Friday, August 5, 2011


The second United Nations MDG is to achieve Universal Primary Education, more specifically, to “ensure that by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling." Currently, there are more than 100 million children around the world of primary school age who are not in school. The majority of these children are in regions of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and within these countries, girls are at the greatest disadvantage in receiving access to education at the primary school age. Since the Millennium Development Goals were launched, there have been many successes. For example, Uganda is one of the examples of developing countries that have successfully completed a campaign towards universal primary education when the government introduced UPE in 1997.

ACFODE has over the years vested efforts in supporting this initiative through service delivery, capacity building and advocacy.

From the 29th – 30th of July 2011, ACFODE conducted a training workshop in Bumakwe, Kanungu district whose objectives were: to enable participants reflect on the UPE policy, to enable them gain skills to undertake improved monitoring of the UPE policy, and to develop an action plan for the participants’ interventions in monitoring UPE in the community.

Participants included Local Council (LC) leaders, School Management Committee Members, Head Teachers, and School Teachers and parents.

Topical issues like; understanding UPE concept from inception to present, implementation guidelines of the UPE policy, policy positions on UPE and the roles of different stakeholders, gender equality in education, and how to monitor implementation of UPE were discussed.

Participants highlighted challenges faced during the implementation of UPE and some of them include;

· Delayed salary payments for teachers and school administrators which has caused some of them to abandon the schools for greener pastures else where

· Many students lack basic necessities from the parents/ guardians e.g lunch. This has some of them to shun away from education.

· Many parents are still hesitant in taking their children to school. Girls are looked at as source of wealth.

· Too many household responsibilities given to the children especially the girls do not allow them to attend school regularly and often times they drop out.

· Slow learners are often neglected

· Parents’ failure to talk to, and provide requirements for the children

For each of the challenges discussed during the workshop, responsible key players were indentified and it was agreed that bye-laws be passed, and community members be sensitized about the UPE policy and which roles they must play to ensure success and sustainability.

Hand books on UPE as well as implementation guidelines were given to each of the participants. These were in simple and clear language and were greatly appreciated by the participants.

At the end of the two days training, a framework for monitoring the implementation of the UPE policy was developed.

The training was successful because provided participants with the knowledge and skills on UPE to enable them monitor the implementation of the policy from an informed point of view. Participants also depicted marked levels of change after the training, regarding increased awareness of their role in the implementation and monitoring of the policy.

Sandra Nassali

Public Relations & Communications Officer

Action For Development


As part of the activities under the GOU /UNFPA 7th Country Program (Gender Component), ACFODE carried out capacity building trainings in Moroto, Kotido, Kaboong, Mubende, Yumbe, Oyam, Katakwi and Kanungu districts.

These trainings sought to address the gaps that were indentified during the organization capacity assessment that was undertaken in the first quarter of the year by creating greater understanding on organizational development, gender, reproductive rights and Gender Based Violence (GBV). The training brought together participants from 15 Community Based Organizations in each of the 8 project districts.

The objectives of the training included:

i) To enhance capacity of the CBO sub group for improved GBV and Reproductive Rights (RR) service delivery.

ii) To facilitate the CBO sub group understand and internalize the concepts Gender, GBV and Reproductive Rights

iii) To equip the CBO sub group with knowledge and skills in lobbying, advocacy and networking for effective collective engagement on Gender and RR

iv) To develop an operational action plan for the CBO subgroup interventions in the community

Outcomes from the training

· Over 200 participants from community based organizations were trained.

· Participants were provided with knowledge on GBV. This was done to enable them address GBV from an informed point of view. Also, modules for building capacities of CBOs were distributed.

· Establishing of a coordinated system of response to GBV cases was discussed and a CBO subgroup in each of the districts was formed. Leaders for the Secretariat were also elected.

· Action plans to further prevent GBV in the district were developed.

Sandra Nassali

Public Relations & Communications Officer

Action For Development


Over the past 25 years ACFODE has employed several strategies towards promoting gender equality and good governance in Uganda. Advocacy for policy formulation, research, capacity building, coalition building, mobilization and sensitization activities have been core in these strategies. In fulfilling these functions ACFODE has enjoyed the generous support of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS).

Despite several achievements registered, challenges still exist with regard to women’s full enjoyment of their rights as well as their effective participation in the governance processes. The notion of gender equality is not yet fully appreciated in Ugandan societies. In light of such challenges ACFODE considered drawing the attention of the young generation as a strategy for deepening and sustaining the gender equality and good governance campaign. The inter-institutions debate tournaments were born in this context, when a new theme ‘Promoting Gender Equality: Embracing the Youth and Looking ahead,’ was unveiled last year during ACFODE’s Silver Jubilee celebrations.

