Friday, August 3, 2012

Kalangala Districts Supports Technology for Social Accountability

A Team of CSO representative  on Wednesday 1 August 2012 met  with representative of the District Leadership of Kalangala to discuss issues on  how ICT support citizens access to information and feedback mechanism to strengthened social accountability.
on possible means of transport  to the Kalangala;  ferry in Bukakata and small boats between islands.
This was part of the Social Accountability project  implemented CEW-IT and partners in 25 District of  the 5 regions in Uganda with support from  EU, HIVOS and DGAP (Government of Uganda).

Mr. suliaman (KHRD), Mr. Fedrick (D/CAO), John Silco (RIC-NET), Mr. Bulemezi (A/CAO) not is photo is Rose FHRI
 The team which comprised of Ms Rose Nayondo from Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI), Mr. Ssenyojo Suleiman from Kalangala Human Rights Defenders (KHRD) and Mr. John Silco from RIC-NET had a round table discussion with Ms.  Ssembiya Fausta the District vice Chair Person, Mr.  Wanje Micheal the Deputy CAO and Mr. Balemeezi Fredrick the Principal Assistant Secretary.

The CSO representatives introduced the planned online and offline platforms that will support the District leadership to enhance sharing of timely and credible information.  These includes support for the District website development, the District e-library, the  District bulk sms, hosting leaders on Radio programs, support to District interface meeting  with CSO and the Citizens; conducting  Neighborhood assemblies (Barraza)  and support to citizens feedback platform  using the 6030 short code.
The team with Ms Fausta (in White) the Vice Chair Person of Kalangala District

 Ms Rose  (FHRI) explaining a point to the  D/CAO  and A/CAO
The Vice Chair Person was impressed with the package but asked the team to stress the radio programs and the Baraza (neighborhood assemblies). She pledged her office support and participation in providing credible information to the citizens.

On his part, the D/CAO was happy with bulk sms support, he believed that this will help his office to offer alerts and reminders to both staff and citizens. He highlighted that another problem in the District is HIV AIDS prevalence believed to be very high. He revealed that out of the 10 suspected rapists or rape victims, 7 have been found HIV+,; so a ration of 7:10 if this group can be taken as a sample.

He raised concern that the citizens’ feedback platform should have a clear verification of reports mechanism to ensure that the citizens’ reports are also credible. The D/ CAO promised District support to ensure that the results of the project are sustained and agreed to fast track the review of the MOU  with FHRI.

Om his part, Mr. Fredrick reported that Kalangala website is no longer functional and the support has come at the right time. He revealed that the costs of delivering services in Kalangala  is high since most of the travels are by water which uses twice the fuel used on road transport.

Action needed are: to have  the District input in the MOU within in two weeks,  to start the official process of getting the administrations rights of the domain name, the CSO to start designing the  Mockup site and arrange subsequent visits. 
The struggle to reach the ferry in time otherwise your leave the next day
 The District Vice Chairperson requested for an increase in the number of sub –counties under the Social accountability project and involvement of more citizens. 
She commended the work of FHRI in the District and the local partner KHRD.

On their party, the CSO were very grateful to the willingness of Kalangala District support to the project and hopped that with such support the  citizens voice in social accountability will be pronounced.

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