Wednesday, November 28, 2012


RWECO Staff and BoD at the Kasunga Reflection meeting 22-25 Nov. 2012

The Rwenzori Consortium for Civic Competence (RWECO) comprises four Non Governmental Organizations in the Rwenzori region, namely, Karambi Action for Life Improvement (KALI), Good Hope Foundation for Rural Development (GHFRD), Human Rights and Democracy Link Africa (RIDE AFRICA) and Rwenzori Information Centres Network (RICNET) .RWECO is a civil society watchdog on good governance and is a public policy lobby agency that is committed to contribute to the improvement of the quality of governance in the country by empowering citizens to actively participate in their own governance; promoting constitutionalism and the protection of human and people’s rights; and facilitating meaningful and principled engagement between the rights holders and duty bearers on critical issues that affect human and democratic development.
RWECO is active  in the Rwenzori Region since 2008, and has engaged with  the technical staff ,Policy making bodies and the community at sub county, district and regional/national level on governance issues.  In all these processes RWECO has gained experience based on the membership huge cliental in the Rwenzori region. To date, RWECO has trained 810 community monitors and 80 Community Process Facilitators in 80 sub counties, 7 districts. RWECO has also shared its expertise at national and international level. With all these, stories, RWECO has grown and the need to reflect, harmonize and strategize for next five years.
The purpose of the reflection meeting was to enable RWECO focus at the past, present and future so as to draw a vision map for the organization.
 The objectives of the reflection meeting were to, assess the RWECO Monitoring and Evaluation Framework 2011-2013, input into the RWECO Strategic Plan 2012-2016 and to develop/design a fundraising strategy for RWECO
Expected out puts
a)      Updated M&E framework
b)      Refined Strategic Plan and Budget
c)      Working document for the fundraising and sustainability plan of RWECO

The participants were drawn from the RWECO membership of KALI,RIDE AFRICA,GHFRD and RIC-NET.
 The refection meeting took place between November 22rd and 23rd 2012 at Kasunga resort and conference centre-Kyenjojo district.
The exercise started on Thursday 22rd  November 2012 with arrival and registration of participants at the Hotel, business started on Friday 23rd November 2012 with a report writing exercise that was presided over by the M&E officer Ms. Sheila Kengingo  from RWECO coordinating unit and chaired by the programs manager  RIC NET Ms. Kyomuhendo Joselyne.   The reporting exercise was for the Hivos Social accountability project. In the proceedings of the report programme officers reported on accomplished activities as per the work plan and this was based on indicators drawn down in the M&E frame work.  The report showed how effectively and efficiently activities accomplished have been able to meet the indicators of enhancing civic competence for social accountability in the regions of operation in the Rwenzori region.
This was followed by presentation of the M&E frame work of RWECO with a purpose of ensuring that performance of work done be measured on indicators.  This was done and it formed the basis of activity work plans and setting targets for a particular period of implementation.
Presentation of the strategic work plan. 
Mr. James Mwirima, facilitating at the RWECO reflection meeting
The strategic plan was presented by James Mwirima, former Coordinator of RWECO who  made it clear that the Strategic plan was  owned by RWECO and not the Coordinating Unit.  The facilitator reocheod the spirit under which RWECO was formed based on the strength and competence of each member organization.  As a Corporate body, the BoD were the custodians of RWECO and thus called on the members to be vigilant in ensuring that the staff implement the activities without diverting from the normal practices and to ensure that each member has signed an MoU with the district local governments where they operate.    The strategic plan was not tailored to only one project but rather to all the projects with a major question of whether it should be project or programme based. Importantly, the strategic plan, highlights the, mandate, strategic objectives, operating environment and core values and principles. The Strategic was tailored in stimulate economic growth and  transforming communities livelihoods right from the individual, household and the wider community.  The facilitator also led the team into translating words into figures- call it budgeting. A process that was termed by the participants as the future of RWECO in the next 5 years.  While concluding the presentation and the budgeting processes, the facilitator, Mr. James Mwirima, thanked the RWECO staff and BoD for the team work and time put into the reflection meeting and expected the action points from the meeting to be translated into real field activities, he quoted the Holy Book, “ They shall be charged by the works of their hands”, let us not wait and lament but turn the challenges into opportunities.
While at the reflection meeting, it was a mix of both brain work and team building and networking. While the elites believe that work without play made Tom a lazy boy, indeed, the staff were hosted to a dinner and a toast: dancing and sharing good moments away from the daily routine, short stories and reminiscing the journey RWECO has gone through.  
At the closer of the reflection meeting, the Coordinator RWECO, Jimmy B. Odyek, reminded the group of how RWECO was formed and presented the founders to the Chairman: Four chairpersons of KALI, GHFRD, RICNET and RIDE Africa, gave the birth to RWECO and present were: Mr. Augustine Mkamba (KALI), Joseph Kahyana (GHFRD), Isagara Nyakana (RIDE Africa) and John Silco Murugahara (RICNET)  who was the first chairperson and handed over to Rev. Isaiah R. Mucunguzi. Tamme Hansma ( Hivos) was an Ex-Official, and  Ms. Nyambura Gathumbi  ( Hivos, Regional Office- Nairobi is an ex-official). The Coordinator also presented the founding EDs in 2008 as, Jimmy B. Odyek (KALI) but handed over to Ms. Beatrace Katusabe, Richard Muke ( GHFRD) handed over to Paddy Mainuka – Johnson Baluku, Sam Rukidi (RIDE African), Kamalha (RICENT) handed over to John Silco Murugahara. In 2009, RWECO CU was officially launched and hosted by KALI with James Mwirima as Coordinator and Sanza John as Finance and Administrator.
Each of the BoD present, gave a word to the staff and the Chairperson BoD Rev. Isaiah gave the final remarks of which, sustainability of RWECO was common in all the closing remarks by the BoD

