Tuesday 21 August 2012

ToroDev trains rural youth and women (rural monitors) in online advocacy for improved service delivery.

Rural Monitors Training
ToroDev has started training rural women and youth leaders in the seven districts of the Rwenzori Region in using online tools to monitor service delivery. The maiden residential 2 days training involving ten participants was held on 16th – 17th of August, 2012 at ToroDev resource center in Fort Portal, Uganda. The training which is supported by ToroDev in partnership with SPIDER/Stockholm University was facilitated by Milton Aineruhanga from WOUGNET.

ToroDev will train 210 rural monitors and advocates in online/ Web 2.0 tools to collect, document and disseminate online public accountability for improved serviced delivery issues. They will particularly oriented on how to interact with the “Ushahidi” online platform and other relevant open-source software. The monitors were also trained in online social media tools, human rights, governance and democratic engagement

The monitors were highly trained to be independent local citizens that will keep updating the community and project team at ToroDev about the status of service delivery and identifying communities own service delivery needs.

They will further go ahead to mobilize and encourage regular meetings and focus group discussions (FGDs) among the 14 Advocacy Forums in the region on issues of service delivery monitoring.

Rural Monitors will also advocate for quality and timely public accountability from local leaders.  They will use 11 radio stations in the Rwenzori region as a major tool for distributing/disseminating all the information accessed through online/internet and mobile phones. 

This information will be converged on the FM radio stations as a way of sharing information with the rest of grass root citizens in the region, who may not necessarily have the skills and afford town or access internet based knowledge tools. The rural FM radio will be used a hub for the convergence of all ICT tools for effective service delivery monitoring in the Rwenzori Region. 

Some of the sample articles posted by the rural monitors on the Ushahidi platform.

Documented by Solomon Akugizibwe

Monday 13 August 2012

Local Youth advocacy forum participates in local government budgeting meeting.

Kichwamba Monitoring of Service Delivery Advocacy Group (KMSDAG) members on Tuesday, 7th August 2012 participated in the Kichwamba Sub County budgeting meeting which was also attended by the Sub County local councilors and Sub County Speaker. The meeting was held at Kichwamba Sub County Headquarters in Kabarole District.

According to the sub county speaker, the main objective of the budgeting meeting was to improve the quality of life for the local people by making a budget which will improve the incomes of the local people and also improve service delivery.

Kichwamba Youth attending the meeting...
“The budget should also be focused on the millennium development goals and address programme priority areas as set out in the national strategy for development especially vision 2025.” Said the Sub County Speaker.

During the budgeting meeting, youth from KMSDAG advocacy forum identified their priority areas as production so as to reduce unemployment among the youth, environment and natural resources, road and bridge construction, construction of parish offices and halls, improved budgetary allocations to primary health care, improved sanitation and extension of safe drinking water, education support, improved budgetary allocations to Sub County land surveying to reduce on government land grabbing and increased funding to community based services.

The youth also advocated for the change of the Sub County staff motivational policy by attaching it to performance on revenue collection so that staff can work to improve on the revenues of the Sub County for improved service delivery. 

The youth further appealed to the Sub County Speaker and the local councilors to allocate the Sub County budget according to the priority areas set by them.

The youth advocacy forum was formed to monitor service delivery and improve youth participation in local government planning and budgeting processes in Kichwamba Sub County, Kabarole District. The advocacy forum is supported by Toro Development Network.

Documented by Akugizibwe Solomon.

Tuesday 7 August 2012

ToroDev develops a five year strategic plan, to spur growth and reduce poverty.

ToroDev has developed a five year strategic plan (2011-2015) to guide the growth and relevance of the organization as it transforms itself into a strong and sustainable institution fighting poverty and economic under development in the seven districts of the Rwenzori region. 

The organization also envisages the other cross-cutting sustainable development factors – social, political and environmental – that need maximum attention. Therefore, most of the strategies of achieving the objectives of the plan will always put these factors into considerations, both at planning and implementation levels. 

ToroDev Strategic Plan
However, the main purpose of the Plan is to provide the unity of purpose in implementing ToroDev’s corporate vision and mission. As a management tool, the Plan is intended to provide the Board of Directors, Management/technical staff and partners with a framework within which both strategic and operational governance, management, partnership and program decisions would be made.

In more specific terms, the Plan seeks to guide the organization in maximizing its strategic and comparative advantages in the poverty alleviation and economic empowerment movement in the Rwenzori region and Uganda as a whole and provide a framework for operational planning, programs development, resource mobilization, monitoring and evaluation; and finally, guide partners in making strategic choices and decisions.
The central theme of the Strategic Plan is Towards Economic Empowerment for Sustainable Development”.
The broad aim of the Plan is to broaden and strengthen the organization’s ICT for development for economic, social and political empowerment initiatives and to work with community groups, individuals and institutional partners to promote access to information and communication for sustainable livelihoods and productive economic opportunities.
The Plan seeks to promote community-led socio-economic development initiatives and to enhance capacities of partner communities to ensure widespread social security as well as sustainable access to productive and income-generating opportunities.
The Plan further seeks to promote attitude and behavior change, inculcate a strong sense of self-reliance, ICT development and integration, access better development infrastructure including marketing, transport and energy systems.
Using research, information exchange, and advocacy and networking strategies, ToroDev will work towards ensuring that the voices, participation and involvement of marginalized groups in both rural and urban governance processes and management of public resources are strengthened. 

Documented by Solomon Akugizibwe