From 12th November 2019 there was launched a nationwide campaign to collect citizen priorities to be considered in planning and budgeting process for Financial Year 2020/2021. At national level, the launching ceremony was held at Ruhinga Cell, Zaza Sector in Ngoma District, while similar events were being conducted in parallel across all the Districts, where MINALOC and LODA deployed members of their staff to witness these initial planning and feedback sessions from village level.
This planning activity was officiated by Professor SHYAKA Anastase, Minister of Local Government. Speaking to the press on this citizen participatory approach, Professor SHYAKA stated: “I cannot say that citizen participation in planning and budgeting is ensured 100% but we are determined to fast-track the progress made so that in the near future all citizens will be proud of their contribution not only in planning but also in implementing developments activities in the country”.
Among different needs expressed residents of Ruhinga, four priorities were highly stressed as citizens heavily clapped their hands when the guest of honor was repeating what to retain as priorities to take home. These include electricity, public transport bus, ambulance and hospital.
As per the design, the overall objective of participatory approach is to enhance citizen participation in the planning process and provide public feedback on the approved Local Government Development plans and budgets including the consideration of the citizens’ priorities collected. During these public feedback meetings that are scheduled to take place, it will be verified if Citizens’ priorities, which were not considered in the current Local Government Development budget are still relevant and can be implemented by using a different approaches (Umuganda, Ubudehe, ...) or should be implemented during FY 2020/21, and if new citizens’ priorities are to be considered.
The #CitizenPriorities2020 campaign is provided for in the “First Planning and Budget Call Circular for the 2020/2021 Fiscal Year for Local Government” issued by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning on 23rd October 2019. As per the circular, public feedback and consideration of citizens’ priorities are conducted in light of guidelines established by Local Administrative Entities Development Agency (LODA). This campaign is expected to take end during Umuganda meeting of 30th November 2019.