Uganda Change Agent Association (UCAA) was founded in 1992 by 75 Ugandan development workers (change agents) who had undergone a change agent training programme (training in self-reliant participatory development methodologies). This followed its registration on 11th October 1993. Today, the Association sustains the continuity of the change agent training programme in the country.
The purpose of the organization is to ensure that poor rural men and women are liberated and are able to initiate, manage and sustain their own self-reliant social, political, and economic development processes so as to improve their standards of living.
UCAA’s target beneficiaries are the poor rural men and women. Hence, over the years, UCAA has acted to guarantee that self-reliant participatory development processes are effectively promoted in poor rural communities. By its nature, UCAA is both a membership and a service provider organization.
Uganda Change Agent Association (UCAA) has successfully completed one of the three years of its current three-year strategic plan for 2014 to 2016 that is titled “Promoting the participation of rural communities in the decision making and livelihood enhancement for sustainable development”.
The year 2014 was the first year of this strategic plan. In general, it was a successful year for UCAA during which most of the planned activities were carried out for the achievement of our mission and our vision. UCAA’s mission is to promote the participation of rural communities in the decision making and livelihood enhancement for sustainable development. UCAA’s envisions poor rural communities in Uganda empowered and self reliant, living in harmony with dignity.
It should be noted that UCAA’s 55 District Change Agent Associations (DCAAs) and the 230 UCAA’s branches countrywide are autonomous. These DCAAs and branches carried out their own activities that are not included in the UCAA national plans and budgets and are, therefore, not included in this report. Each of the DCAAs have prepared their own District Annual financial and Narrative Reports and are being discussed and approved during their respective District Assemblies that are being conducted during January to April 2015.
This report is prepared by the Executive Director in close consultation with the Programme Director, programme officers and other members of staff. Copies of this report will be circulated to all UCAA DCAAs, UCAA Funding Partners, relevant government departments, in particular the District Administrations, members of parliament, and selected NGOs with whom UCAA is networking with internationally and nationally. It will also be published on the UCAA website: www.ucaa.or.ug
This report is for the period January to December 2014. It covers UCAA programme areas of Sustainable livelihoods, Education and skills development, Governance Rights and conflict transformation, Research and Advocacy and institutional support and development with the details of the projects implemented indicated in respective subheads.
3. SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS PROGRAMME
Sustainable livelihood activities were implemented in order to contribute towards livelihood enhancement through promotion of viable economic activities for self reliance and sustainable development of the most impoverished rural communities. Therefore, in 2014 with support from Finn Church Aid the following activities were carried out as planned, in order to contribute to the achievement of our mission and vision.
3.1. Activities that UCAA carried out in the areas of sustainable livelihoods.
The first activities were staff planning meetings at the office level. These meetings were used to enable UCAA staff members to understand and internalised what was required for the project including the project objectives and activities. Two meetings were conducted in the project districts of Oyam and Gulu with the trained change agents. The project was introduced to them because they would play key role to the success of the project. A total of fifteen change agents from the two districts attended the meeting. These meetings had to come up with community entry plans.
The project staff became very helpful in drawing up plans that enabled the success of mobilisation meetings with the local government leaders. In Gulu, the key district officials visited was the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) and the District Community Development Office (DCDO) while in Oyam district the RDC and the District Community Development Office were also visited. Two mobilisation meetings were conducted for the sub county authorities of Unyama and Otwal at their respective sub county headquarters. In these meetings performance of the previous project was highlighted to the participants and the women project introduced.
In Unyama sub county 16 (8 males and 8 females) local leaders were met. The meeting at Otwal Sub County attracted both local leaders and the community members as well. A total of 59 (40 females and 19 males) attended. A Salient issue arose in these meetings but was clearly handled was that men would not be comfortable to see their wives go for exposure visits for they may eventually be owned by other men. UCAA was 1) seek consent of husbands of the women who would travel on an exposure visit. 2) Sub county officials mainly the women leaders would accompany the women.
