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.

Tuesday 25 April 2017

ToroDev carried out a Needs assessment Baseline survey on the status of health centres in Kyegegwa district

As a way of improving the health sector in the 4 sampled districts of Rwenzori sub region, ToroDev in partnership with the initiated advocacy forums to monitor and advocate for improved health services in the Rwenzori region. ToroDev will in April 2017 build capacity of health unit management committees in Kyegegwa district but before conducting the training it carried out a needs assessment baseline survey to understand the situation of these health centers and also find out the challenges affecting effective performance in order to forge a way for improving the health sector in the district.
The interaction with health officials and health center in-charges plus chairpersons of health unit management committees was done at Kyegegwa health center IV, Wekomire HC 111, and Kakabara HC111.
ToroDev team  interacting with chairperson Health Unit Management Committee Mr. Magezi Ernest during the baseline survey in Kyegegwa district

During the baseline survey the main concerns raised by health department officials & health center In-charges was the need to train health center management committees since there are new members on the committees hence need to orient them on their roles and responsibilities. It was also found out that, Health Center Management committees play vital role which includes supervision during visits to provide feedback and solve problems affecting the health centers, planning, making decisions, monitoring, reporting, lobbying and advocating for quality improvement in health services among others hence need to carry out the induction/capacity building training of these committees.

Kakabara HC III in Kyegegwa district
 ToroDev team with the In-Charge Kakabara HC III  Ronald  Mugabe during the Baseline Survey

The baseline survey was done with an objective of training 150 members of Health Center Management Committees (HCMCs) in sampled poorly performing districts as far as health sector is concerned in the Rwenzori sub-region, western Uganda and after the training we expect to see 150 capable members of HCMCs in HCIV’s & III’s actively participating in planning, budgeting, monitoring performance and advocating for improved healthcare service delivery systems both offline & online, 150  HCMCs  aware of their roles, rights & responsibilities, 150  HCMCs aware of  health  act and Health code of conduct for health workers, Improved Lobbying   and advocacy for the  HCIII by the HCMCs, poor service delivery issues affecting health centres/units addressed by leaders as a result of HCMCs interventions and also service delivery issues raised by the HCMCs aimed at improving health services in their health centres/units.

We thank all our development partners SIDA, SPIDER, NED, ICT4DEM & CIPESA for the financial & technical support to have these projects.

Promote Private Sector for Development

 ToroDev has for the last 11 years engaged citizens to participate in governance issues in the Rwenzori region and this has been done through the use of ICT’s. In partnership with radio stations, citizens have had engagements with duty bearers and transparency & accountability has been improved in communities.
On 15th April, 2017 during our weekly radio program (Orukurato) that is aired live every Saturday 8:00pm- 10:00pm on Hits Fm, the moderator engaged listeners through call- inns & Sms platforms on how service delivery can be improved together with how economic development can be achieved to improve citizen’s lives.
About 40 people called in and 30 sent Sms messages; ‘’For people to be economically empowered, they need to have good health, hence we need to strengthen our health sector by improving the anomalies existing in our health units for example drug stock-outs, human resource, infrastructure, etc’’, said Fred a caller from Mwibale in Kabarole district, ‘’our education system need to be changed for it is a big concern to community development where for example today it prepares people to be job seekers other than job makers, we need to improve on the facilitation with our schools especially by having trained teachers, scholastic materials, etc if we are to improve & promote the education sector’’, said Mr. Aliganyira Chris a caller from Kicwamba Sub county in Kabarole district, “Uganda bureau of statistics should check out the standards of industrialization and producers to improve the quality of their products & services and also provide information services on all matters related to standards of products that are imported and exported, this will help to boost private industries in the country’’, said Justus a caller from Kabonero in Kabarole district”, “The government of Uganda should improve  private sector  because it can largely be  seen as  an   engine of growth and poverty control, it’s a sector government  should work   hand in hand with  private investors if they are to improve on Uganda’s economic development  considering the number of people employed per year’’, said God Njura a caller from Kakabara in Kyegegwa district’’,“Infrastructure such as roads, rail, airports, water transport, electricity are significant elements of  a country’s  economic development,  the government and  all duty bearers should work hand in hand so that they can work on them and this will help in boosting other sectors like agriculture since it employs many Ugandans’’, said Deo Mugisa a caller from Kabarole district.

