1.0 Back ground / Introduction
Kyenjojo District is an umbrella organization found in the mid-western Uganda, Rwenzori region. The organization has the mandate of coordination for NGOs / CBOs in the District, advocacy, information sharing, networking and capacity building of community based NGOs & CBOs in Kyenjojo District with focus on her member organization enriching good governance, transparency & accountability, ensuring improved service delivery and advocating for the rights of all citizens.
This report is comprised of the activities carried out from January to June 2011, achievements, challenges and lessons leant through out the project period of five years October 2006 to June 2011.
In October 2006, Kyenjojo District NGOs / CBOs forum developed a proposal on enhancing the capacity of the network to be able fully serve her member organizations through coordination, trainings, mentoring, monitoring community resources for better service Delivery to accelerate Development. The proposal was submitted to DANIDA-HUGGO under the Nation District Network Support Program which has been the main Funder from January 2007 ton June 2011.
As the organization’s core mandate of supporting member organizations in different aspects of advocacy and development, under this project the NGO Forum supports members through building their capacity to be in position to facilitate communities so that citizens can access fundamental rights through improved service delivery as a key crosscutting issue in all development spheres.
The Forum has implemented the project titled “Capacity Enhancement” undertaking the initiatives stated above that led to the results as outlined here below.
These strategies and interventions were aimed at realizing the following goal and purpose including specific objectives.
A vibrant and functional Forum that is fully engaged with other stake holders at all levels for effective service delivery.
Strengthen the capacity of MOs, equip the District Forum and build close collaboration with other fora and institutions in Uganda and the world over.
2.0 Activities carried out over the period.
The following activities were undertaken by Kyenjojo NGO Forum through an integrated approach during the period January June 2011 and are stated as below.
X Continuous Coordination, networking of and information sharing with MOs and other development partners. This improved the spirit of cooperation and working together among all development partners in the District.
X Conducted four (4) women and child rights Advocacy & sensitization engagements through radio programs at Kyenjojo FM radio. During these talk shows, community’s views on the performance and relevance, impact made, existing constraints resulting from the presence of Kyenjojo NGO Forum in the community were aired out.
X Conducted five (5) Project Impact Assessment Meetings 4 at Sub-County level and 1 at District level. These helped in enriching the documented successes and contributions of the Forum in the community which was identified as a basis for improved services in the District and better understanding of the community members on issues concerning governance.
X Executive Board Induction / mentoring was carried out introducing Board members to the general understanding of the Forum, roles and responsibilities with a higher level of commitment and ownership.
X Conducting technical back up support to member organizations through visits to the MOs. 60% of the MOs was visited during the six months.
X The issues affecting CSOs in Kyenjojo District were discussed during presentation of the Women & Child Rights Promotion project final report by the stakeholders with in the District. This was paramount as it brought about harmonization of results and findings reported on throughout the project period.
X Participated in the Partners’ conference in Kampala on 19th may organized by Independent Development Fund (IDF), Pre-Audit Preparation Workshop on 2nd June organized by Uganda National NGO Forum For all Partners under National District Network Support Program (NDNSP), National Civil Society fair on 6th & 7th June at Hotel Africana Kampala and a Supplementary District Budget Meeting on 21st June 2011 at the Kyenjojo District Council Chambers.
¨ The advocacy issues in the health department raised in the 2009 CSOs day were followed up by the Forum at the District level and the Health services have been improved with upgrading of the former District Health centre IV to a referral Hospital and increasing access to health services by organizing outreaches and Village Health Teams (VHTs).
¨ Scaling up Advocacy at the District and sub-county levels contributed to the respect the District Officials give to the community in terms of responding to community issues through feed back and service delivery.
¨ The member organizations convene annually for the general assembly in which resolutions of the AGM are implemented, elections held, information shared, and the organization’s strength reviewed during the AGMs in the last four years.
¨ Civil Society Organizations have become more active in the past four years compared to previous past and have created a plat form for advocacy and improving people’s standards of living.
¨ Mobilization of community members to engage in various development initiatives. This has witnessed the coming up of various self help projects among the so called marginalized members in the district and this contributes much like in farmers’ involvement in NAADS program among others.
¨ Building the capacities of the community members in various development related disciplines. The CSOs in the District have various resources ranging from personnel to financial and these have assisted in improving the knowledge base and skills of community members which increased their participation in the ongoing District programs.
¨ Conducting research on various District pertinent issues. The CSOs have engaged in this action like in Education and Health sector in the District and this has caused the community and leaders understanding of key sectoral issues and in the long run has assisted the sub counties and District as well as the institutions shared with, to make effective planning and implementation of developed shared action plans hence better service delivery.
