Development Research and Training (DRT) in partnership with Development initiatives (DI) organized a five days training for the National, regional and District level stakeholders at Ridah Hotel 13th- 17th January 2014. The training was held with the objective of strengthening the capacity of the stakeholders in civil society sector to significantly influence policy making processes for pro-poor policies and programmes.
The participants were oriented in the various levels of policy analysis by facilitators from the civil society, Ministry of Finance and office of the prime minister.
While presenting on the CSOs contribution to policy in Uganda Zie Galiyo an independent consultant and Analyst noted that:
· policy processes take long and require significant resources
· policy engagement is continuous and dynamic
· policy engagement requires drivers and champions so CSOs should have already identified them
Julius Mukunda, one of the facilitators on interfacing with policy processes, experiences of CSOs noted that: Every law affects a citizen in one way and therefore every Government business is the business of the citizen. He called upon CSOs to always be prepared to engage the policy makers as sometimes short time is available but engagement still has to continue.
The participants also had time to share their experiences in policy engagement at the different levels
However he noted the success of NGOs in influencing policies which include but not limited to: influencing the budget by the CSOs budget advocacy group (CSOsbag) successful dialogue on the Anti -Female Genital mutilation law, Uganda Forestry working Group, building strategic Alliances, coalitions and Networks.
Margret kakande from ministry of Finance oriented the participants on the budgeting process in the Government noting that Government spends in an area based on the percapita income. She called upon CSOs to evaluate the sources of revenue when conducting budget tracking. There are several tools of budget tracking like beneficiary assessment, revenue incidence analysis, PETs which is commonly used by CSOs among others. She also noted the challenges in budget tracking like incomplete budget information, limited access to budget information.
By the end of the five days training participants had shared their engagement strategies. RIC-NET was represented by Joselyne Kyomuhendo the program Manager who presented on the role played by information centres & ICT platform in access to information for poverty reduction.