We s  thank SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA & all other development partners for the financial and technical support .

Friday 21 April 2017

ToroDev Held Rural Radio Magazine/Debate in Kyarusozi Sub county Kyenjojo district on 8th April 2017.

Issues of 20 women and 10 youths from hard to reach area were captured and amplified on Jubilee FM on 9th April 2017 from 8:10 pm. Here are some of the issues raised during the Rural radio magazine / debate.

We have only one government aided secondary school in our area and that’s Kyarusozi S.S, it doesn’t have A level which has increased number of students not to continue after their O level and parents don’t have money to support them in other privet schools”. Said Kabahenda Margret from Kyarusozi Sub County, Kyenjojo district.

We have only one health center in Kyarusozi that has no, beds, limited drugs, no mattress, and there is limited health workers, we request our leaders to remember us and plan for improvement of these health centers”. Said Hellen Burungi
Hellen Birungi  sharing her concerns with Mr. Mukonyezi Wilfred during the rural radio magazine
The roads are impassable with so many potholes, this has made transport a big problem we ask the government especially our leaders to keep their promises made during campaigns.” Said Peace Zahura

“Kyamugenyi health center is not in good condition due to limited beds,  no ward for women and drugs are in adequate , same times we are forced  to buy drugs  from private  clinics which is costly, we have informed our leaders but they are not taking any action, thanks to ToroDev for thinking about us , hopefully our leaders will take action”. Said  Omuhereza  Kyakyo Tibenda.
Community members from Kyarusozi sub county sharing their concerns.
The government should support our community with an institution to help our children who complete secondary education to get a certificate or a diploma to help them in finding a better job.” Said Mary Zinabu
We call upon the district health inspector and district health officer to help in improving their supervision and monitoring of the health centers and lobby for more  drugs supply  more beds, water  and other infrastructure”. Said Kabasinguzi Betty from Buhaza Kyamugenyi Kyenjojo district.

We thank ToroDev for giving us this opportunity, we request our leadears to respond to our cries positively, and we trusted them with our votes,now it’s their turn to pay us well with improving services in health and education sector”. Said Balinda Ronie. 

“It’s hard for women to truly participate in radio talk shows because of their busy schedules but we thank ToroDev for this chance given to us women and we promise to listen to the talk show and comment where necessary”.  Said Rosemary Bagumire
We take a great opportunity to thank SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA  for  the financial support.

ToroDev Held rural radio Magazine / Debate in Kibuku town council Ntoroko district on 11th/ 4/2017

The main aim of Rural Debates/Magazines is to capture the voices of rural women and youth in hard to reach communities and later played on radio for the attention of duty bearers to respond.

On 11th,April,2017 ToroDev listeners forum talkshow moderator Mr.Mukonyezi Wilfred together with the M&E team at ToroDev visited  Kibuku sub county,Ntoroko district to get views from women and youth  on the status of service delivery in Health, education,water and economic development sectors.

Our reason of being here today is to give a chance to our women and youths to share their views on service delivery,we are considering women and youths from hard to reach areas because it is sometimes very hard for them to come live on radio and speak due to their busy schedules, lack of transport and  sometimes fear. As ToroDev we want duty bearers to hear the concerns of women and react to them according”. Said Amanya Sheila M&E officer ToroDev, during the rural radio debate in Kibuku Sub Count.  
Some community members from Kibuuku town council Ntoroko district during the Rural Radio Magazine
The rural debate attracted 28 women, 15 youth and 3 duty bearers who reacted on the issues raised by women and youth during the Rural radio magazine  and these are some of the issues raised.
 “In Kibuku health centre III there is a big problem of shortage of drugs because of a big number of population served, there is also few  health workers,to attend to the big number of patients and no ambulance  for emergencies , we request our leaders to lobby for us and improve infrastructures in the health centers”. Said Nyamala Jane Baguma from Kibuku Sub County.

