Launching of RISD’s 2nd 5-Year Strategic Plan

Rwanda Initiative for Sustainable Development (RISD) launched its five-year Strategic Plan 2016-2020 at Hôtel Des Mille Collines, Kigali, Rwanda on Friday, 10th June 2016, outlining a collaborative process to guide implementation of project based interventions on land rights.

RISD’s new 5-year strategy key areas include the promotion and strengthening of tripartite partnership between the civil society, government and development partners. In terms of programs, the strategy focuses on monitoring the National Land Reform implementation, Sustainable Development Goals, climate change and gender land related issues. RISD will move towards applying ICT for action research, monitoring, engagement in policy advocacy and knowledge management.

The strategy serves as a roadmap for securing land rights for marginalized groups, including but not limited to, vulnerable land owners, women, youth heading families and people infected with HIV and AIDS, across eleven districts of Rwanda.Elaborate community based projects will be implemented through action policy research, networking and advocacy, anchored on over two decades of RISD’s solid experiential expertise. The five-year strategy will continue spreading the impact of RISD’s work through partnerships and collaboration with local and international civil society organizations, government representatives and development partners. Importantly, the five year plan is designed to integrate continuous growth in global networking and combines recommendations of various partners, setting the stage to transform RISD into a regional or international policy research and advocacy NGO, to realize a much stronger impact. Projects under the strategy will be funded by the Royal Netherlands Government through the Netherlands Embassy in Rwanda, with contribution from the German Government through GIZ.

In contrast to the previous strategy, RISD’s strategic plan 2016-2020 includes a strong fundraising plan, to ensure the organization’s financial sustainability. It strongly emphasizes the use of a Monitoring and Evaluation framework and an ICT system, and further focuses on addressing women’s land rights. During the five-year strategic plan launch, RISD solicited inputs from various stakeholders, who expressed their commitment to support the ownership, sustainability, coordination and collaboration of outlined project interventions.

Mrs. Odette Yankurije, Head of Access to Justice Department, delivered the keynote address on behalf of Honorable Johnston Busingye, Minister of Justice / Attorney General, and stated that, “RISD’s Securing Land Rights Project has helped to mainstream justice in the land sector. Under the 2010 Memorandum of Understanding between RISD and MINIJUST, RISD has been instrumental in providing capacity building for Abunzi and MAJ, providing materials for Abunzi and creating awareness on land rights. I commend RISD’s contribution in linking land rights and the land dispute management to the judicial system, and MINIJUST is committed to partnering with RISD in the use of ICT for data collection and management”.

Mr. Jan Vraal, speaking on behalf of the Ambassador of the Netherlands Embassy to Rwanda, Her Excellency Frédérique Maria De Man, emphasized the Embassy’s commitment in supporting the civil society, saying, “We believe that CSO’s are well positioned to be the voice of citizens. In so doing, they can help make the government more accountable to citizens and increase its legitimacy, contributing to greater social cohesion, stronger and more open democracies, a better response to environmental problems, a better business climate, more opportunities for all and less inequality”. On behalf of the RISD Board of Directors, Board Member Mr. John Munga observed that, “RISD will strive to implement the strategic plan to the letter, to ensure that land rights for the grassroots population are secured. Local and international collaboration and partnerships will ensure the success of our strategic plans, and for that reason, I urge all stakeholders, central and local government, Mayors, development donor agencies and the civil society, to adopt this strategy for the benefit of the nation”. (Source: RISD FB Page, 10 June 2016)