The two days capacity building training was held on 10th & 11th November, 2016 at the district head quarters in Kabarole District. The training was facilitated by Local Government Consulting Group (LGCG) based in Entebbe-Uganda and a member of Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA). Forty four (44) out of fifty two (52) district councilors from 30 sub counties of the district attended where 17 were female & 26 were males.
ToroDev team first held several engagements and consultative meetings with the District speakers, district chairpersons and clerks to council before the trainings were held to discuss issues/challenges that could be hindering councilors to articulate their roles very well, the core roles of representation in service delivery and legislation in the council, monitor government projects and programs, full participate in district budget processes, debating, male councilors dominating the floor during council sessions, lack of advocacy skills, etc.
|Facilitators sharing with participants during the training|
During the consultative meetings with the district team it was noted that new councilors are not well versed with local government systems and yet they are working with government technocrats who are more versed with the systems which if not taken into account may result into poor service delivery and poor working relations between the political leaders and technocrats, hence need for capacity building. A concern was raised by the district officials to equip district councilors with skills on representation in line with service delivery and legislation in the council since it is their core mandate.
“The main aim of this training is to strengthen the capacity of the district honorable councilors to effectively play their role of representation and legislation which is aimed at improving priority service delivery in the Rwenzori sub-region within the next 5 years. This induction was reached after ToroDev held several engagements & consultative meetings with the district speaker & clerks to council to ascertain the gaps faced by councilors while playing their legislative roles”. Said Johnstone Baguma, ED ToroDev while giving opening remarks during the training.
Johnstone added honorable councilors we are also here to share skills and knowledge specifically in social media use for advocacy and citizens engagement, blog usage & internet access/searching on relevant government websites like budget.go.ug, public policy and effective legislation materials, etc and to strengthen councillors’ ability to respond more efficiently and effectively to citizen demands, and to ultimately improve public service delivery.
‘’I thank ToroDev for supporting the government because the truth is that the government has limited resources and low budget allocations to execute all the activities like training the councilors, paying for the radio talkshows but we thank ToroDev for bridging this gap, as councilors let’s embrace the use of ICTs, like radio Talkshows, Phones, Facebook, Whatup, emails to disseminate information to the citizens and amongst ourselves to save transport cost”. Said Hon Richard Rwabuhinga the District chairperson Kabarole District during the training.
|A participant making his contribution during the training|
“From this training we shall get to learn issues concerning council legislation, planning & budgets interpretation, advocacy, monitoring and evaluation of government projects & programs, leadership code of conduct, accountability & transparency, communication skills, roles of specific committees of the council, laws in relation to local government and key local government Act”, etc said Norman Birungi, one of the facilitators of the training.
“This training has helped us to understand our roles and responsibilities since 80% of us are new in the council the induction will effectively help us to play our role of representation and legislation well which at the end of the day improve service delivery, so we really needed this training, thanks to ToroDev ”. Said Hon Kiiza Clovice, a district councilor representing Kisomoro Sub County in Kabarole District.
“We requested ToroDev to induct our newly elected councilors to empower female councilors to fully participate in raising motions and general council proceedings other than being dominated by their male counterparts, this training will awaken and strengthen the female councilors to actively debate during the council meetings and participate in radio discussions to air out their views”. Said Hon. Kyorampe Stella the Kabarole District speaker.
|The district speaker Hon. Kyorampe Stella making her contribution during the training|
“I have been provided with knowledge and skills on good working relations between government technocrats, fellow councilors, other political heads & electorates and to acquire knowledge in local government systems & their operations”. Said Rwakyaka Mary female councilor representing South Division in Kabarole district.
Action points were put in place which included; encouraging female councilors to fully participate in raising motions and general council proceedings other than being dominated by their male counterparts, to fully participate in planning and budgeting processes, to use ICT to lobby and advocate for better and improved services, to hold internal meetings and plan for their citizens, hold meetings on ground to share with their communities on how best they can fight poverty, attend Radio talkshows and plan with their citizens.
We are grateful to all our development partners SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA, and WOUGNET, Kabarole district local government for the financial and technical support.