Our education is still is lacking especially at the secondary school levels,we don’t have secondary schools nearby and the only one we have the performance and this has affected many of our children and has increased high dropout in our district at high school level”.  Said Janet Kasaija
Duty bearers have failed to support women groups with entrepreneurship skills capacity buildings and trainings to get more skills in tailoring, hand craft, financial literacy and many other, we kindly request our woman MP to lobby for us from NGOs to come and train women in hand work skills”. Said Mary Kadande Kakoga.
A woman in Kibuuku sub county Ntoroko district sharing her concerns with Mr. Mukonyezi Wilfred during the rural radio magazine
Mary added there is an increased school dropout due to poor performance at national exams especially among the girls, who finally resort to cattle keeping, so I urge the police and LCI to help us to monitor these youths.

We don’t have clean water in our area and this has forced young girls and boys to miss classes to go fetch water very far and walk long distances”. Said Kobugabe Elizabeth
 “Our children walk long distances from Kisungu II to Kibuku to access education, many miss classes and those who make it reach late. Our kids join school at 9-10 years because we don’t have  nursery schools nearby, as parents we call upon the government to build for us primary schools in different sub counties schools health centers to outcome such problems”.Said Enid Kiiza from Kisozi II parish, Kibuku Sub County.
 “Operation wealth creation has  not fully fulfilled people’ concerns, they supply limited seeds which are of bad quality, and in Ntoroko we have infertile land so they just bring seeds for the sake of bringing which does not work for us.Therefore we call upon the program coordinators to improve and give us at least high breeds of cattle”. Said Muhumuza Charles.

 “District health inspector and district health officer should carry effective supervision on health centers and hygiene in families to improve health situation in Kibuku and Ntoroko at large this will help to improve health systems”.  Said Mr. Mugenyi , the LCI Kibuku Sub county.

He further added that school dropouts has increased in our area because parents are not concerned with education and they send their children in fishing and mining projects but as government we need and we are fighting against this

In Kisungu II Kibuku west we don’t have water the borehole we had is down; people are drinking un safe and unclean water which is putting their lives at a big, we ask the leaders to lobby for us and as a leader I plan to mobilizes my community members to mobilize funds from families to work on the borehole”. Said Mr.Agaba John, LC1 chairperson Kisugu 11

The people’s issues were run on Jubilee radio on 16th April 2017 during the ‘Listeners Forum’ program on Sunday 8:00-10:00pm.

We take a great opportunity to thank SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA  for the financial support

Monday 10 April 2017

ToroDev Recognized for the Outstanding Performance in Promoting Leadership & Good Governance

The certificate of appreciation was presented by Dr. Kabonesa Consolata (Phd) the board chairperson KRC & Julius Mwanga the executive director of KRC in recognition of the good work done by ToroDev in Promoting Leadership & Good Governance.

ToroDev was represented by to Johnstone K Baguma the executive director who received the certificate on behalf of the organization. While giving the awards Dr. Kabonesa Consolata, recognized the NGOs that have caused impact in terms of lobbying and advocating for better services in the region and also thanked civil society organizations for supplementing government programs especially those focusing on empowering grass root community all aimed at improved services. The certificate was awarded on 31st March, 2017 during the KRC’s 20th Anniversary at mountains of the moon in Fort-Portal.

Johnstone K Baguma, the Executive Director ToroDev receiving the certificate of  appreciation on behalf of the organisation 
ToroDev currently promotes good governance processes through appropriate ICTs platforms for improved service delivery in Education, Health and Economic Development, also  invests in  innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives using appropriate ICTs and other platforms for sustainable economic development, advocates for improved education standards through advocacy and infrastructure development to achieve competitive human resource capacity and advocates for  improved health facilities through advocacy and infrastructure development for health care sustainability.

