Hon. Mary Karoro Okurut
Minister for General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister
Assistant Commissioner, Monitoring and Evaluation.
The community based information fora (Barazas) are performance monitoring programmes which are implemented by the Government of Uganda in the local Governments. The programme creates a platform for the citizens to participate in the development cycle through monitoring the use of public resources in the delivery of services at local Government Level.
After inception in 2009 the Department of Monitoring and Evaluation in the Office of the Prime Minister piloted the initiative in four Districts of Masaka, Kumi, Nebbi and Bushenyi. The implementation has since then covered all 112 Districts and Kampala Capital City Authority at least twice, covering 800 lower local Governments (i.e. Sub counties, Town councils and Municipal Divisions). The Baraza meetings have predominantly been carried out using either District or Sub county level model.
- A community Needs Assessment study was commissioned and by October 2012, a baseline report was produced. The report presented baseline indicators, values and targets to guide Baraza programme implementers at national level and in the Districts. The report further guides stakeholders in assessing performance for overall improvement in implementation across the country,
- During this financial year, Baraza meetings were planned to be held in 32 Districts countrywide. By December 2015, all the planned Baraza meetings had already been implemented. The Districts include Kibaale, Bukomansimbi, Mitooma, Mbarara, Lwengo, Kibuku, Sembabule, Namayingo, Bundibugyo, Butaleja, Bugiri, Manafa, Buvuma, Maracha, Kitgum, Gulu, Kaliro, Apach, Bulambuli, Bududa, Kanungu, Hoima, Luwero, Amolatar, Kyegegwa, Mukono, Kiboga, Kapchorwa, Zombo, Ntoroko, Rakai and Koboko,
- Government, supported by the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) commissioned an impact evaluation study of the programme. The focus of the study is to provide a clear assessment of the programme effects on service delivery to the local communities. In December 2015, a baseline survey report of the evaluation study was produced and discussed by the stakeholders.
- Enhancement of information sharing between policy makers, development partners, civil society representatives, local service givers and beneficiaries of public goods and services,
- Various stakeholders in the country and those across Africa and beyond have expressed interest in or are already copying the Baraza model – hence a viable tool,
- Highly empowering in terms of availing the otherwise inaccessible information to the citizens, whereby the “black box” of the incomplete services has been put to disclosure.
- High demand for Barazas and passionate participation from the local communities & all stakeholders.
- The empowerment of citizens to know their rights through the upward and downward accountability which has led to a big cross-section of the population (91%) to get knowledgeable of their right to demand for local public services. This is in accordance with the constitution of the Republic of Uganda which clearly stipulates that “All power belongs to the people who shall exercise their sovereignty in accordance with the constitution”.
- High demand by the local leaders for decentralization of the programme through augmenting the scope of the local leadership and civil society organizations involvement in the implementations process.
CONCLUSION AND WAY FORWARD
- A matrix of issues raised during Barazas of July-December was developed and OPM has used the Matrix to follow up on the implementation of the recommendations in the local Governments.
- It has been found that the implementation of the recommendations in the 1st two quarters of FY2015/2016 ranges 35-38 %
- In the bid to decentralise the Baraza programme, arrangements have been made to argument the scope at which the RDCs, Chairpersons and CAOs are involved in the Baraza activities,
- An implementation manual handbook has been generated to guide the local Government leaders when they start to carry out Barazas on their own and the handbooks have already been shared stakeholders.
- OPM has carried training workshops for RDCs and moderators for effective implementation of the programme.