Rural communities particularly women are prone to poor service delivery and corruption due to lack of awareness about Government functions and service delivery but through strategic use of ICTs, there can be improved access to public services, increased efficiency, transparency and accountability of Government political processes. WOUGNET in this regard has concluded a two day ICT training and capacity building workshop in Amuru and Gulu Districts on the 21st and 23rd of February 2012 with the objective of building the capacity of local communities and Community Based Organizations (CBO) to enable them collect, package and disseminate information on corruption and poor public social service delivery from their localities to a wider communities.
The ICT training workshop attracted over 100 participants comprising of the Community Based and Civil Society actors,Local communities, Local Government Officials including the District Speakers, Town Clerks, Community Development Officers and Parish Chiefs among others.
The training focused on issues like the general introduction to various use of ICTs in Information collection and dissemination, use of mobile phones and SMS applications/ platforms to send and receive messages and the Launch of Ushaidi platform for mapping poor service deliveries. Participants were also taken through advocacy skills to demand for accountability, and civic engagement in policy process monitoring
The training was conducted under the project “Empowering Local people and Communities to Monitor District Service Delivery through ICTs” which falls under the broader project “ICT4Democracy in East Africa” which has seed funding from the Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER) which encourages democracy actors within the three countries with a view to catalyzing the role ICTs can play in enhancing civic empowerment and improving Governance. It was also premised on the recognition that Information and Communication Technology enhances Communication and the right to freedom of expression, as well as the right to seek, receive and impart information.
The ICT training workshops in Amuru and Gulu Districts were also graced with the presence of the new WOUGNET Coordinator, Ms. Violet Akurut Adome. During Violet’s session, participants were able to share experiences on how they have used their civic competence to report and follow up with cases of poor service delivery within their communities and later, the participants were taken through the different ways through which they can use the available ICT tools to document cases of corruption and poor service delivery within their communities
Information, Youth & ICT4D Officer, WOUGNET