On 9th August 2014, the Chairman of War Veterans of Burahya County and Fort Portal Municipality Mr. Kinuge John indicated how they fought in liberating Uganda. “From 1963, there was no peace and ownership of property in Uganda, unless one belonged to the army. In 1981, we started a war in Katebwa Sub County that went up to 1986, when Uganda was liberated”. Mr. Kinuge was discussing on ToroDev’s supported live radio discussion called ‘Orukurato Program’, a 2hr weekly radio program that discusses issues of accountability every Saturday (08:00 – 10:00) pm.
On 8th August 2014, ToroDev in Partnership with Rwenzori Journalist Forum held another regional press conference in Fort Portal town, Kabarole District. The regional monthly press conference initiative aims at improving service delivery through advocacy and promoting timely accountability in the seven districts of the Rwenzori Region. The press conference was attended by Hon Alex Ruhunda, the Member of Parliament of Fort Portal Municipality, Hon Mugisa Herbert, Chairperson South Division in Fort Portal Municipality and members of Rwenzori Journalist Forum.
By Varyanne Sika.
Our study on ICT and Governance in East Africa which is made possible by the generous support of SIDA and SPIDER, explores the ways in which ICT tools can/have successfully facilitated or hindered two way interaction between government and citizens towards reducing the cost of delivering public services, curbing corruption and increasing transparency and accountability. We are also looking into the innovative ICT initiatives that have facilitated the interaction between citizens and governments, as well as the (de)motivations for utilizing ICT tools among the various stakeholders (citizens, governments, civil society and the general public).
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY CAN BE FOUND HERE.
ToroDev with support from National Endowment for Democracy & the Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER) supported the initiation of the Rwenzori Journalists’ Forum in 2012. This broadcast and print media forum has been, since two years, re-organizing itself to become a viable, relevant and independent institution to champion the voices of local citizens in the Rwenzori region.
Also to note is that, ToroDev, in partnership with Rwenzori Journalist Forum (RJF) ToroDev has also been training radio journalists selected from the 13 FM radio stations based and broadcasting in seven districts of the region on promoting public accountability for improved service delivery broadcasting.
This month, the Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) and the E-Society Resource Centre Kasese trained local leaders in Kasese district in the use of ICTs for improved governance and service delivery. During the March 20-21 2014 workshop, local leaders of the western Uganda district were also trained in using ICTs for information sharing and promoting citizen participation.
Speaking at the workshop, District Information Officer John Thawite urged local leaders to break away from the culture of secrecy and work in accordance with the 2005 Uganda Access to Information Act. “Meaningful participation in democratic processes requires informed participants hence the need for increased access to information,” he said.
We are pleased to share some of our partner project results for the period June 2011 – December 2013. For purposes of communicating the results from these projects as well as The Swedish Programme for ICT in Developing Regions (Spider)’s own experience with working with catalytic seed funding modality, evaluations of all partner projects are under way.
Three partner evaluations subjected to theoretical readings have been finalized and we are pleased to publish these reports for the purpose of furthering the growth of the field of ICT4D.
- Results and lessons learned iHub Research December 2013
- Results and lessons learned Kenya Human Rights Commission December 2013
- Results and lessons learned Women of Uganda Network December 2013
More reports are in the pipeline.
The publication “ICT for Anti-corruption, Democracy and Education in East Africa” is the first product of the Swedish Programme for ICT in Developing Region (Spider)’s Research Related to Projects initiative which was devised and first implemented in 2012.
Connecting research directly to Spider supported projects aims to establish a closer connection between ICT4D research and ICT4D practice. The support allows ICT4D researchers in Sweden, in collaboration with researchers and practitioners in partner countries, to carry out research on ongoing ICT4D projects. This has generated research that can contribute more directly to development work, and provide a substantial contribution to poverty reduction and other development goals. The publication covers three thematic areas: anti-corruption, democracy and education. The six contributions span from ethnographic descriptions and analyses to explorations of collaborative design and evaluation of the achievement of set capacity building goals from the capability approach.
The volume is edited by Dr Katja Sarajeva, Program Manager at Spider.
Download the publication here.
Read about how The Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG) in Tanzania takes SMS to the citizens to strengthen human rights. The newsletter also includes articles on “Health Service Delivery”, “Empowering rural communities through ICTs”, and “Fostering community empowerment through ICTs for service delivery and community participation”, among other things. The Spider ICT4Democracy in East Africa Network is premised on the recognition that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) enhances communication and the right to freedom of expression, as well as the right to seek, receive and impart information.
In this respect, ICT has the potential to increase citizens’ participation in decision-making processes, thus strengthening democratisation. The network is facilitated by The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), based in Uganda. Participating project partners come from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Download the Newsletter here.
WOUGNET with financial support from the Swedish Program for ICT support to Developing Countries (Spider) conducted awareness raising meetings in the District of Tororo and Busia in Eastern Uganda from the 23rd -27th of September 2013. The awareness meetings was aimed at introducing the new project to the district and mapping stakeholders and partners to be involved in the Project.
The Senior Program Officer, Gender and ICT Policy Advocacy, Ms. Goretti Z. Amuriat met a number of District leaders including the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) and the Chief Administrative Officer of Busia, Mr. Okumu Christopher and briefed them about the SPIDER Upscale project in their offices last week. Mr. Okumu said that he believes that it will be one of the best projects in his district and since it is targeting mainly women, he is so happy about it and welcomes it to Busia.
Spider ICT for Education Network Workshop held in Uganda, August 28-29
Spider project partners at the workshop. From left John Sebaganwa (Open Learning Exchange Rwanda), Regina Monyemangene (Open University of Tanzania), Iryna Kuchma (EIFL), Tito Okumu (Makerere University), and Ulf Larsson (Spider). Raul Silveti (Fundacion LaPaz) participated via skype. Spider and five project partners within education has held a successful workshop in Kampala, Uganda where the Network for ICT in Education was formed.