Vision 2020 Umurenge Program (VUP)

Following the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the Government of Rwanda developed a long term vision “Vision 2020” in a bid to fasten the country’s socio-economic transformation (i.e. economic growth, job creation and extreme poverty reduction) through local participatory mechanisms. The Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP) was established in 2008 under the Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC) within the Common Development Fund (CDF), which became Rwanda Local Development Support Fund (RLDSF) in 2010 and later on Local Administrative Entities Development Agency (LODA) in 2013.

Originally established as a flagship programme within the first Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS), the VUP remains key to the delivery of a range of national targets under the first National Strategy for Transformation (2018-2024) and realisation of Vision 2020. Currently, the implantation VUP pivots around three major components: the Safety Net Component (comprised of Direct Support, Nutrition Sensitive Direct Support, Expanded Public Works and Classic Public Works); the Livelihood Development Component (comprised of Asset Transfers, Skills Development and Financial Services); as well as the Sensitization and Community Mobilization Component (Caseworker mechanism). The table below provides an overview of related services (sub components).

Component

Description

Target group and objectives

Direct Support (DS)

A scheme within the VUP’s safety net component providing unconditional monthly cash transfers

The VUP Direct Support scheme is intended to provide regular and reliable income support to extremely poor, severely labour-constrained households. It is intended to ensure that these most vulnerable households are able to meet their most basic needs and protect them from destitution.

Nutrition Sensitive Direct Support (NSDS)

NSDS is a new VUP scheme designed to provide income support to poor household and vulnerable pregnant women, new mothers and young children, allowing for adequate consumption and improved diet; and to incentivize uptake of key health and nutrition services and behaviour change

The NSDS scheme is intended to provide regular and reliable income support to extremely poor pregnant women and infants at risk of malnutrition. It is also intended to incentivize uptake of critical ante-natal and post-natal health services with a view to addressing wider risks related to malnutrition.

Expanded Public Works (ePW)

A scheme within the VUP’s safety net component providing part-time (4-5 hours per day) multi-year, year-round employment

It is recognised that even moderately labour-constrained households are often unable to participate in full-time Public Works. Furthermore, given the limited duration of employment, existing public works projects provide inadequate income support to provide a realistic basis for graduation for such households. Therefore, the VUP will also provide multi-year, year-round, flexible (working hours), Public Works (known as Expanded Public Works) to provide accessible and appropriate employment opportunities to moderately labour-constrained households. Expanded Public Works (ePW) aims to support households meet their basic needs and provide a platform from which households can increase household productivity, diversify their livelihoods with a view to achieving sustained graduation from extreme poverty.

Classical Public Works (cPW)

A scheme within the VUP’s safety net component providing short-term, temporary employment on community infrastructure projects

· Primary objective: The VUP Classic Public Works scheme is primarily intended to provide short-term employment opportunities for extremely poor households with labour capacity. Depending on household circumstances, cPW wages are expected to either support households to meet their basic needs in times of hardship (such as during seasonal periods of food insecurity) or provide additional income for investment in livelihood development activities.

·Secondary objective: support long-term economic development through community asset creation.

Asset Transfers

A VUP scheme designed to provide assets to extremely poor households (Ubudehe Category 1) that have participated in VUP public works in that financial year and have the potential to develop a sustainable livelihood. The assets into question include:

  1. small livestock (chickens, rabbits, goats and pigs)
  2. agricultural inputs (seeds, seedlings, fertilizer, etc.)
  3. small-scale agricultural processing equipment (milling machines, etc.)
  4. small equipment for off-farm micro-enterprise development (carpentry tools, sewing machines, etc.)
VUP will provide productive assets to extremely poor households (Ubudehe Category 1) that have participated in VUP public works in that financial year and have the potential to develop a sustainable livelihood. However, given resource constraints, it may be necessary to target these asset transfers to a smaller subset of PW beneficiaries who have also demonstrated the ability to make progressive changes to their livelihoods in the past.

Skills Development

Under this new scheme, beneficiaries of the VUP skills training scheme shall be selected by local governments using data collected from household profiling or other household needs assessment and referral processes. Once a household has been selected to participate, the sector shall support the household to develop a simple IGA project proposal which shall detail the training required.

Any member of a household in Ubudehe Category 1 may apply to the VUP for technical or vocational skills training.

 

Financial Services (FS)

A microcredit scheme that provided small loans at low interest rates to individuals or groups

VUP micro-credit targets individuals in extremely poor (Ubudehe Category 1) and vulnerable (Ubudehe Category 2) households. The VUP shall support poor and vulnerable households (Ubudehe Category 1 and 2) to develop sustainable income generating activities through: the provision of formal training in financial literacy; technical support to the development of applications for micro-credit; and coaching on micro-enterprise management.

Sensitisation and Community Mobilization component/ Caseworker mechanism

The caseworker mechanism is a key mechanism for accelerating sustainable graduation from extreme poverty. The purpose of the caseworker mechanism is to strengthen coordination of service delivery to extremely poor households through the delivery of sensitization and the establishment of referral pathways to other service providers (e.g. Community Health Workers, Farmer Facilitators, NCC ‘Inshuti y’umuryango”, etc.).

The Sensitisation and Community Mobilization component has four main objectives:

1. To support poor and vulnerable households to access economic opportunities and services;

2. To build awareness and understanding of issues which affect potential for sustainable graduation from extreme poverty (e.g. health and hygiene; nutrition; basic animal husbandry);

3. To ensure households understand their rights and responsibilities and empower communities to hold duty bearers to account for the delivery of high quality services and the appropriate use of VUP resources;

4. To build public understanding and awareness of VUP objectives, modalities and impacts.