3.1.2. Project Launch
Two project launches were conducted in both Otwal sub county of Oyam district and Unyama sub county of Gulu district. The meeting was attended by a total of 66 community members including the sub county and the district leadership who praised UCAA for supporting their district. At the launches the project funder, purpose, target area and the reason why the direct beneficiaries must be women were highlighted by UCAA staff. The local leadership in both districts welcomed the project and thanked UCAA and Finn Church Aid women’s bank for bringing the project.
They promised to support UCAA by creating an enabling environment for project implementation. Speeches from the beneficiaries indicated that they were happy with the project and pledged to be active in its implementation. On the other hand, local leaders and community members who were not members of the project target areas noted that the project was necessary for the empowerment of women. They requested UCAA to extend the project to their areas should there be an opportunity.
3.1.3 Community Sensitisation
Four community sensitisation meetings were conducted by the UCAA staff and the change agents. In Unyama sub county Gulu, sensitisation was in the parish of Unyama – Awich village and Pangea Oguro village. The project purpose, target, funder and implementer were all made clear to the community members who had gathered to hear what UCAA was bringing to the community. Included in the gathering were 22 women beneficiaries on the project. Similar meetings were conducted in Otwal Sub County in Alege and Okii parishes. This meeting was attended by 29 women beneficiaries.
3.1.4. Baseline Survey
Two baseline surveys were conducted one for Gulu district and another for Oyam district. The baseline data was collected on the following: Group membership, marital status, children of members who are in school and those who are not, members occupation, income generating activities, types of income generating activities in which members are involved, members access to credit, sources of finance of members, use of loan, members assets and types, improvement in the standard of living, members participation in leadership positions and their economic benefits. UCAA will assess impact basing on these and of course other parameters as it shall deem necessary when time is due.
3.1.5. Training in Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) Methodologies
UCAA planned to conduct 6 VSLAs trainings in the project life. Three courses were conducted in the project districts of Gulu (Unyama Sub County) and Oyam (Otwal Sub County) that trained a total of 60 women. The trainings concentrated on how VSLA is organised, its leadership and size, its evolution, meetings and membership selection and the ledgers that are maintained in the VSLA including the types of income.
3.1.6. Training in Entrepreneurship and Enterprise selection
Training in entrepreneurship and enterprise selection were conducted to project beneficiaries in Gulu and Oyam districts. So far 41 women have been trained. The training helped the participants to realise who an enterprise person is, characteristics of good entrepreneurship, choosing an income generating activity and record keeping. Included in these trainings were widows, women living with HIV/AIDS and young mothers who had become so as a result of dropping out of school due to lack of school fees. These young mothers who attended the training on entrepreneurship in Gulu district had this to say.
Jennith Apio aged 26 from Unyama parish dropped in primary seven and she is married with four children. She has Mukene (small fish) business. She appreciated the training that will help her organise her business in terms of record keeping and managing the business expenses. Nancy Apio, aged 21 dropped in primary seven with one child but single. She said had acquired knowledge on how to increase the volume of sales in business and had identified a business of dealing in vegetables as a viable for her community.
While Fatuma Grace aged 24, senior one drop out has one child and stays in Unyama parish has this to say. She says has acquired knowledge on how to identify a viable business and manage it well. She said she will utilize the knowledge to improve on her foodstuff business but also want to be trained in tailoring skills because she sees it viable for her community. In addition, one of the participants, Mercy Lawino aged 23 and a primary six dropouts married with three children said she had learnt how to manage small scale business. An example of chapatti business had excited her during the training and she felt she is going to start a chapatti business.
3.1.7. Involvement of Local leaders and Change Agents in the project activities
The local leaders were visited in their offices to sensitize them on the project. Some meetings were arranged between them and UCAA project staff. Others were asked to officiate at the opening and closure of workshops. Some UCAA trained change agents were asked to attend the workshops in order to share their successes with participants. One of the change Agents from Gulu district Akech Gloria Olak shared her innovation story of how she started a garden hotel which inspired the participants of the entrepreneurship training of Gulu district. Gloria’s story built confidence of the participants to believe that the knowledge they had acquired can also lead them achieve what she had done. Gloria attributes this to earlier UCAA interventions.
