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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS CALLED UPON TO DEFEND THE RIGHTS OF PWDS

Most people regard disability to be a curse, said the chairperson of NUDIPU, during a workshop that took place on 15th Dec 2011 at hotel Africana.
The workshop was a follow up of another workshop that took place in May for human rights defenders and activist on how they have mainstreamed disability within their work.
He called upon all represented organizations to come up and defend the rights of PWDS.
A number of presentations were made during the workshop one of which was on understanding the best practices in mainstreaming disability .This was presented by Mr.Lukabwe Fred from Enhance initiative, he gave a highlight of the best practices in mainstreaming disability as;
•Need for an organization to Recognize disability
•Non discrimination,
•Equity and fairness, in terms of service delivery accessibility and information sharing.
•Care and support, an organization should give most utmost passion for disabled people
•Health working environment
•Social dialogue: when addressing PWDS, one should avoid talking to but should talk to.
He also went ahead to give processes of mainstreaming as engagement, access, resources and enforcement.
By the end of the training participants were called upon to form a coalition which will act as an umbrella to promoting the rights of PWDS.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

CITIZENS OF RWENZORI REGION VOW TO FIGHT CORRUPT CIVIL SERVANTS.

Citizen Representatives of the Rwenzori region aired out their views on the on-going corruption in the country. This was during the Launching of Anti-Corruption week organized by Rwenzori Anti-Corruption Coalition [RAC] at Kagote SDA hall in Fort-Portal Municipality under the theme “A just and corrupt free society” with mission “to contribute to poverty reduction in the Rwenzori region by empowering citizens to expose and cause action against corruption”. RIC-NET is part of this fight against corruption through the program of Social Accountability.

The citizens showed their dissatisfactions on how; police fuel corruption by taking position in some cases, that even some cases in the community are not investigated for example the case in BUFUNGO sub county kyenjonjo where a couple killed each other, in some circumstance investigations are just minimal giving ground for the court to throw out cases, and police investigation favour the rich.
Similarly; the Judiciary favour special people e.g. Anti-corruption cases,

Government also have been supportive of people close and or related to government officials or the president. Yet “Mr. Museveni talks about zero tolerance to corruption. Later when he went to Rwanda, he declared that his Government was surrounded by thieves”

“Justice delayed is justice denied”, the judiciary is no longer independent from the Government. This is evidenced in the cases the IPP or the IGG have taken to court and later withdraw cases due to lack of sufficient evidence. Why are the people involved in gross corruption left unpunished but those with cases of 1000 or less punished? Why is the government siding with the people engaged in mass corruption e.g. Hon.Muhwezi, Hon.Mbabazi? Other cases like Uganda Vs Mugabi Pius and two other Ref.IGG FP/CF/03/09.Does the government understand the citizen manifesto about combating corruption?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RIC-NET STAFF PARTICPATES IN CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP ON TSA IN NAIROBI




Technology for Accountability and Transparency (TSA) initiatives are increasing becoming common in East Africa.
several CSOs are having initiatives that creates a platform for citizens to voice their concerns and demand improved service delivery.
In Kenya, SODNET has created an action that is already creating a lot of impact in getting leaders and government officers.The initiative dubbed HUDUMA, is a citizens’ initiative of Social Development Network (SODNET) in partnership with USHAHIDI. www.huduma.info

The goal of the strategy is to contribute to the improvement of service delivery by providing simple technology/media based tools and channels to amplify citizens concerns, displeasure, complaints, or suggestions on their perceptions on service delivery by duty bearers.

Huduma intends to nurture more vibrant a more vibrant citizenry that is able to make demands for improved service delivery, more accountability and robust democratization process through increased grassroots participation.


The channels allow citizens to report a number of issues or complaints e.g. lack of water, medicines, potholes, lack of teachers, to an Huduma channel, mostly an SMS number (3018). The conversation, including feedback, are managed through the Huduma channels

The initiative initially focused on six counties, namely Nairobi-Langata, Muranga, Bungoma, Kisumu and Pokot, but it has now expanded to other areas of Kenya and is currently being scaled up in other countries. In each country, the action will work with professional groups as a means of verifying citizens’ demands.

The initiative has already began to create demands for improved service delivery and has been attracting participation from different areas of the country from citizens who are keen to voice concerns. This has been witnessed in Langata in Nairobi and in other regions where those in authority have been able to respond to citizens queries.