Consequently, ACFODE has carried out inter institutional debate competitions in Central, Eastern, and recently in Northern Uganda. Participants are engaged and mentored into different gender and good governance dynamics since they are challenged to acquire information and to share their findings in a persuasive way (British Parliamentary Debate format).

The debates, which bring together government and private institutions of higher learning, recognize the vital role youth can play in shaping the future of the nation, particularly as regards promoting gender equality and good governance. They are also an effective means of engaging youth into other development issues because of their ability to encourage critical thinking, personal expression, reading and research skills, and tolerance of others’ opinions.

ACFODE’s recent debate competitions held at Lira Hotel in Northern Uganda were referred to as ‘remarkably amazing and exceptionally successful’ by the Guest of Honor - Dr. Gerhard Wahlers, KAS’ Deputy Secretary. In his speech, Dr. Wahlers talked about being glad to having witnessed the well prepared and lively debates since students were surprisingly eloquent, displayed a great deal of critical thinking and sharpened analysis. He commended ACFODE’s approach as being proactive in involving the youth as key target group in the promotion of gender equality and good governance.

He therefore encouraged participants, especially the females to indulge

in politics and gender equality so that their involvement in development is recognized.

The event was also well attended by government officials, representatives from the district and the civil society. Also in attendance was Mr. Peter Girke – KAS’ Country Representative, ACFODE’s Executive Director Ms Regina Bafaki and the former Chairperson Ms. Jane Nakintu.

The competition was between five institutions of higher learning namely; Uganda College of Commerce – Aduku (UCC), All Saints University Lira, Lira School of Comprehensive Nursing, Uganda Technical College Lira (UTC), and Uganda Christian University Lira. During the competitions, students showed so much zeal right from the beginning. This was through the use of cohesive argumentation, preparation and use of supporting evidence.

UTC Lira won the final debate round against UCC Aduku which ranked second. Regardless of who won, the competition was great!

Categories awarded included:

  • The best institution, won by UTC
  • The most eloquent speakers, which was won by Tabu Stella and Masaboa Amili
  • Second runner ups, won by UCC team 3; as well as all the 6 students who debated in the last round

All students were awarded with a Certificate of Participation. They were also given a DVD entitled ‘The Great Debaters’ by Denzel Washington.

Submitted By Sandra Nassali

Public Relations & Communications Officer

Action For Development


ACFODE in partnership with National Democratic Institute (NDI) provided organizational/technical support to NDI district partners in proposal development from 18th – 21st May. These included Renewed efforts to alleviate Poverty (REAP) and BUGANDA MAAMA KWEKULAAKULANYA (BUMAKWE). The partners were facilitated in reviewing their proposals to clearly align the project back ground with the problem statement, objectives and activities.

A Consultative meeting with REAP (Masaka) was held from May 18th to 19th, 2011. The organization’s proposal titled “Empower Women to Effectively Participate in Local Government Plans in Kitamba and Villa Maria Parishes - Kalungu District” was streamlined in line with donor and beneficaries’ expectations.

ACFODE also had another meeting with BUMAKWE on 20th and 21st May 2011. As was the case with REAP, the organization was mentored in resource mobilization (proposal development).

On the 4th of May, ACFODE held a planning meeting with NDI staff and it’s objective was to discuss the performance of other NDI district partners (Uganda Catholic Secretariat (CARITAS), National Association of Persons Living with HIV/ AIDs (NACWOLA) , Munkunyu, Tweyambe, Participatory Initiative For Real Development (PIRD), Pentecostal Assemblies Of God( PAG) and Women and Child Advocacy Network (WACANE) in Arua, Kasese, Iganga, Kumi and Apac districts) - and resolve on ways how they would be institutionally capacitated.

Submitted By Sandra Nassali

Public Relations & Communications Officer

Action For Development


Children like songs, they love drama too! They learn a lot from the songs they sing, and out of the plays they act. Songs and plays encourage children to speak, and gives them a chance to communicate, even with limited language using non-verbal communication such as body movements and facial expressions. Singing and acting also involves children through their bodies, minds, emotions, language, and social interactions. That is why ACFODE encourages them to sing and play!