3.1.8. Visibility and publicity
Visibility activities through which the was made known by various stake holders included its launch, sensitisation of the local communities, writing project briefs to district key offices such as the office of the community development officers, Deejays mentions on FM radio stations in the region, involving local leaders in the opening and closure of the workshops, change agent meetings and national delegates assembly.
3.1.9. Capacity Building for Board members and staffs
UCAA is grateful to Finn Church Aid (FCA) for the capacity grant which was offered in the course of the first half of the year 2014. This grant has helped UCA staff and Board of Directors to acquire skills in monitoring and evaluation (M&E) Theses skills has not only been applied on the FCA funded project but also on other funded projects like ICCO and Media focus on Africa. As a result of this an M&E framework has been produced. This framework will be very useful to UCAA because it is a supportive tool for the implementation of its 2014 to 2016 Strategic Plan. Thanks to FCA.
3.1.10. Cooperation with Tertiary Institutions
During the period, UCAA offered internship services to five students of which four were from Makerere University and one from Kisubi Brother University. This was facilitated by the administration cost offered by the project. Three of them participated in the field activities sponsored by FCA funded project in northern Uganda while two students participated on field activities funded by ICC in Teso and Karamoja region. Thanks to FCA and ICCO for supporting UCAA to contribute to the academic excellence in Uganda.
3.2. Impact Analysis:
Follow up activities made by staff at the end of the year reveals that all women beneficiary groups had started practising village savings and loan associations methodologies but were still in their first cycles and had not yet shared their savings and dividends. Most groups are progressing well and they hold their meetings weekly.
The group members who had taken loans reported that the loans had helped them to sort their domestic issues such as buying improved seeds for planting, school fees, and medical treatment and for reinvestment in other income generating activities. UCAA can be justified by one of the premises that if poor men and women adopt the culture of saving and are able to invest in viable income generating activities, then they will engage in stimulating economic development processes that will improve their livelihoods.
The training courses described above in this section is intended to provide them with those skills and knowledge. The work of UCAA, therefore, through training, is to provide poor rural men and women with relevant skills and knowledge to be able to save and invest in viable income generating activities.
3.2.1. Operational Village group Savings and Loan Association’s Schemes
One of the groups Note Ber Women’s group of Alege Village, Okii Parish, Otwal sub county in Oyam district were visited by the Project Officer and during the visit, it was discovered that the group had 25 members and had started saving well. Women acknowledged the support received from UCAA in terms of capacity building, provision of saving box and passbooks which have enabled the group members to begin addressing their economic and social problems.
They reported that with these savings, they were able to borrow some loans for investment which have increased their income and for addressing some social problems which has resulted into an improved standard of living. They were able to take their children to better schools and could afford medical bills. Members also reported improvement in their social status in the community and this can be witnessed from the fact that their opinions are normally sought when the communities are faced with some challenges like say how to run health units better, leadership in schools, churches etc.
They have also reported that they are helping other vulnerable women to join them or form their own self help groups.
Members of Note Ber women’s group members also reported that they are engaged in income generating activities, such as poultry farming, retail trade, piggery, goat rearing, peasant farming, brick making, tailoring and trading in produce.
3.3. Challenges and Lessons Learned
UCAA experienced no major challenges during the implementation of the project and the following were the lessons learnt.
4. EDUCATION AND SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
The main purpose of this thematic area is to contribute to the knowledge and skill development through a practical change agent training for economic empowerment and self reliance.
4.1. Activities UCAA carried in the areas of Education and skills development
4.1.1. Support to academic institutions
In 2014, UCAA accepted six university students for internship from various institutions of higher learning. Four were from Makerere University, one from Kasubi Brothers University and one from Uganda College of Commerce, Aduku was successfully mentored.
