BY ISAIAH KITIMBO
Gulu – Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) has rallied leaders from the North to coordinate and monitor interventions of the Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU), a Government programme supported by the European Union and supervised by OPM.
The development that comes at the backdrop of OPM mandate, is aimed at strengthening the role of District Local Governments (DLGs) in coordinating, monitoring and evaluating government programmes and policies to ensure effective and efficient delivery of services to the citizens.
It also arises from more than 37 DINU District Coordination Meetings (DCMs) which have been conducted over the past two months by OPM and DLGs in the five sub-regions of Acholi, Karamoja, Lango, Teso and West Nile under the theme: “OPM-DINU connecting the dots between activities and partners at district level”.
The DCMs were organised majorly to update key political and technical stakeholders from the target beneficiary districts in Northern Uganda on DINU implementation progress, and to introduce the programme implementing partners.
The meetings attracted more than 160 leaders who included Resident District Commissioners, district chairpersons, chief administrative officers, district focal point persons, heads of departments and implementing partners. They reviewed the on-going DINU activities and actions that focus on livelihood improvement, diversified food production, nutrition, infrastructure improvement, commercial agriculture and agri-business development.
Mr Pius Ongom Okello, the DINU National Programme Coordinator, said OPM is responsible for the overall supervision of the DINU programme in partnership with DLGs, a wide range of stakeholders and implementing partners.
He stated that the involvement of district local leaders is critical to the success of DINU programme implementation since it will strengthen the linkages and synergies between various interventions and contribute to programme ownership.
At the concluding DCM in Gulu on Friday, Gulu District chairman Mr Martin Ojara Mapenduzi applauded OPM for engaging district leaders in coordinating and monitoring DINU interventions, which he said is also aimed at guiding that the interventions reach the intended target beneficiaries.
“As DLG leaders from Northern Uganda, we are pleased to work with OPM in coordinating DINU interventions in Northern Uganda. Our involvement will greatly contribute to the realisation of the programme goals,” he said.
Mr Mapenduzi cautioned the programme implementing partners to use DINU funds to bring about transformation of lives of the beneficiaries through tangible and timely support.
The Gulu Resident District Commissioner, Mr Stephen Latek Odong, called on local leaders to promote DINU and other government programmes in the region.
“Let us ensure that we mean business…Let us promote and support the implementation of development programmes of the government. I’m pleased that DINU is engaging us in the implementation process of the interventions. This is very good for impact to be made,” he said.
The Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU) programme, which was initiated in 2017 is a EUR150.63 million affirmative action programme of the Government of Uganda and supported by the European Union that is designed to consolidate stability in Northern Uganda, eradicate poverty and under-nutrition and strengthen the foundations for sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development.
The programme supports interventions in three specific interlinked sectors: (1) Food Security, Nutrition and Livelihoods (2) Infrastructures (transport, logistics, water, energy), and (3) Good Governance.
OPM is responsible for the overall supervision of the DINU programme in partnership with local governments and a wide range of stakeholders, including other implementing partners – Department for International Development (DFID)/Trademark East Africa, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA).
Other key implementing partners are nine grantees that are implementing various development projects under DINU in the five sub-regions of Acholi, Karamoja, Lango, Teso and West Nile. These include CARITAS Switzerland, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (ITTA), National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), Lutheran World Federation (LWF), CARE-Denmark, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD), ADOL Health Care Initiative and DIAKONIA-Sweden.