Ubudehe: The Community plays an active role in solving problems at Cell level

The Ubudehe Program was launched in 2001 as part of partnership between the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and the Ministry of Local Government in a bid to draft the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, PRSP. During field visits of Ubudehe facilitators to people in their cells, they are empowered to discuss the characteristics of poverty and their role in poverty reduction.

This process was named UBUDEHE with reference to the Rwandan culture of mutual

assistance and conviviality whereby people would come together to address problems facing

them so as to work for their development. In a remote past, Rwandan people resorted to

UBUDEHE mainly in agricultural and house building activities as the latter were the main

activities of the time. Nowadays, Rwandans are faced with various problems (construction of

roads, ensuring child education, health facilities, security…) which require combined efforts

to address them as was the case in the past when people resorted to UBUDEHE.

Community Managed Credits through Ubudehe Approach.

Ubudehe Process can serve as a pro poor credit channel basing on the prior successes of Ubudehe approach in participatory planning and management, as well as on success stories at individual and community levels in the area of poverty reduction and community ownership. Since Financial Institutions find it risky and costly to transact with the poor, Ubudehe

Process offers an opportunity to mitigate the risk and lower costs by involving the

communities on board. Through community collective action, the risks and costs are

minimized  by people owning their local problem and consequently the benefits.

In the Ubudehe  Credit Scheme, each  beneficiary/client will sign a contract with the community and will be informed of his obligation and commitment to pay back so that the next person/group of persons/candidate designated for credit can be able to get it from cumulative reimbursed amounts. The community members in general as well as the designated clients for next rounds of credit will play a major role in monitoring the advanced loans and in recovering the loans since the Ubudehe Credit Fund is a community Fund.