By Agnes Kyakimwa

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


RWECO Staff and BoD at the Kasunga Reflection meeting from 22-25 Nov. 2012

RWECO staff and BoD members arrived at Kasunga Training Center in Kyenjojo last night 22nd Nov.2012 ahead of the two days Reflection meeting that kicked off today 23rd Nov 2012. The meeting that has so far attracted approximately twenty three participants (08 females&15 males) participated is expected to run until Sunday 25th Nov. 2012.
The reflection meeting whose objectives include; to build a strong crusade on enhancing civic competence on voice and accountability in the Rwenzori region, to coordinate capacity building of the RWECO members and constituents in citizen empowerment on constitutionalism, human rights and good governance, to undertake and or coordinate advocacy activities on major policy issues at regional nationalism and international level and to mobilize and manage resources for the consortium started at 9:00am with opening remarks from Jimmy Baluku Odyek RWECO Chairperson.
Opening the meeting Jimmy welcomed participants to the reflection meeting and also took them through two days program and the climate setting session. Below are some of the participants’ expectations about the meeting as shared;
1.    To learn of RWECO’s future interventions
2.    To come up with a comprehensive and final RWECO report and strategic plan
3. To understand the commitment of RWECO members towards fundraising for the consortium.
4.    To understand RWECO’s sustainability plan.
5.    To learn of the members’ ICT challenges and suggestions to RIC-NET to address them.
6.    To know the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of RWECO.
7.    To Learn of RWECO’s key achievements registered so far.
8. To know all the RWECO BoD members and understand their take on RWECO’s programming, interventions and Progress.
9.    To share experiences from the different activities’ implementation going on in the different organizations.
Commenting on this, the Jimmy thanked all members for having a vision for RWECO, indicating that the meeting will make sure that all the raised expectations are surely met. He then invited the chairperson of the day Ms. Kegingo Sheila to facilitate the report writing session. This session is expected to take the whole of day one, 23rd.Nov.2012.
In this session, focal persons are reporting on the different activities they have been implementing with key focus on the numbers reached, content discussed, passed on or received, area/place of operation, achievements registered, challenges faced, case studies noted and key lessons learned. (A comprehensive report about this will be availed by end of today). However, several issues emerging from the different presentations include;
Key Emerging Issues
Ø  Monitors need to be encouraged and or guided to learn to take action at their level without necessarily reporting monitoring issues to the RWECO members they are attached to. Doing this it is said will facilitate immediate correction of service delivery problems identified in the community.
Ø  Enhanced monitors capacity in monitoring public expenditure, reporting, documentation articulation of issues and advocating for positive change has been registered. This is evident in the increased number of news stories shared by the monitors for the RWECO monthly newsletters.
Ø  Some case studies on the Orgaanizations’ success stories have  also  been shared for instance RideAFrica shared a case from Nyantabooma HCII, Kichwamba sub county Kabarole District; where CPF and monitors monitored the HC and found poor sanitation; unhygeinic latrine, dirty and bushy compound, poor disposal of garbage, alleged high prevalence of malaria, poor time management by HC staff-late coming. Following this, the monitors engaged with the Sub County leadership and HC management on these issues demanding that these issues be addressed immediately. Later the monitors learnt through their other monitoring visits that the issues had been adequately addressed.
While KALI shared about their success in getting children in Kamwenge primary schools to report to school the first week of the term since many do not turn until the second and third week. Accordingly they hosted the secretary for social services on VOK who mobilized parents to send their children to school right from the school open day and also educated the parents on the value of education. Consequently the number of pupils that reported to school in third term is reported to have soared high as opposed to the previous terms.
Ø  Lack of Cameras by the monitors has limited evidenced based monitoring because they are not able to capture an event as it happens.
Ø  What is the impact of RWECO’s intervention; there is need to establish what the situation was before and what it is since RWECO’s intervention; e.g the number of pupil enrollment, retention and completion of primary level before and now, the involvement of PWDs in social accountability work and accessing good public services.
Ø  Poor phone radio network limits the number of phones-ins and as thus participation of the community in radio programs.
Ø  There is increased demand for radio programs by the community although it is challenged by the inadequate funds.
Ø  Radio programs have proven to be the most effective means of reaching out to masses in a faster and reliable manner.
Ø  I.EC. materials are effective because their message are not time bound, the message on is continuous and they have enhanced RWECO’s visibility, branding and created more understanding on the consortium’s programs, and activities.
These among others are some of the key highlights in the meeting sofar, other things to be looked at include reviewing the RWECO M&E framework, strategic planning and developing the consortium’s fundraising strategy. To be continued…

