Hi, How Can We Help You?
  • Address: KG 42 St, Kigali
  • Email Address: info@ajprodhojijukirwa.org.rw


October 12, 2023

Survey Summary

Baseline survey on citizens participation, youth empowerment and access to justice in Ngoma district, June 2022 by Associationde la Jeunesse Pourla Promotion des Droits deL’Homme et le Développement

Key Baseline Findings 

AssociationdelaJeunessePourlaPromotiondesDroitsdeL’HommeetleDéveloppement (AJPRODHO-JIJUKIRWA), with the financial support from the Norwegian People’s Aid in Rwanda (NPA) comissioned a baseline survey on Attitudes,practices,behaviors,andperceptions around Youth empowerment, Access to Justice as well as Citizens’ Participation in decision making process inNgomaDistrictwherePPIMAprojectisbeingimplemented”. In purpsuing the overall and specific objectives of this survey, researcher adopted a mixed research methods anchored on triangulation of data and data analysis. As a result, this report provides both quantitative and qualitative data. The quantitative part involved using the questionnaire as a data collection tool and analysis of quantitative data from 392 sampled respondents in 7identified sectors of Ngoma districts. As for the qualitative one, data was collected from 24 key informants using question guides (See table 2) and through Focus Group Discussions, Key Informant Interviews as well as desk review. For both quantitative and qualitative methods, primary and secondary data was analysed thematically. This involved categorizing, comparing, synthesizing, and interpreting themes that emerged from primary data


Citizens’ Participation

Ninety three point two percent (93.2%)  of the respondents reveal that citizens/cell assembly is the space in which citizens participate frequently followed by Umuganda at 71.3%, then socio- media at 42.1%, parents’ evening forums at 38.5%, radio call-ins at 24.6%, umushyikirano at 4.4% and other forums (adhoc community meetings, NGOs) at 3.6%. Generally, a significant number of respondents revealed that citizens always express themselves freely in these forums. Similarly, a significant number of respondents revealed that the spaces were inclusive of different categories of the community such as women, youth, persons with disabilities and historically marginalized people. Findings reveal that the main reason as to why participation is almost all-inclusive is that participation in these spaces is not voluntary (Figure 2).


Research findings indicate that 73.2 % of respondents revealed that they were free to express their views in cell assemblies, 95.9% of respondents agreed that vulnerable categories including PWDs, HMPs and youth have equal participation in cell assemblies, 95.2% confirmed that these categories of people have equal opportunities for participation and expressing their viwes in umuganda, 89.9% of respondents agreed that vulnerable categories are included in the Umushyikirano while 84.4% of respondents testified that these categories are equally considered in radio programs. (Table 7),


Forty six percent (46%) of respondents find that cell assemblies are effective for youth participation while 30% are somehow effective, 32.4% of respondents stated that umuganda are effective for youth participation, while 48.6% are somehow effective, 26% find that radio programs are effective for youth participation while 29% found it somehow effective, 86.4% of respondents find that social media are effective for youth participation. It was therefore found that 45% of respondents mentioned that Umushyikirano is ineffective for youth participation, 24% mentioned cell assembly to be ineffective while parents evening were pointed out to 71% (Table 8) , community members are required by de jure to participate in the meetings irrespective of gender. Equal participation must also be understood within this context. However, feedback from Focus Group Discussions and Key Informant Interviews revealed that equal participation of Persons with Disabilities and Historically marginalized people was still very low. PWDs are mostly constrained by structural and physical accessibility challenges while HMPs are constrained by historical factors especially many years of marginalization.



Concerning citizens role in imihigo, citizen’s role is somehow played in the implementation of imihigo with a score of 81.3% (13.2% youth & 68.1% Adults). Citizens’ role in planning was rated 44.6% (2.2% youth & 42.4% Adults), monitoring 7.9% (1.01% youth & 6.90% adults) while 17.6 % of the respondents (16.3% youths & 1.30 adults) said they did not play any role at all (Figure8). Regarding how citizens received feedback from leaders about their priorities and views raised through government created spaces, respondents revealed that in most cases, they receive feedback on what was integrated in the previous imihigo a year later when they come to solicit views for the next planning and budgeting fiscal year. This explains the 79.40% feedback rate above. As a result, only 31.30% receive feedback of what the district accomplished, 14.20% of respondents receive feedback on what key resolutions were made by district council while 85.80% do not receive feedback on the key resolutions made by the district council.The survey revaled that citizens, particularly youth, are not fully involved in the planning and budgeting processes, as well as the monitoring and evaluation of district imihigo. The research suggested to put in place recreational activities for young people to keep them entertained, and utilize these platforms to educate them about government policies and programs, such as budgeting and planning processes.


Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices (KAP) related to Gender and GBV and their implication on civic participation


The survey indicated that there are still serious challenges relating to citizens Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices (KAP) related to Gender and GBV. For example, findings reveal that 65.01% (34.4% F&30.5% M) believe that women should respect culture and religious belief and be submissive to men, 48.83% (25.7% F& 31.7% M) agree that men should go to look for money while women should take care of the home and children, 37.4% (11.4%F&18%M) believe that Gender equality is unrealistic and cannot be achieved in real life, 27.54% (13.6% &13.9%) believe that in community meetings, men always have strong ideas than women, 29.33% (14.9%F &14.4% M) believe that it is the responsibility of the wife to avoid getting pregnant,29.68% (13.8% F&15.9%M) believe that men should be responsible and the last decision makers about all household income, among others. Though the number of respondents was insignificant on some probed indicators, there are those who believe that boys should be prioritized over girls if an option was to be made of whom to go to school. (Table 10& Table 11)


Concerning GBV, 67.88% (36.2% F&31.9%M) agree that there is a time when a woman deserves to be punished by her husband or family member (for example when the woman is rebellious or disobedient). 57.29 % (29.7% F&27.9%M) believe that a married woman cannot say no to sex thereby condoning marital rape. 19.16% (10.8% F&8.4%M) of the respondents also agree that woman should tolerate violence in the best interest of the child and to keep her family together. Surprisingly, the number of women who believe in the above scenarios is slightly higher than that of men. . (Table 10 & Table 11)


Concerning the prevalence of GBV, respondents acknowledged that all types of GBV were prevalent in their communities. For physical violence, 90.7% of the respondents revealed that slapping was the common type of physical violence, followed by beating at 79.5%, hitting the victim with an object at 65.9%, manhandling at 59.7%, Threatening with violence at 44.8% and fracturing body parts at 42.1%.


For sexual related gender based violence, Jealous was mentioned as a common type of sexual related GBV by 83.81% respondents, followed by adultery (cheating) at 80.94%, ignoring a partner purposely by not having sexual intercourse with him/her by 61.36%, Physically forcing a partner to have sexual intercourse (rape) at 56.66% and forcing a partner to perform any unwanted sexual acts (e.g. Caressing, kissing by force, etc.) at 34.46%.


Jealous as well as suspicion of adultery (cheating) manifested mostly through behavioral activities such as monitoring spouses/partners phone messages, changing work habits like coming home late, declining intimacy, becoming secretive, avoiding answering any strange phone call if the partner is close by, deleting phone message frequently, lying about significant things, and having a lot of reasons to skip family meals. Under psychological or emotional gender based violence, 85.47% of the respondents revealed that insulting a partner or making him/her feel bad about himself/herself was the common type of psychological violence. This was followed by using words or something that humiliate a partner in front of others by 65%, treating a partner like a servant by 64.5% restricting a partner from interacting with his/her family members and friends by 55.03% and threatening to hurt or harm a partner or someone close to him/her by 48.32% respondents. (Table 10& Table 11)


Concerning the causes of economic violence, 81.32% of the respondents said that not allowing a partner to partake in financial related decision-making was a common cause of economic gender based violence. This was followed by deliberately refusing to provide for the family’s livelihood at 80.46%, followed by not permitting a partner to handle money at 60.63% and finally, not permitting a partner to choose/buy things 57.18%. Patriarchal system, lack of interest to report GBV cases,Weak GBV prevention and response mechanisms, limited trust of existing GBV prevention and response mechanisms, suspicion of corruption within local leaders, Overdependence on the perpetrators whom in this case have control over resources and Limited knowledge about rights, GBV related services and referral systems were mentioned as the main challenges that affect the realization of gender equality and GBV prevention and response objectives.


These findings correlate with Rwandan proverbs which humiliate/ degrade women such as ntankokokaziibikaisakeihari, uruvuzeumugoreruvugaumuhoro, ukandagiraagahunguntahonyo. Although the government of Rwanda has made remarkable progress in supporting and promoting gender equality with much focus on women and girls across various levels, a lot still needs to be done, especially in spaces where women and girls are less seen There is a need to change attitudes, negative social norms, and other harmful practices from the household up to national level. More so, we need to stop gender stereotypes and harassment and abuse perpetuated by the media including social media. Media should be at the forefront of driving gender equality not for demeaning girls and women. Patriarchal system driven by cultural norms of Rwandan society, women still have self-censorship in presence of men during public dialogues such National dialogues, men dominate women in low- and high-level public dialogues/ discussions. For example, in cell assemblies-there is dominance of men in taking decisions, in discussing issues, even at high level discussions like National leader’s retreat.