4.1.2. Improvement of the education of primary pupils
One of the UCAA’s District Change Agent Associations (DCAAs) Lira, is implementing education project in Lira district sub counties schools. This project was initiated by the Edukans Foundation through Church of Uganda to cover the entire Lango sub region so as to improve the education performance of pupils in primary schools. A baseline survey and series of workshops were organised by Edukans to disseminate and gather more information on problems affecting education in the entire Lango sub region.
The workshop led to the formation of four thematic groups, namely Vocational Skill Training, Leadership and Governance, Supervision and Monitoring and Mother Tongue Education. Leadership and Governance (Functioning of the school management committee and parent and teachers associations) within school project is being implemented by Lira District Change Agent Association together with other partners in Northern regional districts of Lira, Dokolo and Amolatar.
4.3. Challenges Facing UCAA in implementing education and skills Development activities
4.3.1. Inadequate funding
Of the assumptions that UCAA holds, on which its success in implementing education and skill development processes depends upon, is the donor willingness to provide support and favourable funding opportunities prevails. To a great extent this assumption is not holding true. UCAA has been mobilising resources to fund this thematic area but not had not succeeded. Therefore, the association will continue with the current activities as they solicit for more funding.
5. GOVERNANCE RIGHTS AND CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION
It is part of UCAA’s mission to promote the participation of rural communities in decision making and livelihood enhancement for sustainable development. With support from ICCO Netherlands, UCAA is directing its efforts by ensuring that institutions, structures, norms and barriers that reinforce impoverishment and marginalization are challenged and reformed so that impoverished rural communities can have access to information and influence decision making process and can hold governments accountable for equitable development.
In 2014 therefore, UCAA carried out the following activities in order to enhance the capacity of rural communities to participate in peace building, good governance, and influence decision making processes through change agent empowerment process for efficient and effective delivery of services.
5.1. Activities UCAA carried out in the areas of Governance Rights and conflict transformation
5.1.1. Training in group formation, Community Based Monitoring and Evaluation (CBM&E)
UCAA conducted two trainings on community based monitoring and evaluation, one in Katakwi district and one in Napak district. These trainings were attended by a total of 40 participants (23 women and 17 men). The purpose of this training was to organise the people at the grassroots to learn and understand the budget process at local, district and national level, make available skills of the people at the grassroots in data collection, carrying out monitoring exercise and present reports of the findings in the sub county dialogue meetings, through dialogue meetings at various levels, seek actions to remedy the situation obtained, develop a monitoring structure of budget monitoring committees at the grassroots for the continuous monitoring of utilisation of budgeted resources and assist the budget monitoring committee develop a follow up action plan.
5.1.2. Data collection
Through the capacity gained from the training, the change Agents were able to collect data on the following issues: Katakwi district, Usuk sub county- the effect of poor roads in the sub county where else in Napak district, Ngoloriet sub county the issue was poor performance of children in primary schools. Data collectors were trained by UCAA and commissioned to the field. The data collected was organised and analysed by UCAA. The reports produced were discussed in dialogue forums that were held in each project district with the duty bearers.
5.1.3. Usuk Sub county Katakwi district
The data collected was on the effect of poor roads in the sub county. Sixty members of the community were sampled and interviewed and they include the following categories: 10 youth, 20 adults, 10 political leaders, 10 cultural leaders and 10 religious leaders. The findings were as follows: the community was facing a lot of accidents on the roads, the community loses their dear ones while on their way to medical centres, they face difficulty access social services due to floods which took some of their roads, the roads are narrow and too busy and delays in communication.
Another fining that was salient to the community was that a road which was meant to Usuk – Akworo Was wrongly diverted to Usuk – Acuruum due to political influence. The report concluded that the community were attributing the high level of poverty to lack of good roads.