Monday, November 19, 2012

Busoro Sub county Monitoring Findings Approved

Mr. JohnYoung Kusemererwa , the Chairperson LCIII Busoro Sub county, Kabarole District

" I have approved this report of the monitors in Busoro Sub County, since I was part of the team that participated in the joint monitoring exercise and the RWECO magazine where I appear on the front page is also approved at this function" Chairperson LCIII Busoro Sub county at the Midterm Term Review conducted by EU and DGAP in the Rwenzori Region on Monday 19 November, 2012. The DGAP midterm review team was led by Mr. Pieter du Plessis.

RWECO Team and Mr. Pieter at RIDE Africa, Fort Portal Municipality ( 19, Nov. 2012)
Mr. Pieter met the RWECO team at RIDE Africa in Fort Portal, Municipality before going to the field. In the brief meeting with RWECO, a brief project report was presented about the Social Accountability supported by EU and Hivos and the Citizens' Manifesto in Action: Building a Social Contract between citizen's and their leaders funded by EU and Oxfam Novib. The Coordinator RWECO, informed Mr. Pieter that, as a consortium of Organisations: KALI, GHFRD, RICNET, RIDE Africa, other partners also participated in the Citizens Manifesto program right from the elections period and the post election period. In Particular RAC and KRC were partners during the 2010/2011 Pre-election and also participated in the citizens driven election observations in 2011. RWECO best practice was the application of ICT in all its work and that, had given RWECO a comparative advantage over other CSO activities in the Rwenzori Region.

Play depicting Engineers drilling a bore hall
While in the field at Busoro Sub County headquarters, the team was treated to a real Kitooro welcome: The drama group presented the 'RUNYEGE' traditional dance to warmly welcome the visitors. More was yet to come when the drama group presented a play depicting the rot in the water sector tendering process of which the area chairperson had influenced the drilling of a bore hole in his land yet the watertable  was deep. The bore hall was drilled without the community participation and money exchanged hands between the contractor and the chairperson. Sanitation at the bore hall was poor, with dirty and rubbish every where, when the bore hole broke, the chairperson fenced off the the bore hall something that broke into conflict. Then the moderator asked the community to respond to the issues depicted in the play. One elderly women, gave a testimony that, what happened in the play was exactly what had happened at her shallow well, and during the neighborhood assembly they agreed to meet the local leaders to address the challenges, another women, said   "Ogu muzano nugwa mazima" Loosely translated as, this play is a real situation of what  happened at her shallow well, but they reported to the chairperson LCIII Busoro Sub county who sent a team to go and verify and now the swallow well was function but after interventions by monitors.

The Sub county Chief requested RWECO and RIDE Africa, to support the sub county train the water user committees and the Health Unit Management, as a measure to mitigate on the conflicts at water points. A request that RWECO will share with the Kabarole district Water Officer and the District Health Officer for action.

While in Kibito Sub county, the team met with BUDI, a CBO that participated in the CM implementation with RAC. At BUDI, the members presented their story how they implemented the CM by use of drama, held a district CM day for they were proud to report that the issues identified were worked on by the district, that the area MP and Minister of Local Governments, Hon. Adolf Mwesige was in support of the CM activities and had asked for a report of the CM day which was presented by the his Political Assistant who was part of the CM implementation. Hon. Adolf has met with BUDI and lobbied for stabilization grants for three sub counties and followed up the community reports by carrying independent monitoring in the community which tallied with the community monitors reports.

RWECO, presented the challenges faced during the implementation of all its work in the Rwenzori region as political interference and tribal conflicts which they are addressing with other CSOs in the region.
RWECO also reported that integration of livelihood was the next strategy they want to do if they must sustain governance work in the region.

RWECO also showed the relationship between CEWIT and other partners in Uganda as a big strength in lobby and advocacy work.

Field report compiled by

Jimmy B.O
Sheila K
Margaret K
Misaki B
Photos by Abdul M

Sunday, November 18, 2012

“Knowledge will Forever Govern Ignorance”

Saturday 10/11/2012 was rather a very  hot  day in Kasese but I had no excuse of staying home with my family  since RWECO  and the Kasese District  Informational officer, Mr. John Thawithe had scheduled a round table meeting with Journalist at Virina Gardens hotel.  The meeting was focusing on the role the journalist of Kasese in ensuring effective service delivery.   In the process of self introduction I realized that we had a representative from the Red Pepper and I was quick to crack a joke  not put me in the Red Pepper and he laughed it off.
Mr. John Thawithe ( 3rd from left) the Kasese district Information Officer, at the Journalists roundtable meeting

 Business started with a key note address  from Kasese district information officer who welcomed the members to the meeting and informed the members as to why the journalists were invited to the meeting.  The Guest speaker was a senior retired journalist Mr. Godfrey Kisangara  Mukiarane  who   made his case of serving since 1965 as a journalist had enjoyed working with the most daring situations and personality but that kept was his professional conduct and never diverted away. That for the print media, it was even worse if one did not make through research on anything published, as it will cross borders within a minute- talk of social media that has taken the media a beck . Mr. Kisangara quoted one American president who said that ‘KNOWLEDGE WILL FOREVER GOVERN IGNORANCE’,  the media is a big tool in governance and without the journalists then, the knowledge space would be incomplete. That he expected journalist to be current and not to sit back and wait for news, their work stations was the field. He reiterated his achievements to the then Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information back in 1965 who mentored him and taught him to know the community he was serving and know their tastes.
Mr. Kisangara, guest speaker at the roundtable meeting for journalists in Kasese

While discussing the presentation by Mr. Kisangara, a participants posed a question whether Journalists were still men and  women  who know their profession  or working for a quick money? The meeting was also informed that,  The Norwegian employee pay  70%  of their income in form of tax that was used to meet government commitments in developing countries but see  what was happening in sub Saharan Africa, Corruption is right from the roof of the house to the last point of the pole:  as journalists; We should not  conceal  corruption but expose it  so that  money is used for service delivery

  In the nut shell the meeting came out some resolution and among these  was that journalist should  the role models and focused in sourcing for credible information that will translate into improving the lives  citizens.  Journalist should be empathetic with a focus on service delivery, by always asking supposing its me? Know that there is life after a story and therefore ask them why a journalist would write a story to cause a loss of your life  “mbu” you are defending the freedom of the press  but we need to acknowledge that whatever we put out we make enemies and friends.

Another round table meeting where the owners and the managers of the media houses,  Chief News Editors, News Paper Reporters, Photographers and Program Directors will be able to attend was scheduled to 15/12/2012 and RWECO was requested to support the meeting and  a paper on role of journalist in improving service delivery will be presented. The meeting was attended by 10 participants   representing Observer, Kasese Guide Radio, Red Pepper, Radio Messiah, District Information officer, Freelance journalist and RWECO.

The purpose of these roundtable meetings is to question the professional conduct of young journalists and inspire them to conduct business in a manner that will contribute to improved service delivery in Uganda. In  RWECO we  believe that each sector has got a big contribution they make in making leaders deliver according to their mandate. While we recognise that the media was an important partner in social accountability, the need for an interactive session was prudent in order to share the vast experience from the veteran journalists despite the political turbulence they trade on. 

RWECO Staff:
Sheila K
Jimmy B
Abdul M