Since March 2014, CEDO has been implementing a USAID /DFID GAPP Project, “Strengthening Civic Competence for Enhanced Democratic Governance in Bunyoro” in three districts Namely; Masindi, Kiryandongo and Buliisa districts in the mid-western region of Uganda. This project is implemented in accordance with the provisions of the grant agreement between RTI International and CEDO Uganda grant agreement No. 0213615-G-2013-012. The overall goal of the project was enhanced private sector capacity to engage respective local governments at Sub County, municipal, and district level in the three districts of Masindi, Buliisa, and Kiryandongo to engage in local governance processes for effective public service delivery.
This project is aimed at empowering citizens to monitor service delivery and focuses on evidence driven advocacy that emphasizes private sector common issues of interest in public service delivery- specifically revolving around local revenue generation and allocation. By June 2018, the project is planned to reach a total of 22,311direct beneficiaries, 45% of them being youth. This target comprises of 12,161Members of Private Sector Associations (PSAs), 9,098 community members and, 872 District and sub county technical staff, councilors as well as Members of Parliament from the 03 districts of Masindi, Buliisa and Kiryandongo.
Over the last four years, activities implemented included: mapping of the different Business Associations in Kiryandongo district, organizational capacity assessment for 7 private sector associations, training of seven private sector accountability Teams, production and dissemination IEC materials, media Campaigns, facilitating business community dialogues with grass root local governments, facilitating PSA and public engagement with district local Government on performance issues, preparation of issue Papers and facilitating national annual accountability dialogue. Other activities included monitoring and regular support to PSAs, Capacity building of Private Sector Association, lobbying and Networking with other National level actors.
By June 2018, a total of 19683 individuals (46% Females and, 73% young people <34 years) had participated directly in the project. Of this number, 11,987 (61% of total) were in Masindi while 7696 (39% of total) were in Buliisa and 19 % were reached in Kiryandongo. Over 90% (17,954 individuals, 47% female) participants were reached with Civic education messages, while only 8.1% (1586 individuals) participated in other engagements such as public debates and fairs. Mostly, DLG and S/County technical staffs (143 individuals) directly participated in dissemination of clients’ charters.
The project is estimated to cost a total of UGX 427,461,100 from USAID/DFID GAPP Program. CEDO is collaborating with local governments and Private Sector Association (PSAs) to mobilize local communities to actively participate in project activities in the three project districts.
As a result of the intervention, the project realized a positive trajectory in terms of citizen participation in local governance. Participating women and youths were skilled in identification of citizen priorities and advocacy strategies, thus increasing their participation in governance at the local level. This further strengthened their ability to demand for gender-sensitive and inclusive governance practices in public services, with youth demanding employment and security as well as fair trade and taxation in constructive manner. In addition, the scaled up civic education contributed to wider accountability and performance demands especially to Office bearers. By June 2018, there was evidently an increase in motivation and ability among the citizenry to demand quality services and, monitor performance of public officials in their respective private sector associations.
The project has been addressing three strategic objectives that included the following:
1. To mobilize and strengthen the capacity of 07 Private Sector associations in Kiryandongo, Buliisa and Masindi districts to participate in local governance processes by June, 2018
2. To promote interface between 07 private sector association and respective local governments in the district of Buliisa, Masindi and Kiryandongo to dialogue on governance issues by June 2018
3. To promote national platforms to influence necessary legal, policy and regulatory reforms in service delivery