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Fact Finding Missions - Rwanda

From June 21st to 25th 2004 and July 21st to 24th, 2004, Kituo cha Katiba (KcK) undertook a Fact-finding Mission and Follow-up Mission respectively, on the tripartite relationship between civil society, donors and the state in Rwanda.

The goal of Mission was to assess and review the tripartite relationship between the state, donors and civil society in re-building the nation, and as a basis for fostering peace, reconciliation and nurturing lasting development.  It was also hoped that the Mission would facilitate a process of dialogue in order to enhance a mutually beneficial relationship for all parties.

The objectives of the Fact-finding Mission were to: initiate dialogue with all stakeholders with varied interests and differing views in order to form a rational opinion over the tripartite relationship between the state, donors and civil society; document the progress, challenges and lessons learnt and their impact on the relationship between the State, donors and civil society; contribute to the building of a network of civil society by collectively identifying common issues and mutual areas of interest that shall form the basis of future collaborative work in Rwanda at the East African regional level; provide a regional dimension for civil society in Rwanda by enabling critical actors in the region to share experiences, and learn from each other’s mistakes and best practices; to provide a mechanism and neutral forum for civil society, activists, academics, government officials and the donor community to engage in dialogue, self reflection and critical debate over the development paradigm in Rwanda and to critique intra-civil society relationships specifically between network organisations, and their membership, international organisations and national organisations and community-based organisations (CBOs).

The draft Mission Report was disseminated at a workshop on October 29, 2004 at Hotel Inter-Continental Kigali. The objectives of the Dissemination Workshop were to: present the collective findings of the Mission for further deliberation and input by the people of Rwanda; and to provide a mechanism and neutral forum for activists, academicians and politicians to engage in dialogue, self-reflection and critical debate over the Mission Report.

The issues and comments raised during the Dissemination Workshop were duly incorporated in the Mission Report, which formed the basis of discussion at the Follow-up Experts' workshop held on February 23rd to 24th, 2006 at Hotel Gorillas, in Kigali Rwanda. Participants at the Follow up Experts’ Workshop comprised of eight (8)Rwandans and four (4) East Africans from Kenya, Tanzania mainland, Tanzania Zanzibar and Uganda. The main objectives of the Follow- up Experts’ workshop were to: thoroughly scrutinize the Draft Mission report by clarifying factual information on dates, actual events, and sequence of events; commenting on language of the report, its chapterisation in terms of content, general flow; providing a general update on key/new developments in terms of law and policy since the Mission took place; dialogue over possible strategies of addressing some of the challenges outlined in the Mission Report, pointing out specific actions to be undertaken by government, civil society, donors, etc, and to provide a forum for the East African Experts to share East African experiences, which would inform the process of forging the Way Forward. Thus the Follow-up Workshop was a consultative exercise not necessarily intended to collect new information but to clarify and build on the views collected during the Mission.

The comments of the Follow-up Experts' Workshop were incorporated in the Mission Report, which was translated into Kinyarwanda. The translation of the Report into Kinyarwanda is because it is the most widely spoken language in Rwanda, and would allow a wider readership as well as stimulate societal debate on it.  The published Report therefore has both an English and Kinyarwanda version in the same volume.