ToroDev with support from National Endowment for Democracy & the Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER) supported the initiation of the Rwenzori Journalists’ Forum in 2012. This broadcast and print media forum has been, since two years, re-organizing itself to become a viable, relevant and independent institution to champion the voices of local citizens in the Rwenzori region. Also to note is that, ToroDev, in partnership with Rwenzori Journalist Forum (RJF) ToroDev has also been training radio journalists selected from the 13 FM radio stations based and broadcasting in seven districts of the region on promoting public accountability for improved service delivery broadcasting.
Moreover, with support from SIDA and the ICT4Democracy Network in East Africa, ToroDev visited Northern Uganda Media Club (NUMEC) and were able to learn some of the initiatives NUMEC uses to improve knowledge and information sharing for development. NUMEC conducts regular press conferences at regular intervals attended mostly by local leaders to give accountability and this has proved successful in ensuring good governance through proper accountability at regular intervals. ToroDev has also decided to borrow a leaf and initiate a monthly press conference for this region. It will be attended by local and central government leaders (Ministers, MPs, LCV’s Councilors, LCIII’s, Technocrats, etc) and local citizens for giving updates and receiving accountability for improved service delivery, respectively.
ToroDev, in partnership with Rwenzori Journalist Forum (RJF), have the pleasure to launch this Regional Monthly Press Conference Initiative now, June 26th 2014, to improve service delivery through advocacy and promoting timely accountability in the seven (7) districts of the Rwenzori Region. This press conference will be held on a monthly basis. Leaders at all levels and leaders are all invited to attend every month on a specific date that we shall be announcing. Today, we have held this maiden event here at ToroDev Offices at Plot 46 Mugurusi Road. In future as demand may arise, we might change the venue of this monthly event and communications on radio and other channels would be made in due course.
Today also, we have a great opportunity to launch the Tracfm Polling Initiative in partnership with Tracfm, a non-profit ICT for Development Organisation based in Kampala and The Netherlands. This initiative will allow local citizens to interact with their leaders on issues that really matter to then as far as service delivery is concerned. It is totally a cost-free Citizen-leader interaction on the side of the local population. ToroDev and Tracfm are responsible to meeting the cost of this interaction. What the local person needs to do is to listen to a local FM radio station every day and get the issue/topic/question being discussed, and then send his opinion/comment to ToroDev and partners. They will collect this data together; publish this information and what the majority people in a community/district/sub-county will be saying will be forwarded to the specific leaders for attention.
Thank you all for coming. We hope to meet you again in July 2014.