5.1.4. Ngoloriet Sub county Napak district
The data collected was on poor performance of children in primary schools. Seventy three members of the community were sampled and interviewed and they include the following categories: 20 school going children, 30 adults, 10 political leaders, 2 clan leaders 5 religious leaders and 5 teachers. Findings on this included:
5.1.5. Training on service delivery, Change Agent Skills and Domestic violence
UCAA planned to two trainings on the above issues and two trainings were conducted one in Napak district and another one in Katakwi district. That of Katakwi was attended by 29(07 men and 22 women) participants while that in Napak was attended by 20 (11 men and 9 women) participants. The training imparted into participants’ knowledge and skills in understanding what service delivery means which helped them to contribute to the discussions in dialogues.
5.1.7. Dialogue Forum in Katakwi district
The dialogue forum conducted in Katakwi district was on the poor condition of roads in Usuk Sub County. The issues raised were those that came out from the data collection report of the data collectors. The report presented by the monitors was accepted by both the community (right holders) and the duty bearers that were invited to attend the dialogue at Usuk sub county headquarters. Among the duty bearers were the Chairperson LC III Usuk, the Sub County Chief of Usuk, District Councillors, parish chiefs and head of departments of the sub county. A total of 95 participants (22 men and 73 women) attended the dialogue forum.
After the report was presented by one of the data collectors, the members of the community (right holders) reaffirmed that the report was correct. They further added that stone and culverts for one of the roads were brought but later on vehicle came and ferried all away without any explanation to the community. They also complained that Usuk-Ongema road has stones and culverts in a swamp along it dumped but no work is being done. They shared that the funds for Adachar – Aguyaguya road worth UGx 6,480,000= has never been accounted for and the road was not worked on.
Reactions by the Duty Bearers
The Chairperson Local council III of Usuk Sub County apologised for the diversion of Usuk – Akworo to Usuk – Acurum due to political reasons. He however said that the road from Apenechu to Teretok was constructed by the Sub County.
The next road to be worked upon was that from Adachar to Aguyuguyu. Others include Kibui road and Usuk – Aketa and Ongema. He informed the forum that roads that are being worked upon by the central government were Katakwi to Usuk and Adachar to Urungo while the district works on Okiritok to Ongongoja road and Usuk Ongema – Orungo.
The community were also encouraged by their leaders to realise and respect their role of attending planning meetings at the various planning levels in order to avoid a situation whereby they are not aware of what is happening or taking place in their Sub County.
5.1.8. Dialogue Forum in Napak district
As planned, UCAA conducted another dialogue in Napak district and the issue was on the poor performance of pupils in primary schools in Ngoloriet Sub County. The dialogue conducted at Kangole boy’s school was attended by the Napak District Inspector of schools, the Chairperson and Sub County Chief of Ngoloriet Sub county, key head of department, head teachers and district councillors. A total of 103 participants (62 men and 41 women) attended. Mr. Kapel John one of the data collectors presented their reports and the findings were discussed.
Although Ngoloriet Ngoloriet Sub County had emerged in Napak district during the 2013 primary leaving examinations (PLE), the community members were still not happy with the results because the sub county was in the Napak District Urban Centre and according to the community the performance should have been better than what had been presented to them. During the year 2013, Ngoloriet Sub County had 177 pupils in primary seven but only 24 of them scored first grade.
Dialogue way forward in Napak district – the following were the key action points agreed upon at the dialogue.
a) The community participants to start with themselves and ensure that they work towards issues reporters by the monitors b) Sensitize fellow community members on the issues discussed c) Attend parents meeting at school d) Report any teacher (teachers) who go drinking during school hours e) The district inspector of schools to intensify supervision in schools and f) visit children at school to check on their performance.
5.1.9. Involvement of Local leaders and Change Agents
UCAA had since the beginning of this project applied Right Based Approach (RBA) to development. During the year the district leaders, sub county leaders and the change agents were involved in the project implementation. For instance, in Napak district the Vice District Chairperson Hon. Angella Lino officiated at the closure of village savings and loan association’s training as Hon. Teko Magdalene the District Councillor for Ngoloriet sub county officiated at the closure of Community based monitoring and evaluation training.
