This strategy is based on our deep knowledge and past experience, widely and extensively used to implement its activities in the rural communities through training of Change Agents. Premised on the principles of adult education and experiential participatory learning processes in which empowerment and conscientisation (change agent philosophy) is anchored on, poor rural men and women become conscientised (consciously awakened) to analyse the root causes of their poverty and find solutions to remedy.
UCAA aims to promote the full participation of poor and marginalized people at every stage of the implementation of its strategy. This usually entail the use of Participatory Action Learning (PAL) tools and methodologies aimed at promoting interactive learning processes, shared knowledge, and flexibility required to sustain the actions identified in the programme areas.
The key implementation strategy will focus on:
Capacity-building and awareness raising
With grass root communities being so marginalized and disadvantaged, there is a real lack of awareness in the communities about their capacity & capability to transform their state including their rights in governance. UCAA will work to strengthen the capacity of both community and grass root CSOs. This is vital through developing critical awareness of rural men and women social reality to ensure that they are self-reliant to take part in the development processes. Key aspects will include supporting the knowledge and skills development, including capacity building activities tailored to their needs.
The poor and marginalized people are empowered through conscientisation and developing critical awareness to increase their engagement with local authorities through greater understanding of local development opportunities as well as the planning and management of local resources and services. UCAA aims at increasing abilities and opportunities of poor and marginalized people to become conscious of their situation, utilize locally available resources to transform their society, increasingly involved in dialogue with local governments and holding the local authorities to account.
The aim of this approach is to strengthen the ability of local CSOs and the poor and marginalized people to identify and engage with decision-makers on key policy issues. UCAA will enable CSOs and the communities to increase their capacity to be more effective in advocating for pro-poor policies, and improved quality and service delivery. Advocacy work will be implemented at local, national as well as at international level to ensure that the communities' chances of civic engagement are significantly raised, and the government's willingness and ability to consult with citizens on key policies is increased.
Rights-Based Approach (RBA)
UCAA has limited experience in applying RBA to its work, the organization will strengthen the capacity of its staffs to understand the concept and also adopt it principles In line with RBAs, and this strategy will emphasize empowering marginalized and vulnerable groups to assert their interests and rights as rights holders and hold duty bearers accountable.
Gender and HIV/AIDS mainstreaming
UCAA will mainstream the issues of gender, HIV/AIDS and disability very seriously as they are always the most vulnerable, marginalized and poorest in the community, easily neglected by most development programming. Due attention during the planning of all programmes/projects/activities will be deliberately considered to mainstream all these at all level of the programme. A gender mainstreaming policy will be put in place to guide the process. Staff will be training in gender responsive and programming to enhance their knowledge in integrating gender considerations into implementation of the strategy.
Do no harm and conflict-sensitive approach
UCAA will also be considered in the programming to fundamentally strengthen support systems and institutions to integrate gender into programming and provide improved support to people living with HIV/AIDS and/or disability in ways that reduce stigma.
Environmental friendly approach to development
UCAA will promote and supports healthy and sustainable environmentally friendly and sustainable practices that promote social, human and economic development processes among the rural communities. This will be done through supporting innovative solutions to environmental challenge, Improve access to affordable and developing innovative clean and renewable energy
Building networks/consultation mechanisms
Working in partnership with CSOs, local government, and local community volunteer groups will ensure greater ownership of the programme activities and increased impact. CSO partners will work directly and closely with vulnerable, poor and marginalized people at the grassroots and act as an entry point for civil society actions in the sub-region. It is important to improve the cohesion and unity of the grass root civil society through joint approach to leverage and strengthen their movement and achieve tangible changes.
UCAA will facilitate the process of strengthening the capacity of local partners in change agent approach of promoting voluntarism at community level to mitigate the challenge of uneven facilitation provided to the communities which affect their participation and motivation in community development. Also UCAA through its branches and change agent membership will support grass root CSOs to join, facilitate knowledge networking, developing, sharing and leveraging of knowledge and networking opportunities