¨ Information sourcing, documentation and sharing. Among the CSOs in the District, some CSOs are key in undertaking information sourcing and documentation of best practices as well as sharing such information as core business to transforming our communities through the appreciation of the centrality of information in the development process. This has provided an avenue for some service providers to increase their understanding of what works well and what does not work and this had greatly contributed to people’s access to improved services.
¨ Creation of massive awareness and sensitization of various development challenges. These included issues of HIV/AIDS, Environment, poverty, school drop outs, water hygiene and sanitation, child rights issues among others. As a result, the organization attracted funding amounting to eighty four million two hundred thousand shillings (84,200,000) to finance activities aimed at promoting the rights of Women and Children in four Sub-counties in Kyenjojo and Kyegegwa Districts for two yeas (June 2009 – May 2011) from Independent Development Fund (IDF).
¨ Resource mobilization. The CSOs in the District have also engaged in serious resource mobilization struggle and this has contribution to improved service delivery like in health, education among others as NGOs and FBOs founded kindergartens and health centres have been established which all contribute towards better service delivery as initiatives by CSOs.
¨ Employment creation, the private sector and CSOs in the District have in this recent period turned to becoming another key employing sector besides local government and this is key to the District’s development and service delivery as much taxation is being generated and the consumption capacity has been increasing which provides the District with adequate revenues to inject in service provision sectors for better quality of peoples lives.
¨ Follow up, monitoring and evaluation of government and other development programs through follow ups and monitoring. A number of CSOs have engaged in various exercises of monitoring on going community projects like school construction, road repair or construction, farm inputs, procurement and distribution among others and this has ensured quality and ownership in service provision at different levels of governance and management.
¨ The project has provided the ability to raise Advocacy and lobbying. A number of CSOs have been able to assist communities in doing self advocacy and lobbying on their community concerns under the guidance of Kyenjojo NGO Forum and this has enabled to bring about efficiency and effectiveness in planning and responding to community needs in time thus better service delivery as per community needs among others.
¨ Provision of social protection services, whereby issues of human rights have been promoted and this has increased on peaceful co-existence of different sections of people in our community and families among others.
¨ Visibility of the Forum and her member organizations has been extremely enhanced and this has resulted to meaningful engagements with the local leaders at both sub- County and District levels, increased ability to better deliver, empowering and providing support to her members’ hence eliminating inferiority complex among community members and CSOs as far as engagement and advocacy are concerned.
¨ Capacity of the Kyenjojo NGOs / CBOs Forum in terms of membership had grown from forty eight (48) in 2006 to one hundred (100) in 2011.
¨ Strengthened working relationship with the local government. In 2006 back wards, the District Officials could not fully recognize the work and contribution of NGOs. Since more efforts on advocacy and coordination were introduced under capacity enhancement project, the image has greatly improved. This was a result of The CSOs Events platforms advocacy engagements via radio & Meetings and other avenues. Hence CSOs are in good terms with local Government and.
¨ Some member organizations have been able to access funding due to the enhanced capacity in resource mobilization which the Forum provided.
¨ Networking and information sharing has been realized among member organizations, some members are hosting projects like Kihuura orphanage, NOSHP, VOKYA which are hosting the rural information centres, DEFORA hosting UWESO in their respective areas of operation.
¨ The Forum has been able to link some member organizations like Rural welfare Improvement for Development (RWIDE), Toil and Promote Agriculture (TAPA), KYEFA and Bringing Hope to the Family.
¨ Sensitization of the CSOs and community on Promotion of Women & Child Rights, environment and Natural resources management, Good governance, Quality Assurance Mechanism (QUAM) HIV/AIDS, women and Child Rights promotion through the radio shows have improved on the knowledge and attitude of the MOs and the general community as regards improving livelihoods and realizing the organization’s intended objectives and goals.
¨ The Governance refresher training has enabled the Forum to make adequate preparations for the 2010 election AGM and also enhanced understanding of Board and staff on setting committees
¨ There is increased capacity in the secretariat, Executive board and Mos in financial management, project monitoring and management.
¨ A number of NGOs and CBOs have received funding to address the challenges in our community.
¨ Have facilitated good leadership and governance with in the community through the CBOs at the community and the network itself as an example by regularly holding free and fair elections allowing peaceful change the governance of the Forum.
¨ Promoted active participation of the local communities in development programs.
¨ Have lobbed the local government for improved service delivery
¨ Have worked towards strengthening the collaboration and cooperation between the CSOs and the local government from District level to local council levels and increased awareness of the community in development concerns.
