Red Light Green Light -- Building Trust, Participation and Development through Ubudehe and Imihigo

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



President's Office



Publication Title

Confronting Genocide in Rwanda: Dehumanization, Denial, and Strategies for Prevention


Most analyses of democracy, accountability and participation in Rwanda since 1994 have focused at the national level, when in fact the most significant and innovative programs and policies have occurred at the local level. Beginning in 1999, Rwanda embarked on a widespread decentralization process that has included the poorest in needs assessment, planning, budgeting, performance evaluation, and accountability (such as Ubudehe and Imihigo). This chapter traces the history and functions of Imihigo or performance-based governance, citizen report cards, participatory planning and budgeting, social audits, and Umudugudu and Ubudehe, and evaluates the impact they have had in Rwanda on increasing participation and accountability and in improving human development.


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