A critical evaluation of the Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP) impact on reducing educational poverty and aiding poor children’s equitable access to quality education in the Gasabo District of Kigali City, Rwanda
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This study assesses the Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP) impact in Rwanda to ensure equitable, inclusive access to quality education on poverty eradication, using the Gasabo District of Kigali City case study. The VUP intervention is an integrated local development program primarily implemented by the Rwandan Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC) through the Local Administrative Entities Development Agency (LODA), using the Ubudehe as a strategic tool to accelerate poverty eradication, rural growth, and social protection, targeting poorest households with limited access to assets and income generation. Ubudehe is a culturally instituted practice to mutually assist people living together in a community to overcome socio-economic challenges encountered. The paper aims to critically evaluate the VUP contribution through Fraser's participatory parity and Sen's human rights development principles as a critical social welfare protection strategy to improve poor children's educational access and advance their participatory equity in public life. The study adopted the mixed research design, which draws upon the potentials of both qualitative and quantitative methods, thereby allowing researchers to examine diverse perspectives and uncover relationships between the intricate layers of our multifaceted research questions. Generally, the study found from respondents that the VUP intervention did reduce the poverty level in households and reduced the level of dropouts, and the Ubudehe ensured participatory representation and inclusiveness in the decision-making process. The project offered some measure of relief to enable access, including free schooling, meals, community participation and free health-care community programmes to the target groups. However, looking at the grassroots implementation impact, the VUP has not provided an equal participatory development outcome for the children in the most marginalized categories.