Aligning Policies to New Opportunities and Needs in Rwanda
Policy Reviews: Analysis of Rwanda’s National Innovation Policy
How might we assess whether Rwanda’s 2005 Innovation Policy propelled the country toward middle-income status?
The Ministry of Education, with support of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), enlisted GKI as a strategic partner in its review of the 2005 STI Policy. GKI designed a participatory approach for the review, relying heavily on the input of key stakeholders in Rwanda’s innovation system. Beyond engaging key Rwandan researchers, businesspeople, and policymakers, GKI included the voices of those rarely consulted in STI-based decision-making—construction workers, cooks, small business owners—to ensure the review reflected ground-level perspectives that such processes often miss.
Combining traditional policy review practices (e.g., literature reviews, expert interviews, Foresight techniques) with more public-facing approaches (e.g., facilitated meetings, collaborative design sessions, surveys), GKI sourced thousands of insights from 300 stakeholders throughout its 5-month review process. The result: a comprehensive policy review that reflects the full scope of STI achievements, needs, and future opportunities in Rwanda. Recognizing the strength of both the process and product, the Government and UNECA invited GKI to lead a parallel process of strategy articulation aimed at building the country’s first ever Strategy Implementation Plan for the National Commission of Science and Technology, led by Rwanda’s Prime Minister.
Results / Outcomes
- Engaged over 300 stakeholders in the policy review process
- Identified 11 drivers of change within the Rwandan innovation system
- Presented 9 recommendations, including the call for an updated STI Policy and the creation of an actionable Implementation Strategy
- Held 2 facilitated workshops to elicit input
- Constructed an STI Indicator Dashboard that offers 12 indicators for benchmarking progress