As part of the efforts to upscale it in Kenya and in the Eastern Africa Region, SODNET has recently organized a capacity building workshop which drew participants from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia at Nairobi's Methodist Guest House , on December 2-3, 2011 to which the John Silco from RIC-NET and Emanuel Oluka from CEW-IT and Mugisha Celestine participated. RWECO- RICNET team shared with other participants the Uganda TSA initiatives in Uganda and platforms as Uchaguzi -Uganda, Rwenzori peoples voice and Citizens voice. www.citizensvoice.ug




Friday, December 2, 2011

INFORMATION SHARING CAUSES ACTION TOWARDS SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY.

Information is any relevant news or data or facts gathered, processed and analyzed and shared with other stake holders who include among others; the farmers, health officer, political leader, teachers religious leader and members of Public. The role of information officers is to identify such silent issues in the society that can be amplified. The training took place on 28th November at RIC-Net head office in fort Portal.

The focus of the training was how the information we gather can speak out and influence change in the communities where we work. The main facilitator Ms Alice Mushenene Mbayahi mentioned that “what makes good information is the 5W’s”. Information should have content, evidenced based, having facts and based on the community are facing. Information should be shared and should emphasize on a single issue for action to be realize.

She emphasized on the methods of gathering information as observation, discussions, interview and dialogue. Information officer should easily identify the sources, monitor the project or issues in the community, share with other stakeholders, and identify the local government development project cycle.
In doing all this, it was realized that the entry point is important in information sourcing. Create a good social relationship with people, write a simple description of the issue, make follow-ups’ and if no action is done then engage the community in the issue before a dialogue with the authority can be organized.

By the end of the training, the information officers agreed that in order to cause change in the community, there is a great need to develop interest in serving the community, share timely information, improve the means of communication, improve our resource centers with timely information and engage our leaders to practically be accountable to the community they are serving.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

ARUA TOWN,A PLACE TO BE

It was a bright sunday morning that the RIC-NET team led by the Executive Director, set off for a journey to Northern Uganda to conduct a training in e-platforms and maintenance at CEFORD offices in Arua . A night in Arua was so enjoyable at Heritage Courts where there was a Karaoke night and on top of that it was also a comedy night, despite language barrier we managed to pick few words through the help of an interpreter.
Having had a tremendous night at heritage hotel, early Monday, the team headed to CEFORD office where the training was to take place. The training kicked off at 9:30am with ICT Emma taking members through Uchaguzi ,citizen voice and RIC-NET ED,John silco took  members in skype,blogs,how to operate a projector  where as Betty took them through computer maintenance tips  . CEFORD team was one of the active one as everyone was mesmerized in gaining ICT skills.The training ended late in the evening with Ricnet ED  handing over a projector  to Ceford Executive Director madam Jean.
 

TODAY IS WORLD AIDs DAY,WHAT CAN WE CHANGE

CHILD HIV BECOMING A GROWING PROBLEM
Over 150,000 Ugandan children below the age of 14 are infected with HIV/AIDs according to a study by UNICEF. Pediatric cases are becoming a growing problem in Uganda where mother- to -child transmission is still a concern, and medical facilities struggle to provide adequate treatment throughout the country.
A major issue is that HIV progresses much faster in children than it does in adults. If a positive infant is left untreated for two years they face a 50% mortality rate, making early testing vital to an infant’s survival if caught early and treated immediately the child is likely to live a normal life.
“All care and treatment can only be given if they are first tested. Testing is the only entry point for care”, says Dr. Peter Elyanu, program officer pediatric HIV care and treatment at the ministry of health.
Six weeks after birth is considered the ideal time for testing because the DNA PCR test, which looks for particles of the virus in the blood, is almost effective at this time. The six week point also coincides with the child’s first set of immunizations.
Although cases are considered pediatric, until the age of, children are able to give their consent for testing at the age of 12 and the ministry of health encourages parents to tell their children the status by the age of 10. In the case that results are positive, there are special counseling methods used for children that differ from the one-on-one basis consultations given to adults. “Children easily communicate their emotional status through activities like drawing “said Elyanu
They don’t respond well to direct questions so we use methods like storytelling and play.
All hospitals, health centres IVs and health centers IIIs can test children.