Rwanda Green Fund and UNDP host Communities of Practice Validation Workshop

The Rwanda Green Fund (FONERWA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have hosted a two day workshop to validate the domains for the communities of practice for a groundbreaking new online Centre of Excellence. The platform will be used as a knowledge sharing portal and make available information on technologies, lesson learnt, success stories and best practices of the Korean Saemaul model and Rwandan homegrown solutions to local development challenges that proved successful in local communities.

The global programme -- Saemaul Initiative towards Inclusive and Sustainable New Communities (ISNC) -- was launched jointly by UNDP and the Republic of Korea in 2014. It aims to update and scale up elements of the Republic of Korea's rural development experiences from Saemaul Undong to create a model for localizing the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. It is intended to:

1. Advance development thought leadership that provides policy options for integrated local development, drawing on the expertise of relevant development partners and their solutions, including those from the South

2. Achieve impact of the adapted approach at both local and national policy levels through its application to an initial set of countries, rigorous monitoring and evaluation, and systematic documentation of lessons learned for synthesis and dissemination

3. Support South-South knowledge exchange and triangular cooperation through the sharing of evidence-based results and experiences from the initiative, with the aim of achieving impact at the regional and global levels.

Overall, global ISNC programme aims to demonstrate how various development cooperation modalities, domestic resource mobilisation, South-South and triangular cooperation can complement effectively within one development initiative and will provide substantive evidence to inform the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The initiative focuses on scaling up local development solutions for sustainable livelihoods, drawing on the experiences of Korea's Saemaul Undong – New Village Movement. The Saemaul model significantly reduced rural poverty by increasing household incomes, improving basic infrastructure and services, revitalizing local communities and empowering women. Today, the model is being shared with a number of countries through the Saemaul Initiative. As of 2015, the project is being implemented in Bolivia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Rwanda, Uganda and Viet Nam.

Rwanda was selected along with these other five countries to roll-out the initiative. The project has been developed by UNDP and the Rwanda Green Fund (FONERWA) is the national implementing partner.

The overall objective of the project in Rwanda is to establish an online Centre of Excellence to collect and share the technologies, lesson learnt, success stories and best practices of the Korean Saemaul model and Rwandan homegrown solutions that proved successful in local communities as well as regionally and globally – through South-South Cooperation.

The workshop was held in Musanze District and brought together a range of policy makers and practitioners from various government institutions, development partners and civil society, including the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Local Government, the Rwanda Environment Management Authority, the Local Administrative Entities Development Agency (LODA), the Rwanda Agriculture Board, the World Food Programme, World Vision, ARCOS Rwanda, ADRA, Send a Cow, KOICA, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Development Organisation and SGF.

The workshop validated and finalised the proposed domains for the Communities of Practice, which include 1) rural community development through mindset transformation, 2) food security, 3) access to critical resources (water and renewable energy) and 4) settlement and resettlement.

The offline dialogue on rural community development through mindset transformation also commenced in a two day workshop. It was an opportunity for the participants to exchange knowledge and experience, gather knowledge products such as techniques, tools, guidelines, studies, manuals and training materials that will be accessible through the online Centre of Excellence. Attendees also shared best practices, success stories and lessons learnt that will eventually be shared on the platform.

The work of the project continues later this month with a number of offline dialogues on food security, access to critical resources (water and renewable energy) and settlement and resettlement.

Workshop Photos

Validation Workshop - Rwanda Green Fund & UNDP - Saemaul Online Centre of Excellence Domains