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.
The ICT4Democracy in East Africa Network was in May 2014 represented by Johnstone Baguma of Toro Development Network and Wilfred Warioba from the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG) at the 2014 International Conference on e-Democracy & Open Governance (CeDEM14) in Krems, Austria. They presented research papers on the network’s projects on leveraging ICTs to promote good governance and human rights in Uganda and Tanzania.
During the conference, Baguma chaired a session on “Citizens’ Participation in Governance Processes through ICT in Eastern Africa”. This track was a new inclusion in the conference proceedings, having been lobbied for inclusion by network members during CeDem2013.
Trac FM is proud to announce its newest partnership with Fort Portal’s Toro Development Network office (ToroDev), in conjunction with the Rwenzori Journalist Forum. This was held at a maiden press conference at their offices on the 26th of June 2014 in Fort Portal.
Prior to the conference, a two day workshop was held in which radio presenters and NGO workers were taught about Trac FM technology and how to use it to track responses of their listeners. Radio stations present, among others, included Hits FM, Life FM, and Kasese Guide Radio.
The October Newsletter of the ICT4Democracy East Africa Network can now be downloaded HERE. This brochure covers the activities of the network partners and focuses on how they are leveraging different ICT platforms to enhance transparency and civic empowernment. The utilized technologies include crowd sourcing platforms like Ushahidi; social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter; and digital and traditional media like websites and radio.
Highlights in the newsletter include details of KHRC’s human rights violations monitoring, CHRAGG’s progress with the complaints handling system, iHub Research’s MGovernance Field work update, TI Uganda’s toll free line, a report on citizen journalism training by CIPESA and ToroDev and WOUGNET capacity building activities during the month of October.
Description and Rationale of Meeting
On Wednesday, 19th September, 2012, ToroDev staff held a consultative meeting with local leaders in Kyegegwa District aimed at identifying gaps in service delivery and finding appropriate interventions for improved livelihoods since government services like roads, schools, markets, health centers, NAADS, etc. directly affects the livelihoods of the local people.
This follows ToroDev interventions since 2011 aimed at improving service delivery in the seven districts of Rwenzori Region. The organization has been conducting lobbying and advocacy campaigns, training rural grassroots’ populations in service delivery monitoring and conducting live radio talkshows on HITS FM and Better FM aimed at improving the state of service delivery through engagement with local leaders and awareness creation.
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
The ICT4Democracy in East Africa network is pleased to announce that a new organisation has joined efforts with us in leveraging on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to promote good governance and democratic processes.
Toro Development Network (ToroDev) is spearheading a project to promote public accountability for improved service delivery in Rwenzori region, western Uganda. The project will see the use of a local FM radio broadcasting station as a “hub” for the convergence of information and knowledge provided by internet and mobile technology tools.