells, we will use the evidence of the relief of poverty that has been achieved to encourage the government to replicate this methodology in its own programmes of poverty relief.