Our goal is Empowerment with Knowledge and Leadership skills which can be achieved through promotion of good governance, accountability and transparency for improved service delivery, provision of knowledge sharing facilities that can tap innovation and entrepreneurship skills & to lobby and advocate for development policies that empower the rural community.

 ToroDev does not work alone but gets technical and financial support from other stakeholders like, SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4dem, local radio stations, local governments, other Local NGOS and local citizens, we appreciate them all.

ToroDev held Capacity Building Training of SMCs & PTA Members in Kyenjojo district

The one day capacity building training took place on 6th April, 2017 at Butunduzi primary school where six (6) schools within Butunduzi Sub County/ town council on addition to the nineteen (19) schools from Bufunjo & Nyankwanzi sub counties were trained giving a total number of schools trained to-date to twenty five (25) in the whole district.
Participants in a group photo after the training at Butunduzi Primary School

The training was facilitated by the district education officer (DEO) Madam Gertrude Tibakanya together with Madam Stella the area inspector of schools- Butunduzi in Kyenjojo district.
The training aimed at strengthening the capacity of School Management Committee members (SMC) and Parents Teachers Association members (PTA) where knowledge on their roles and responsibilities was imparted on addition to skills in using ICT to improve the education sector, planning, budgeting, lobbying, advocacy, monitoring, supervision and to help them become collaborative, support systems for improving learning amongst students as the overall objective.
The DEO-Kyenjojo district Madam Gertrude Tibakanya facilitating the training

Madam Gertrude Tibakanya while facilitating said ToroDev has committed to support the SMC & PTA members with knowledge & skills to perform their roles & responsibilities better as managers of schools and equip head teachers with techniques on how to work with school management committees in schools in order to improve performance, we need to appreciate their efforts & try to do our roles/responsibilities right after the training, said Madam Gertrude Tibakanya.  She said PTA members play a big role by engaging parents to accept and perform their responsibilities towards improving the education of their children, working on policies that support education of their children and also building strong partnership between schools and communities to embrace & support education.

David Kugonza (ToroDev)while sharing with participants the role of ICT and how they can use ICT tools to improve the education sector in the district further said the training has been organized to transfer knowledge and skills to SMC members and PTA members in matters of UPE policies, Use of ICT tools, how to help female learners stay in school and reduce school drop-out ,giving skills on  formulating bye-laws on different issues especially providing lunch at school, etc all aimed at improving the status of education sector in the district.

ToroDev's David Kugonza sharing with participants the role of ICT in improving service delivery

 “We thank ToroDev for giving us knowledge and skills about our roles and our relevancy in schools development as parents teacher association and school management committees we are going to cooperation and start working as a team to address issues that have been affecting our schools to an end and focus on how best we can help our children to complete education’’, said Mr. Byabagambi Christopher PTA chairperson, Rwibaale primary school, “I am happy with this training which ToroDev has offered, from the knowledge & skills acquired, we are going to come up with bye-laws which will help us reduce on some problems that have caused  our children to drop out from schools such as launch so that absenteeism & drop outs become history in our schools hence better performance in our schools’’, said Mr.  Kahigwa Tinka Chris, SMC chairperson Butunduzi primary school, “we have fully known  our roles & responsibilities out of this training, we now know what can be done to improve performance of students & development in schools,  we promise ToroDev that we are going to increase planning, monitoring, advocacy &  supervision for better results in our schools’’, said Richard Musinguzi, Deputy head Teacher Nyabubale primary school, “We thank ToroDev for this training and what they have done to words education sector in our district and promise to regularly attend meetings whenever we are called upon because we now realize that through meetings development and general performance of our schools is the available platform for us to discuss developmental issues’’, said Mr. Ntumwa Masiri, SMC chairperson Rugora primary school.
A participant making a comment during the training
We thank SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA, Kyenjojo district Education department & all other development partners for the financial and technical support to extend services to our people.