At the dialogue on the performance of pupils in primary schools in ngoloriet Sub County, the occasion was attended by the District Inspector of Schools for Napak district among others. Usuk Sub County, the Chairperson LCIII, Sub county Chief and District Councillors participated in the Dialogue forums and other UCAA project activities.
The local leaders recognised the contribution of ICC Netherlands to their district through UCAA. They wished interventions were extended to other sub counties in the district.
5.1.10. Exchange visit/ Networking
UCAA has established a clean and a healthy working relationship with the Uganda Coalition for social transformation (UCST) members currently being funded by ICCO Netherlands. This has been by participating in activities organised by them such as those organised by Interreligious Council of Uganda (IRCU), Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC) and Teso Women Peace Activist (TEWPA).
UCAA has also occasionally invited members of the Teso Karamoja cluster (Uganda Joint Christian Council, Kotido Peace Initiative (KOPEIN) and Teso Women Peace Activists) to participate in its field activities. UCAA participated in the Teso- Karamoja Cluster meeting that was organised by ICCO and the cluster review meeting organised by TEWPA. UCAA is grateful to TEWPA for its friendly leadership of the Teso Karamoja Cluster.
In addition, UCAA project beneficiaries benefited from the exposure visit that was organised by Teso Women Peace Activists in Kotido district. A total of 7 beneficiaries plus one UCAA staff were supported by TEWPA to go to Kotido district and learn from groups of UJCC and KOPEIN from 27th to 28th of October 2014.
UCAA beneficiaries were able to see large scale farming of simsim in Kotido district, Jumula trees planted on large scale for the purpose of producing Jet fuel, soap and candles. Secondly, there was realisation that one could improvise a flash toilet in a manyata house. This experience was quite challenging, enriching and a lesson learnt to the UCAA beneficiaries. Accordingly, partners from Karamoja (UJCC and KOPEIN) beneficiaries visited the UCAA projects in Katakwi and Amuria from 5th to 6th November 2014.
A team from Kotido visited the Agumen Women group in Usuk Sub County, Katakwi district to learn more about VSLA methodology and how it is useful. They also visited of the change agents in Amuria district, Mr. Eukot Samuel to find out how the UCAA Self Reliant Participatory Development (SRPD) methodology has worked for him. It was a moment of joy for the partners from Kotido and the UCAA members who were impressed to learn the following:
5.1.11. International Day of Peace
UCAA participated in the 2014 International Day of peace which was celebrated in Adjumani district West Nile region with a theme: Rights of people to peace. This theme was different from that of 2013 peace day celebrated in Moroto district. Adjumani was selected specifically because of the high influx of refugees from South Sudan.
In Adjumani, UCAA joined other partners following the resolutions of Teso Karamoja cluster quarterly meeting held on 15th September 2014 in Soroti district. UCAA participated in visiting the prisoners and offering them psychosocial support. Other activities that UCAA attended were debates on peace and sports for peace. These events were educative to the community both local and external.
5.2. Impact Analysis:
5.2.1. Monitoring and Evaluation
The monitoring and evaluation exercise revealed that the project beneficiaries were recognising the skills and knowledge acquired as having led to improved peace and unity in their households and community as a result of increased incomes through village savings and loan associations(VSLA). They reported that with VSLA, they were able to acquire loans with ease and were able to solve their domestic economic problems.
In Napak district, they reported that that the project interventions were addressing the effects of the disarmament exercise by providing an alternative way of earning income especially to the youth who survived on cattle rustling. With continued sensitisation on peace and co-existence and dialogue forums, the community of Katakwi district are now living without fear and move freely to Karamoja area while those in Karamoja are also interacting with them without fear.
Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) success stories – Usuk Sub County in Katakwi district.
Data collected from the groups in Usuk Sub County indicate a good increase in the group savings from 2013 to 2014 by 72%. This is an analysis done on 8 groups which UCAA had supported. This 72% increment in their savings is certainly attributed to the previous interventions by UCAA and also provision of the VSLA savings boxes and passbooks to them. These groups reported that they had shared proceeds of their first cycle and in 2014 had started their second cycle of VSLA which will end in 2015.
