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Monday, July 16, 2012

WEST NILE EMBRACES ICT TO ENHANCE CIVIC COMPETENCE


ENHANCING CIVIC COMPETENCE TO STRENGTHEN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY IN 25 DISTRICTS, IN FIVE REGIONS OF UGANDA” is an EU funded project and one of it’s components is the design of District websites and E-libraries where RIC-NET is mandated on behalf of CEW-IT to implement the design of these online platforms.
This project is running in 25 Districts in the five regions of Uganda namely western, Central, Teso, Acholi, and West Nile. The core objective of these websites is to strengthen information sharing within the Districts and with partners outside the District
The key roles of RIC-NET therefore include;
Ø  Sensitizing and training District leaders and staff on use and value of websites
Ø  Domain name registration and hosting fee payments
Ø  Designing and building dynamic websites for Districts
Ø  Designing and development of E-libraries for the Districts
Ø  Integrating web 2.0 tools and other social media such as twitter, face book, youtube,d-group with district website.
Ø  Integrating website issues with Huduma and bulk Sms.
Interface meetings with District leaders
Two districts were selected for the first round of meetings and that was Koboko and Arua.
Koboko District

The meeting took place on 9th July 2012 at Koboko District headquarters in the Chairperson’s office. In attendance were;
S/N
Name
Title
Sex
01.
Hon. Nginya Hassan Said
District Chairperson
M
02.
Mr. Asenda Patrick
Assist. C.A.O
M
03.
Ms Adraa Gloria winnie
Dist. Information officer
F
04.
Hon.Mukili
Secretary Social services
M
05.
Hon. Innocent Paul
Deputy speaker
M
06.
Mr. Abele Emmanuel Moro
P.P.O
M
07.
Hon. Goro Grace
Vice C/person
F
08.
Mr.Albert
Prog.officer CEFORD
M
09.
Mr.M John Silco
Executive Director RIC-NET
M
10.
Mr. Okuti Richard
Partner RIC-NET
M
11.
Mr.Yosia Baluku
ICTO-RIC-NET
M

Among issues discussed were the district website that was provided by UCC and therefore has not been active for a while and would therefore need redesign and activating www.koboko.go.ug . The E-library was also discussed as a component of the website and district officials appreciated and welcomed the idea. The District vice chairperson also appreciated this saying it had come at time when the district really needed since other smaller institutions like the town council had one and that this was a challenge to the district.
The District chairperson appreciated the CSO work and pledged cooperation of the district to have this fulfilled and in the quickest time possible.
They (District leaders) also appreciated the training component to them under this project that would answer some of their problems for the sustainability and having an updated website.
The district officials also highlighted a number of challenges that the district is going through like lack of ICT equipment where the District Information officer has no computer, internet connectivity problems, lack of technical knowledge, finances among others.
Way forward
Ø  An M.O.U is shared and more input be made by the district leadership and later signed between Koboko District and CEFORD so that work can officially start.
Ø  The district focal person to start collecting current information from departments so as work to become much easier and quicker as it starts.
Ø  District information officer mandated to be the focal person for this project
Ø  And that design and development of the online platforms commences immediately after the signing of the M.O.U
Ø  C.A.O writes to UCC to get more details about the previous district website

Arua District Local Government
The meeting was held in the afternoon (2:30pm) of 9th July 2012 in the Chief Administrative officer at the District headquarters.
Agenda was;
*      Prayer
*      Introductions
*      Welcome remarks from Host
*      Word from CEFORD
*      Project highlights from the team leader CEW-IT/RWECO
In attendance were;
S/N
Name
Title
sex
01.
Ms. Sarah O
Senior Assistant secretary-CAOs office
F
02.
Ms. Achan Stella
District population officer
F
03.
Hon. Achema Genesis
District speaker
M
04.
Ms. Megwe Jane
District information officer
F
05.
Ms Faridah
Project officer CEFORD
F
06.
Mr.John silco
ED RIC-NET
M
07.
Mr. Ayayo
Officer CEFORD
M
08.
Mr. Okuti Richard
Partner RIC-NET
M
09.
Mr. Yosia Baluku
ICTO-RIC-NET
M

The senior Assistant secretary from the CAO’s office who also chaired the meeting welcomed the team for having arrived safely in Arua and thanked CEFORD for the continued support and partnership they have had with Arua District Local Government.
The project focal person from CEFORD also reminded the members about the concept  that they had shared with the district officials before.


The executive director RIC-NET explained the whole concept of the ICT component in this project “ENHANCING CIVIC COMPETENCE TO STRENGTHEN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY IN 25 DISTRICTS, IN FIVE REGIONS OF UGANDA” as the design of the district websites and e-libraries. He also went ahead and explained the other components that would come along with the development of these online platforms like training of the district focal staff in updating these online platforms more easily since the application that is going to be used would be more user friendly.
He also explained the citizen’s voice platform www.citezenvoice.ug that is another component of this project that would facilitate reporting and feedback also with a bulk sms component.
The district officials appreciated and welcomed the project and pledged for maximum support and cooperation.

The District speaker was also appreciative of the design of these online platforms since the world today is going “dotcom”. He also pledged for maximum support on behalf of the District council.
Way forward
Ø  An M.O.U is shared and more input be made by the district leadership and later signed between Arua District and CEFORD so that work can officially start.
Ø  The district focal person for this project to be appointed by C.A.O and that the D.I.O by default assumes being focal person and communication will officially be made on who is focal.
Ø  And that design and development of the online platforms commences immediately after the signing of the M.O.U
Ø  C.A.O writes to UCC to get more details about the previous district website