As a way of strengthening the institutional capacity of advocacy forums and rural monitors in demanding & advocating for improved service delivery using different platforms, ToroDev organized a one day meeting on 31st / 3/2016 at ToroDev resource centre that brought all the leaders of the forums from Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Kasese, Kyegegwa, Ntoroko and Kamwenge districts for further planning for 2016.
Having realized the positive outcomes from the interventions of advocacy forums, ToroDev initiated 8 new advocacy forums in sub-counties with no forums. The sub-counties include, Harugongo, Bukuku, Karago, Karambi, Kakabara, Kyegegwa, Kyarusozi and one Media forum in Fort Portal Municipality. During this meeting the new advocacy forums leaders were introduced to the old ones. The new ones were inducted on advocacy skills, minimum standards of service delivery, and issues of public policy, sustainability of the forums, how to use ICT tools like phones, online platforms, and radios to advocate for improved service delivery and how to demand accountability without having fights with the duty bearers To enable rural advocacy forum leaders share their experiences, progress, challenges, way forward and the future plans with others.
|Some of the new and old members of the advocacy forums attending capacity building training at ToroDev|
The meeting was organized with objectives that included;
To empower new members/leaders of the new initiated rural advocacy forums with skills and knowledge in policy advocacy, service delivery monitoring and broadcasting for accountability, to train forum members on the minimum standards of service delivery in health and education, to network members of the rural advocacy forums from different areas for improved so coordination on issues of policy advocacy since some of the governance issues are cross cutting and therefore need concerted efforts and to share information and ideas on breaking the period of shame and to share the reporting tool with the leaders of advocacy forums.
“Today we are joined with new leaders of 8 advocacy forums we are looking forward to partner within future, in the last 2 years we have been working with 15 advocacy forums and one journalist forum, out of 15 advocacy forums 3 were suspended after failing to perform according to the MOUs signed between them and ToroDev. So today we have 12 old advocacy forums and 8 new ones making a total of 20 forums, we do appreciate the good work done by the advocacy forums in advocating for improved service delivery in the Rwenzori Region”. Said Amanya Sheila M&E officer ToroDev.
Presentations were made by M&E consultant ToroDev on “How to Break the Period of Shame”. This seeks to improve the water and sanitation infrastructure within schools. As advocacy forums you will further advocate through the schools for changing rooms and emergency changing uniforms incase a girl got an ‘accident’. Further advocacy is in girls having separate latrines that are lockable”. Said Florence Githinji M&E consultant ToroDev during her presentation in the meeting
She further emphasized on “How is your forum going to ensure girls remain in school?” , there is a big need to train girls on the use of reusable sanitary towels; girls will be given a hands on training on how to make the reusable sanitary towels, how to maintain hygiene, how to store them and managing pain while menstruating.
|Florence during her presentation at ToroDev resource center|
Florence in her other presentation explained the strategic positioning for ToroDev programing for the next five years. ToroDev will be specializing in three sectors, mainly promoting education using ICT in primary schools, promoting health using ICTs and promoting agriculture using ICTS other sectors of Roads, energy etc will be cross cutting, from 2016 ToroDev will narrow down to three sectors.
“We need to address challenges of poor service delivery together as leaders of the advocacy forums, we need to see how we can engage our leaders in asking them for better services, we can share petitions with the concerned leaders, we can engage them on radio talkshows, we can organize meetings and call them to share with us and we advocate for improved services in all sectors. So as forums we have to speak on behalf of others and advocate for better services, this can happen if we are organized and have a heart to volunteer because no one pays us, let’s wake up and advocate for better services”. Said Jane Ahaisibwe the leader of Butiti Better Youth Forum.
From this meeting as a new advocacy forum leader, I have gained experience from the old advocacy forums leaders on how they have been able to do their activities of monitoring, lobbying and advocacy, I have also known the roles of advocacy forums, criteria for partnering with ToroDev, thanks to the opportunity given to us to work with ToroDev.” Said Rugomoka Pascal the leader of Kihamba advocacy forum Kyegegwa district.
|Mr. Rugomoka Pascal a new leader of Kihamba advocacy forum sharing what he has learnt from the training|
We are grateful to our sponsors SIDA, NED, SPIDER & ICT4DEM for the financial and technical support.