Various testimonies given by group members indicate that belonging to a VSLA has led to an improvement in life for example: 1) Apolot Mary 65 years belongs to Ongema Women Initiative for Development (OWID) says before joining the VSLA group, she could hardly afford anything but now she was able to buy beddings, household utensils and pay school fees for her children. She says she has peace of mind since there is a strong cooperation amongst members which used not to exist in the family.
This is a result of the project she said 2)Kongai Judith 24 years of OWID group, a school dropout married with 4 children but the husband neglected her and was living a very poor life before joining this VSLA group. After joining the UCAA VSLA group she managed to save, bought herself a bull and has invested in the cultivation of groundnuts in which she has been able to harvest 5 sacks that enabled her to earn income to sustain her economic life which she says has improved and she is herself and the children.
She attributes all these to the capacity gained from UCAA trainings 3) Josephine Aleleu of the same group said her husband did not believe in VSLA but when he saw the benefit he also joined because she used the dividend shared to buy a cow, improved on home sanitation and together with the husband they are planning to build an iron roof house for the family.
VSLA Success stories – Ngoloriet sub county Napak district
The monitoring team visited Lokorete Mixed group with a total of 30 members (17men and 13 women). The group’s first cycle of savings ended on 19th October 2013 and a total of Uganda shillings 15,207,000= had been saved and shared. By the time monitoring team visited, the group had started its seconded cycles and their cash book record indicated they had saved Uganda Shillings 1,280,000= between 24th October 2014 to 2nd November 2014.
Some of the members of Lokorete mixed group interviewed reported that they have used their money as follows: a)Matayo Lopeyok 32 years bought 2 oxen and 2 heifers b) Marioko 44 years started a business of cereals banking c) Helen Loumo used her proceeds for paying school fees d) Paul 72 years also used his money for paying school fees e)Cecilia Naperyok 60 years old invested in cereals for marketing and f) Lucy Naumo 28 years old started a small scale business to support her family.
Polepole Mixed group was also visited. This group was also in its second cycle of savings and had shared Uganda shillings 11,400,000= during the first cycle. The group had 25 members (18 men and 7 women).
2013 Dialogue Forums
UCAA received reports from its beneficiaries in both Katakwi and Napak districts that there has been some improvement as a result dialogues on health in Usuk Sub County and that on roads network in Ngoloriet Sub County that UCAA conducted in 2013. This was revealed by the community members during the UCAA monitoring exercise.
5.3 Challenges Encountered – This left little time for UCAA to implement its activities and to track impact.
6. Research and Advocacy
The aim of this thematic area is to contribute to policy environment through evidence based research, documentation, dissemination and advocacy to enhance peaceful co- existence, economic development and improvement of the quality of life. UCAA during the year 2014 to contribute to the thematic area did the following:
6.1.1 Data collection
Data was collected from Katakwi district, Usuk Sub County on the effect of poor roads in the sub county. Where else from Napak district Ngoloriet sub county data was collected on poor performance of children in primary schools. The results of the research conducted were disseminated in dialogue forums as follows:
In Katakwi district, duty bearers present included the sub county leaders and it was attended by 95 participants (22 men and 73 women). While in Napak duty bearers included the district inspector of schools and other district and sub county leaders. A total of 103 participants (62 men and 41 women) attended. The outcome of these dialogue forums was a commitment from the duty bearers to fulfil their mandate and for the right holders to play their roles. We are happy to note that through this UCAA fulfils its mandate of helping the community members to hold their leaders accountable.
UCAA conducted two intra – cultural dialogues at Aromo sub county headquarters and Barlonyo Massacre Memorial hall in Agweng sub county Lira district. These dialogue forums were attended by 150 people (73 men and 77 women). In attendance were religious leaders, youth, cultural leaders and the elders. The purpose of these dialogue forums was to map out ways of co-existence amidst varying cultures and how culture can contribute to lasting peace.
