In October, the Rwanda team launched its core operations project entitled “Kungahara” (which translates to “Prosper”) with the aim of enrolling 3,600 households by the end of February 2017. Kungahara operates in two sectors in Gicumbi, which is the second poorest district in Rwanda.

The model

GiveDirectly Rwanda is utilizing a new model, also being tested in Kenya, which allows for quicker distribution of household grants by streamlining some of the steps in our traditional model; shortening the turnaround period between GiveDirectly’s first interaction with recipient families and the first payments; and minimizing the operational costs of the enrollment process. This model gives us leverage to scale up our operations in the future and potentially distribute the financial savings to future recipients.

Reception of Kungahara in Gicumbi

The launch of Kungahara was received with much excitement and anticipation from the local government. The GiveDirectly Engagement Manager, Claude Muhire, led meetings with various district leaders who expressed their welcome for Kungahara. The District Advisor spoke at the meeting to GiveDirectly’s representatives: “we are thankful that GiveDirectly is coming to help our people to lift themselves out of poverty, we ensure you good collaboration and we are here for you.” The Vice Mayor of Social Affairs told us: “We are promoting self-reliance and GiveDirectly is in line with this belief.”

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Gicumbi district leaders at a meeting with GiveDirectly staff at the launch of Kungahara. October 2016.

After securing appropriate local government approvals, a team of 19 GiveDirectly Field Officers, led by three Associate Field Managers, moved into the selected villages and began introducing the communities to GiveDirectly and its operational model.

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Moses Rwaka, the Ihuriro Field Officer, addressing community members from an intervention village. October 2016.

The next step in the enrollment process is to census all households in the selected village. Field Officers conduct a brief survey with all households in the village. Data collected at this stage is used to identify eligible households based on a set of objective context-sensitive criteria.

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GiveDirectly Field Officer, Zephyrin Baziruwiha, administering the census survey. October 2016.

GiveDirectly Rwanda continues to work to improve our operations and will double in scale by next year. In total, the Rwanda team plans to enroll about 6,600 households by end of February 2017, 3,600 as part of core operations and another 3000 as part of an ongoing research project.


Oda Dushime is GiveDirectly’s Rwanda Program Manager. She brings her most recent experience managing multiple large scale research projects with Laterite and was previously a Global Health Corps Fellow. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the American University.

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