The pilot phase of Ubudehe categorization process kicks off countrywide

From the 22nd to the 23rd October 2020, citizens are undertaking the pilot classification of their own households into the revised Ubudehe categories. This exercise is being conducted in all the 30 districts, in one Sector per District, one Cell per Sector, one Village per Cell at few selected sites. This activity is being implemented by LG administration, coordinated by LODA at national level and spearheaded by MINALOC.

By definition, Ubudehe categories refer to the economic life standing of households, and are utilized as a planning tool or baseline by national policy makers, policy implementers, and researchers. The new Ubudehe categories are five in number with a new naming of A, B, C, D & E replacing the formerly known as Category 1, 2, 3 & 4.

In Muhanga District, this kind of exercise took place at Ryaruyange Village, Rwigerero Cell, Mushishiro Sector; while it was simultaneously conducted at Nyagatovu Village, Ruragwe Cell, Rubengera Sector in Karongi District. Contrarily to the ancient approach that was applied in 2015, citizens were happy with the new community approach of Ubudehe categorization after getting thorough explanations from central and local coordinators of the categorization process.

Data collected on the household of one TURIKUNKIKO Froduald, resident of Rubengera, led his family to be classified under category C. He feels comfortable in this category unlike the previous one. “I was ranked in category 3 before; I felt I did not deserve it and I filed a complaint but I was told this was an error resulting from the computing system”.

Local authorities also acknowledged there were a number of mistakes which were made during the data entry process. Mrs MUKAGATANA Fortunée, Vice Mayor of Social Affairs in Muhanga District, declared that the data collection phase has now gone digital and this shall counterfeit errors this time round. “The last time data were manually collected by filling in forms, and they were later computed. Unlike the today method, data are digitally collected and immediately stored into a pre-set system”.

That said however, some citizens revealed not having got sufficient information on this new classification of households into Ubudehe categories. On this, Mrs MUKASE Valentine, Vice Mayor of Social Affairs in Karongi District, stated that as Local Government they are going to intensify mobilization at grassroots level so that citizens get clear and sufficient information to in turn play an active role in this process.

While launching Ubudehe categorization campaign on 25th June 2020 through the waves of Rwanda Television, Professor SHYAKA Anastase, Minister of Local Government, declared that this review comes as a result of a number of consultations with citizens (through citizen assemblies), Civil Society Organizations, and the media. He reiterated that this review comes in with a number of strategic objectives to spur graduation and self-sufficiency for transformation; to deter the dependency mindset; to reduce citizens discontent associated with the current Ubudehe categorization; to streamline the implementation of social protection programs; to resuscitate Ubudehe as a home grown solution and increase community ownership; to update household socio-economic data/characteristics; and to align community categorization with evidence based information on livelihoods of the households.