¨ Kyenjojo NGO Forum has encouraged cross-learning with in CSOs and Local Government by hosting learning visit teams of Bushenyi District CSOs Forum Kalangala NGO Forum Kabarole NGOs / CBOs Association, Kibaale NGO Network, KALI in Bwera, Mbarara and many others as a way of promoting learning for improved and increased action as Civil Society Organizations to be able to influence policies and decision making in governance and service provision as they affect the citizens.
¨ Generating information on advocacy issues is still inadequate; it involves long process of creating trust with in the public with the higher degree of creativity and harmonizing politics.
¨ Commitment of MOs is still inadequate due to high expectations that are not yet met
¨ Poverty is still ranking high even among the groups which tend to reduce on membership commitment and ability to deliver better services to their constituencies.
¨ There is a still gap in information sharing between CSOs and local government which is as a result of reluctance in fulfilling responsibilities on both sides. This yields inadequate information flow especially from the local government and hence less control stunted development.
¨ High expectations from members
¨ Civil society has overwhelming demand in most organizations but is limited by funds which at times hinder continuity.
¨ Limited levels of information sharing and acknowledgment between the CSOs and the local government
¨ There are cases of raising expectations for civil society organizations which are not met (empty promises) these are uncontrollable on the side of implementer especially Politicians and un committed service providers in the community.
¨ Inadequate technical capacity due to lack of enough trained personnel to handle the organizations mandate.
¨ Inadequate facilitation to staff members. The staff get low par without additional benefits. This may lead to reluctance and carelessness of secretariat in future.
¨ Community perception of CSOs as they are only known to be support providers than service providers
¨ Lack of means of transport especially an off road vehicle with poor roads.
¨ Limited funding to the running of the forum’s activities and outreach to members.
¨ Limited number of staff members
¨ Limited levels of information sharing and acknowledgment between the CSOs and the Local Government
¨ Inadequate democratic practices in the community which has led to weak governance organs in most organizations.
5.0 LESIONS LEARNT
· Intensifying networking and advocacy practices through trainings and back up support improves working relationships among different actors in Development.
· Working together for a common cause as different stakeholders, improves service delivery.
· Although the forum has continuously given back up support to the MOs in different arrears, it is still important to keep close to these organizations, bringing them tog tether, airing out their concerns as a consortium so as to make them able to air out the voices of the community.
· The community members, leaders and Authorities are eager to promote and protect the rights of all citizens though their commitments /efforts are being undermined by the state of poverty in which people live. This has undermined a lot of advances towards enhancing justice since the poor community / people whose rights are being violated / denied can not afford to meet the costs attached with getting justice. These costs are in terms of transport, communication and fees related to pushing the case to the police, courts of law and administrators such as probation and charity organizations.
· Ignorance of the community on issues relating to Women and Children, poor family planning, careless and irresponsible leadership at lower levels such as LCIs where approximately 70% of the LCI chairpersons are drunkards, poor and can not articulate issues, have accelerated the violation and abuse of human rights more especially in the rural setups and to the marginalized groups such as Women and Children.
The community lacked knowledge on the laws addressing their Rights which has been one of the major causes of Rights abuse, domestic violence and acts of irresponsibility in the community.
· Continuous trainings are key in building capacity of CSOs and to pay a vital role in the Development Process with focus on different thematic areas.
· Good leaders are made not born, if one has the desire and will power she/ he can become an effective leader and it was observed that one can only be a good leader if he/she is able to communicate and be part of the led.
· Implementing without giving feed back is an act of non accounting
· One characteristic of an efficient leadership is sufficiently recognizing individual and group contributions e.g. by providing certificate of appreciation.
· Developing the capacity of the staff and Board is a continuous process since these keep changing as new members are introduced time and again through good governance and management practices.
· There is willingness in the community to develop themselves though in most cases they are limited by technical capacity to carry out their work effectively;
· Development in the community is only possible with the active involvement of the community members in the development programs.
Development is so complex and contextual in nature that it comprises various players and improving service delivery is among the key steps that gears up development. Its therefore paramount to centralize all parties in the process and therefore civil society organizations and private sector being part should be involved all the time.
With the support for institutional development and increased ownership of the forum by the members, and financial support from DANIDA-HUGGO under the National District Network Support Program (NDNSP), Independent Development Fund (IDF), Kyenjojo has been able to have a vibrant civil society sector which can contribute fully to the development of the District and Country at large.
In yet another special way Kyenjojo District NGOs / CBOs Forum would like to extend appreciation to our members, development partners; KRC, Uganda National NGO Forum, SNV, SATNET, CARE, Kyenjojo District Local Government among others for their continued support towards the Forum and creating a foundation for the growth Civil Society Organizations in Kyenjojo District.
AG HEAD OF PROGRAMS
KYENJOJO DISTRICT NGOs / CBOs FORUM
Tel: +256 483 427773, +256 782 921893