Youth participation in government programmes and government created spaces


Overall, it was perceived that youths participation in government programmes and plans is very low. For example, youth’s role in imihigo process is somehow played in the implementation with a score of 13.2% youth. Youth’s role in planning was rated 2.2% youth, in monitoring at 1.01% youth while this category of citizens participates at 16.3% youths said to have not played any role at all. (Figure 8). Regards to youth involvement in government programs and government-created spaces is noticeably low, all local leaders interviewed have campaigned for youths to have access to football pitches that are specifically tailored to their interests. AJPRODHO should endeavor to support this noble idea by providing some footballs to this local youth in order to be able to locate them, engage them, and enlighten them about government programs, and therefore solicit their active participation.


The above fact was backstopped by the FGD held with young people in Kazo Sector of Ngoma District which was compltemented by various opinions and suggestions from youth representatives at Sector levels who also underwent interviews whereby when asked about the reasoning behind the limited/ non youth participation and or involvement in the government programme and plans, members of the FGD said that in many cases, youths are unemployed and have to leave their parents’ homes even their community for search of employments or jobs, thus they do not get time to attend such programmes. On the other hand, some young people do not attend those gatherings since they do not find their peers there and feel less motivated, consequently, they view meetings or participation in government-created spaces such as cell assemblies, umuganda, and parents evening forums as places for adults, not for young people.


The bottom line is that local leaders and other development actors should establish programs that attract youths at the grassroot level, such as village and cell levels, with the goal of introducing them to various games and spots, and then use these platforms to introduce them to other programs such as teaching them about sexual reproductive health and rights, how to prevent early pregnancy, government programs and policies, the imihigo concept and their involvement and role, and gender-based violence, climate cgange mitigation and adaptation strategies, conflicst prevention and management among other government programs and strategies.


Access to justice


Findings indicate that respondents afford justice related services as shown by figure 21 whereby 31% conformed to have afforded the services (average service fee is 4,639 Frw, figure 17), citizens also get legal services and advocacy and in most cases for free/ probono legal services (See table 18), one of the main challenges is that it is very difficult to report a case of corruption. Indeed, several key informants revealed that they rarely receive corruption related cases even though some of the respondents acknowledge having ever encountered or heard about a case of injustice or corruption from a close family member or friend. On the basis of the findings of this baseline study, not reporting is attributed to factors; such as fear for retribution because the corrupt leaders are at the same time decision makers to whom citizens are meant to report to and cover up of corrupt practices though such cases are very few.





Environmental protection, climate crisis and citizens participation


It was found 74.7% of respondents in the baseline survey reported climate change effects (Precipitations, draught, etc), 41.6% indicated soil degradation and soil erosion, 4.4% indicated water pollution & access, 51.2% of respondents mentioned the issue of natural resources depletion, 44.2% evoked the issue of deforestation, 13.8% showcased the issue of loss of biodiversity, while 11.3% indicated urban pollution & natural resources pressures. Vis à vis these issues, recommendations were put forward to mention to mitigate the problem of deforestation, soil erosion, and landslides, it is recommended that efforts be made to stimulate tree planting and extend access to energy-saving improved stoves and use of gas and awareness raising on climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies among community members in Ngoma district should be reinforced in order for these community members to also mobilize others.


There is a great need to collect further evidence around gender, economic empowerment, and livelihoods with the Improved Cooking Stoves and fuel sectors.  Increasing women’s access and use of improved cooking stoves would result in more environmental and productivity gains and would create mutual benefits and greater returns across the SDGs, including SDG 5 and SDG 13. Advocates looking to drive uptake encourage greater involvement of women in improved cooking stoves’ enterprises that women who use them will enhance their financial self-reliance while giving a boost sales.


In a similar vein, researches have proven that adopting the improved cooking stoves have allowed more men to regard the cooking responsibilities with a new eye; the ICS are considered “more comfortable” for men to undertake or support the wives and adolescents cooking. Households using ICS, enable women to save time thus the saved time is used to perform other programs such as community meetings/ gatherings and other paid works.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This field is required.

You may use these <abbr title="HyperText Markup Language">html</abbr> tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*This field is required.