7. Institution support and development
This thematic area aims at strengthening UCAA and its branches capacity and institutional development to deliver on its vision, mission and objectives efficiently and effectively.
7. 1.1. Board of Directors
UCAA planned to hold meetings of the Board of Directors in accordance with the UCAA Constitution and these meetings were successfully held. During these meetings, the Secretariat presented to the Board progress reports on membership, fundraising, programme, finances, personnel and advocacy. These reports were presented and thoroughly discussed and resolutions were made by the Board. The Board of Directors, particularly the Treasurers, inspected and carried out internal audits of UCAA Accounts. As expected, the Board of Directors carried out inspection visits to selected UCAA Programme activities. The Board also advised the secretariat on policy issues.
7.1.2. National Delegates Assembly (NDA)
In accordance with the UCAA constitution, UCAA conducted a national delegate’s assembly of delegates representing it membership in all districts of Uganda. The National delegates assembly did approved the annual narrative and financial report for 2013 and plan and budget for 2014. During the meeting the project activities and UCAA funders were highlighted to the members in the assembly.
7. 1.3. Capacity Building
UCAA is again grateful to Finn Church Aid (FCA) for the capacity building grant which was offered in 2014. This grant has help UCAA staff and Board of Directors to acquire skills in monitoring and evaluation (M&E). These skills have not only been applied on the Finn Church Aid funded project but also on other UCAA projects. As a result of this an M&E framework has been produced. This framework will be very useful to UCAA because it is a supportive tool for the implementation of UCAA strategic plan for 2014 to 2016.
The Board was trained in its role and use of policies. The Board of Directors has now realised that there are types of boards and is now able to tell that they fall in the category of professional Board. This has strengthened the working relationship between UCAA staff and Board through understanding the roles of each. In addition, with support from FCA, UCAA staff was trained in Right Based Approach (RBA) to development.
7. 1.4. Fundraising
UCAA during the year 2014 was recommended to the Media Focus on Africa (MFA) by ICCO Netherlands and received funding to conduct Dialogue forums in Lango sub region. Thanks to ICCO. UCAA and Teso Women Peace Activists prepared and submitted a jointed concept note to USAID safe programme for funding of activities in Teso Karamoja region but no response was received. UCAA wrote a number of proposals which targeted its current 2014 to 2016 country strategy.
Some were successful and others were not. UCAA sourced funds from FCA for the staff and Board capacity building and UCAA staff and Board were trained in policy implementation and monitoring and evaluation skills that they applied to the projects. Out of the funding received from FCA also UCAA was able to introduce Quick books accounting package that will support its financial functions starting in 2015.
7. 1.5. Administration
The work of UCAA would be impossible without a committed and a dedicated staff. UCAA staff exhibited high level of cooperation during the year. UCAA had the staff member positions required for smooth running with full-time paid staff members.
UCAA also had access to trained Change Agents (Volunteers and development workers) who assisted the UCAA Secretariat was able to conduct all the project activities, report on time and offered their overtime service without demanding for extra allowance. The vehicle support budget was very useful. The vehicle support helped UCAA to be able to meet insurance costs and used fulltime for project activities. This made the presence of UCAA to be felt by the target local communities.
The Audit services for the UCAA finances were conducted by Semu & Associates Certified Public Accountants. This audit is very relevant to UCAA’s credibility, transparency and accountability to its stakeholders.
UCAA funding from Finn Church Aid, ICCO Netherlands and Media Focus on Africa and its local combined with support from the stakeholders at different levels have enabled UCAA to make various achievements during 2014.
We will continue to build on these achievements for the realisation of our vision, mission and objectives. We take this opportunity to thank the Board of Directors, the change agents, the secretariat staff and other stakeholders for their contribution towards the implementation of the UCAA programme activities during the year and we look forward to your continued financial and moral support as we strive to transform the lives of disadvantaged poor rural communities in Uganda.