This is an evaluation of the Released Prisoners' Project (RPP) in Rwanda, a project that was financed and facilitated by the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA).

The project aimed to help persons who were imprisoned after the 1994 genocide in Rwanda to reintegrate into society after being released. It also aimed to foster dialogue between Rwandans of different faiths and church communities, and to help Rwandans reconcile with their troubled past and with each other. The project was fairly unique in the country, given its micro-level approach to reconciliation, its collaboration with faith groups and its focus on reintegration of released prisoners and inter-faith dialogue.

Important findings from the report include:

  • The agencies involved in the RPP only incidentally and to a limited extent contributed to reach the overall aims of the project.
  • As the project expanded quite different partners were taken on board, each of which conducted very different projects.
  • The main aim of the project, reconciliation, came to mean different things to different persons and groups involved.
  • The two other aims, inter-faith dialogue and reintegration of released prisoners, did not apply to several of the new projects within the RPP.

Lessons learned from this project include:

  • Projects similar to this initiative should be rooted in and guided by a strategy which specifies the ends.
  • The activities and partners that are most likely to help realise those aims should be selected.
  • Appropriate indicators and benchmarks, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms should be implemented and mainstreamed.

Recent CMI publications: