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In July 2013, UDN lobbied several stakeholders, including the Minister for Tourism, Hon. Maria Mutagamba (3rd right) on Policy and Rights Issues of people living adjacent to Protected Areas in Uganda. UDN in liaison with area MPs from Bushenyi, Mitooma, Buhweju, Kanungu and Sheema Districts further lobbied the Deputy Speaker of Parliament on the same and UDN is preparing a Petition to be presented on the floor of Parliament to advocate for policy reforms on matters of compensation for victims, revenue sharing and community participation in budgeting for these revenues, among others.
UDN has remained vigilant in its advocacy for Good Governance and Accountability. As part of this campaign, a Press Conference was held to commemorate the International Anti-Corruption Day on December 12, 2013. UDN raised voice on, among other things, the need to reopen the Anti-Corruption Court, whose operations had been suspended in July the same year, a call to which Government has since heeded.
To further its campaign against Corruption and misuse of public resources in the country, UDN in December 2013 launched a Mural at the Busitema junction along the Kampala-Busia-Tororo highway as a reminder to the lay person of the forms, manifestations and effects of Corruption. A Mural is an artistic portrayal of a phenomenon, usually a matter of public concern aimed at informing and provoking action towards positive change. UDN is set to launch another Mural at Kigumba Town Council, Kiryandongo District (Kampala-Gulu Highway) on 6th March, 2014.
UDN Board Chairman, Prof. Dr. Ezra Suruma (3rd right, also Senior Presidential Advisor and former minister for Finance) introduces other Board members to the Annual General Meeting 2012, held at Hotel Africana, Kampala on 11th October, 2013. UDN utilises the AGM to keep its members and stakeholders abreast with the progress of its programme implementation work.
UDN Executive Director, Patrick Tumwebaze (extreme left) and Director of Programmes, Julius Kapwepwe Mishambi (in white t-shirt) guide invited guests in a Brass-band led procession along the Kampala-Busia-Tororo highway to mark the launch of the Anti-Corruption Mural on 12th December, 2013
The local community from the Bugiri-Busia area turned up in large numbers and joined UDN staff, Community Monitors from Bugiri, Namutumba, Iganga and Tororo and other invited guests for the Mural launch to show their commitment to the fight against Corruption.
Goodlyfe Crew singing duo Radio and Weasel wowed the crowd with a thrilling performance during the Mural launch at Busitema, starting with a debut performance of the UDN Anti-Corruption Song they composed. The song was officially launched during the same event and has since been disseminated widely as a community awareness tool to foster personal ownership of the fight against Corruption among the citizenry, especially the youth.
As part of its mission, UDN facilitates Community and Citizen Participation in Budget formulation processes, monitoring and evaluation of Government programmes within their communities and demand for service delivery, among other rights. Under its Capacity Building and Empowerment Programme, UDN in 2013 conducted a Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) training for its community monitors in Amuria District and facilitated them with start-up kits. An exchange visit was also organised, where the UDN monitors visited other groups (Ekeunos and Oteten groups) supported by CIDI and VEDCO to improve their learning.
UDN also sponsors 5 weekly and bi-weekly community radio programmes on Eastern Voice (Bugiri), Crane FM (Bushenyi), Kinkiizi FM (Kanungu), Saviour FM (Amuria) and Continental FM (Kumi) where community members are invited to participate in discussions on service delivery issues within their communities. The live-on-air talkshows allow for listener participation as well as feedback from concerned duty bearers, through phone calls.
A district dialogue in session in Bukedea District, November 2013. UDN facilitates the organisation of Sub-County and District Dialogues to create a platform for interaction between community members and Local Government officials on budget priorities, poor service delivery and accountability issues within the communities. Through these interactions, the communities are able to hold their leaders accountable and also advocate for proper delivery of services.
Amuria District Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, Mr. Edotu Paul, responds to a community monitoring report presented by UDN supported community monitors during the district dialogue held in November, 2013. UDN regularly provides several CBOs and monitoring groups with information on government releases and other policy reforms to build their capacity in advocacy.
Community members from Acowa and Obalanga Sub-Counties in Amuria District share their thoughts on the CAIIP programme with a UDN officer. In 2013, UDN conducted a study to assess the extent to which the Community Agricultural Infrastructural Improvement (CAIIP) government programme is contributing to the restoration of Agricultural production and productivity through improved infrastructure to ease farmers’ access to markets, income and food security. The findings of the report will be used during UDN's various advocacy interactions with Government and other stakeholders.
UDN in October 2013 organised an Inter-University Students' Debate (code named the "Guest Speaker Series") where students from four Universities came together to discuss the role of youth in fighting Corruption. The Head of the Judicial Service Commission, Justice James Ogoola (pictured above, centre) made a presentation at the event which was presided over by Ethics and Integrity Minister, Hon. Rev. Fr. Simon Lokodo.
Africana Uhuru (left), a student representative from Kyambogo University, makes a presentation during the Inter-University Debate held at Makerere University on 23rd October, 2013. The debate that drew participants from Kyambogo University, Makerere University, Islamic University in Uganda and Uganda Christian University had a total attendance of over 200 students.
In March 2013, UDN in collaboration with the Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) organized a public dialogue on the Public Finance Bill. 104 participants from Civil Society (CS), Government, Parliament, media, academia and development partners attended the meeting, where a CS position paper on the Bill was presented and discussed by Prof. Ezra Suruma, the incumbent UDN Board Chairman. 15 of the CS recommendations have since been adopted into the Bill.
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