With continued support from SIDA, ToroDev is implementing a project entitled “ICT for Citizens’ Participation, Public Accountability & Democratic Engagement in the Rwenzori sub-region, Western Uganda”
Under this project a number of activities were set including; holding lower local level sub-county accountability meetings organized by Citizens’ Advocacy Forums to discuss specific health, education and economic sustainability projects as reported on MML e-participation system portal.
Accountability meetings fall under the project objective of growing the capacity (access, skills and knowledge) of civic groups, human rights defenders (HRDs) and media to use ICT effectively for accessing and sharing information, advocating and raising awareness on service delivery, equality, the right to information and free speech.
On 12th January 2018 a meeting was organized by People’s Rights and Forum for Development Forum (PRIFODE) to address issues affecting education and health sectors. During the meeting issues/a report generated from MML- e-participation system was presented before duty bearers for possible actions. http://www.mmlonline.org
“ToroDev with a mandate of promoting the use of ICT tools both modern and traditional, has supplemented the existing tools currently being used by designing a system called ”Me and My Leader” (MML) where citizens raise their concerns on service delivery issues from their communities and then ToroDev after analyzing them plans on how to disseminate the information to concerned duty bearers for actions during ToroDev initiated District local government-CSO’s forum meetings including other online channels of communication. Participation is free of charge, the pre-paid Sms code (6115) is already paid for by ToroDev and her partners hence no excuse from citizens based on costs, said David Kugonza. While sharing the report for December 2017, David said the issues generated and shared with duty bearers will help in the planning and budgeting during budget preparations at district level. He further demonstrated on the use of the system and showed the steps to follow in order to participate through Sms platform or internet before requesting participants to use, share information with other members of the community and promote the system to achieve the intended objective of improving service delivery.
- One hundred forty (140) citizens attended including members of School management committees, PTA, parents, head teachers, teachers among others
- Over 10 Duty bearers attended including (LCV chairperson, DHO, District Inspector of schools, area LC III and LC1 chairpersons, District councilors,etc
- Key challenges affecting the education and health sectors identified
- Solutions to the challenges identified
- Action plan developed.
Some of the key challenges identified in education sector included; unlicensed private schools that are cheating parents, lack of support to learners by their parents, increased absenteeism of learners & teachers especially during market days, high dropout rates in UPE schools, poor performance in UPE schools etc.
Under Health sector key issues identified included; limited drugs in government aided health center’s, lack of general ward at Mugusu health III, absenteeism of health workers, need for a fence around the health unit, etc
“We appreciate the work done by ToroDev and PRIFODE with in our communities which aims at improving service deliver, we promise as education department to handle the challenge of indecent dressing code by some schools girls with effect from next term, these schools that allow short uniforms for girls will be monitored and dealt with according to the law”. Said Mr Joseph Rujumba the District Inspector of schools Kabarole.
- We shall work hand in hand with LCI and Police to arrest pupils who will be found in the market places when its school time
- We shall address the challenge of teachers who use abusive language that hurt learners we request the parents to send us the names of such teachers and we do research on them
- Private schools operating without license will not be allowed to open for first term in February 2018
- We shall organize an education conference to speak to parents to support their children with basic needs to allow them concentrate in class especially the issue of lunch
- LCV chairperson promised to lobby for a technical school in Mugusu Sub County in the next financial year.
- DHO Kabarole promised to lobby for Construction of a general ward at Mugusu health centre III and promised to work on untouchable health officials who are letting the sector to under perform
- DHO also promised to provide VHTs with drugs to allow them perform their duties effectively as required in villages
As ToroDev we thank all our partners SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA for the technical & financial support and also grateful for the work done by advocacy forums more especially monitoring services in communities.