Wednesday, 26 April 2017

ToroDev held a Baseline & Needs Assessment Report Validation Workshop in Northern Uganda

For the last six months ToroDev’s consultant, Dr. Elly Gamukama, conducted research, designed and is in the process of developing an application named ”Me and My Leader’ (MML) e-Participation system. This is aimed at generating appropriate data that gives a well-informed direction to promote citizens’-duty bearer’s engagement. MML is envisaged to be a citizen’s platform to air out their concerns on the status of service delivery and to provide duty bearers access to direct views & needs of citizens for better planning and budgeting processes at district level.

On Wednesday 19th  & Thursday 20th  April, 2017 ToroDev held validation workshops at Gracious palace hotel in Lira & Free Zone hotel in Gulu respectively with an aim of assessing the validity of the baseline survey carried out in the region and also promote  MML e-participation system features before the participants. Participants in these workshops included district local government officials both political & technical, members of CSO’s, media & respondents from Apac, Lira, Gulu & Kitgum which districts were sampled to implement the project in Northern Uganda.

ED ToroDev Johnstone Baguma presenting the Baseline & Needs Assessment Report

The baseline survey findings were presented by ToroDev executive director Johnstone Baguma while the MML e-participation system features & promotion was done by Stephen Mugabe of AfriTech, a company contracted to design, implement & promote MML system. The presentations were basically on the status quo of ICT use in the areas where baseline survey was done and also a demonstration of what the system will do in line with improving service delivery. The MML e-participation system will be implemented in Rwenzori region, Northern Uganda and Nakuru County in Kenya.
Mr. Mugabe Stephen of AFRITECH presenting the MML e-participation System features
 Out of the 57 targeted participants, 52 attended the 2 workshops where 20 were females and the rest were males.
Some of the issues suggested by participants includes:-
We expect the system to keep the identity of the person who sends the message and validity of the information sent is really important before the information is published online”.
 “There is need to advertise the system, let everyone understand how it will work and also involve duty bearers for they are key in decision making’’. Said Sam Jamara the coordinator Apac NGO forum.
Suggestion boxes should be encouraged at all service delivery points for the users that have no phones especially in villages also the system should be promoted in village meetings & to farmers in villages for everyone to benefit’’.  Said Bill Oketch of Monitor News paper based in Lira district.  
Participants in one of the workshops listening to a presentation
 “The system should send messages to personal phones so that every person can actively participate on on-going discussion topics and also involve local government officials not forgetting the cost of internet being high in the country which to some extent affects participation. This will help citizens to be aware of the on-going discussions which accelerates their participation’, said  Owuru Kibwota the clerk to council Gulu district.
Gulu district speaker Hon. Okwonga John giving closing remarks at Free Zone Hotel in Gulu town

I thank ToroDev for taking this direction aiming at transforming societies and engaging duty bearers in our communities. The report presents the situation in our areas although we need to work hard to achieve community participation because it is still lacking in our programming.  We hope this will  improve service delivery in our  areas and I recommend ToroDev to fully engage people on ground to the system especially organized groups of say women, farmers, youth, persons with disabilities, etc’’. Said Ceaser Komaketch the district planner Gulu.

We are grateful to SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA & all other development partners for the financial and technical support aimed at improving service delivery in communities.

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