Core Competencies: ToroDev’s Innovative Approaches & Models for Interventions

“Over time, ToroDev has developed knowledge, skills and innovatively utilized different information and communication technologies to invent sustainable approaches and models that can support programs and projects implementation to transform Uganda and Eastern Africa region, as a knowledgeable and engaged community of citizens for sustainable development processes “,  said Johnstone Baguma Kumaraki – Executive Director, ToroDev

Let us explore some of these approaches and models below;

  1. The ICT tools Convergence Approach

Both  Modern/online  and  traditional  ICT  tools  have  great  potential  to provide development  opportunities  for  the marginalized citizen groups in the developing world. Particularly in Uganda, the convergence of the ICT tools can empower the youth and rural women through accessing relevant information, share knowledge by networking and set up advocacy initiatives, to participate in good governance and democratic engagement processes. As ToroDev and partners implement this project, the above empowerment will  be  evidenced through their increased  participation to express  freely  their development priorities during   local/district and central government   budgeting   processes,   engage   their   leaders   and   actively   monitor government service delivery, at the same levels, without intimidation and fear. This, in the end will promote value for resources and reduce  misappropriation/corruption that  is  rampant  in  Uganda.  If  local  citizens  like  youth  and  rural  women  –  who comprise the majority of the  population  in Uganda – closely advocate and monitor how, for example, the road/transport infrastructure, health, education and marketing facilities and  services  are being delivered to their communities by the government, definitely  their  social  and  economic  development  needs  like  improved  maternal healthcare, education/training that  focuses on imparting skills for entrepreneurship/self employment will be appropriately addressed.

Through this project, ToroDev and partners desire to converge the power of ICT for development tools, both modern/online and traditional ones. Particularly, due to high levels of both basic and ICT skills illiteracy, a local FM radio broadcasting medium will be used as a “hub” for the convergence of  information and knowledge provided by online/internet  and  mobile telephony/technology tools. Broadcast  media practioners/staff from 10 FM radio stations in the Rwenzori region, western Uganda, will be trained how to design programs and broadcast  relevant content/information that empowers  local citizens to advocate and  monitor the quality of services  and democratically engage their leaders for development planning and budgeting. Both 80 radio staff and 210 rural monitors will also be trained how to use online social media (FOSS) tools to do research, document, disseminate on FM radios information on how to demand  accountability and network beyond their communities for support using internet/web  tools  like  blogs,  twitter,  etc.  In  partnership  with  FrontLineSMS-UK, ToroDev  will  also  optimise  the  use  of  Mobile  telephony,  where  the  local  citizens directly interact with FM radio stations to air out their views regarding the status of service delivery in their communities through the messaging (SMS) service.

ToroDev is using the Ushahidi platform as an ICT tool to Promote Public Accountability for Improved Service Delivery in the Rwenzori region of Western Uganda. The project is being done in partnership with Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) with support from the Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER).

Visit the project website here.

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