This too emerged last year during ACFODE’s Silver Jubilee Celebrations when a new theme; ‘25 years of Gender Equality Embracing the Youth and Looking Ahead,’ was unveiled. ACFODE realized that unless children, who are leaders of tomorrow, are inculcated into understanding the equality between women and men, and girls and boys, efforts to bring about gender equality in society will continue to face formidable hurdles.

To reinforce the above, 8 primary schools were registered for the Inter Primary Drama and Music Competitions in each sub county of Busanza and Nyabanbe ( Kisoro) and Butebo and Kasodo ( Pallisa) that took place from the 8th – 9th July 2011 under the theme: Enough is Enough – Stop Rape, Defilement and Sexual Harassment.

The core objectives of the competitions were to: expound children/ participants knowledge on the dangers of gender based violence, improve on their public speaking skills and provide a platform for networking amongst different stakeholders in the fight against sexualized violence (community leaders, parents, government representatives, law enforcers and civil society).

Scoring was used as a method of determining the best performing schools. Adjudicators focused on the tone quality, diction, subject matter, rhythm and general interpretation of the theme by ranking scores for music and drama to determine the best performer.

In Pallisa, Alok Primary School (Kasodo Sub County) emerged as the winning school while in Butebo Soub County it was Kasiebai primary school. In Kisoro, it was Gitovi Primary School (Busanze Sub County) and Mutolere Primary School (Nyakabande Sub County) that emerged as winners.

The winning Schools were awarded with Plagues. Other categories that were awarded included the best actor/ actress, and the 2nd Runner ups. All participants were given a certificate and a hand ball.

The event was successful because of generous support from EIRENE (development partner) and MOVIT Products Ltd (Corporate Sponsor).

Submitted By Sandra Nassali

Public Relations & Communications Officer

Action For Development


ACFODE participated in the evaluation exercise of “Strengthening Multi-Party Democracy (SMD) Program" facilitated by USAID/Uganda under Uganda Monitoring and Evaluation Management Services (UMEMS). The purpose of the evaluation was to judge the effectiveness of the project (outcomes, challenges and way forward) from 2009 to date.

The evaluation exercise took place at ACFODE house on 3rd May 2011 and was attended by. Mr DU PLESSIS Pieter - Team Leader, Susan Cowley - Expert Team Member, Patrick Oloya - Research Assistant, Paska Fortunate – Programs’ Officer ACFODE and Regina Bafaki – Executive Director ACFODE.

Submitted By Sandra Nassali

Public Relations & Communications Officer

Action For Development


ACFODE realizes that with the advent of multiparty politics in Uganda, women need to strategically participate in the politics so that their concerns are not marginalized. They should also be able to compete favorably with men in a pluralist system in order to build leverage around their political demands.

In 2010 therefore and in preparation for the 2011 election cycle in Uganda, ACFODE implemented a number of projects aimed at increasing women’s effective participation in politics and decision making. These efforts were not in vain as the number of women politicians/ leaders increased tremendously, with 30% women parliamentarian and 28% female cabinet/ state ministers.

However, most of these women leaders, especially in rural areas lack proficient leadership skills. Therefore, there is need for them to acquire skills in leadership to effectively engage the electorate and their male counterparts at different levels; justifying why ACFODE is now investing a lot in leadership training workshops meant to empower women leaders with resourceful leadership skills.

From the 25th – 26th of July 2011 therefore, ACFODE conducted a leadership training workshop in Soroti district. The objectives of the training were; to enhance the capacity of women councilors at district and sub county level in leadership and decision making processes, to identify advocacy issues/concerns that affect women at local level, and to draw action plans to address issues that affect women at the local level.

A total of 30 participants attended the workshop. Overall, there was a strong sense of appreciation articulated by the participants about the workshop. They were very passionate about the information shared by the trainers and appreciative of the skills acquired.

One of the participants said that: “As a new councillor, this workshop has been beneficial in terms of sharing ideas with other councillors from different sub counties especially on Action planning. I am now able to define my roles and responsibilities as a councillor; actually my mind is refreshed. I am now in a better position to advocate for women’s issues, and empower fellow women in my sub county”

The workshop composition entailed both new and old councillors from 7 Sub Counties, and therefore provided a good networking platform, and experience/ shared learning among the participants.

Several participants even expressed a desire to conduct leadership training in their sub counties. They also vowed to advocate for the following issues within their respective communities:

· Capacity building for women representatives in each sub county.

· Lobby for the inclusion of women on Executive Committee.

· Active monitoring and evaluation of implementation of women’s concerns in the local development plans and budgets.

Submitted By Sandra Nassali

Public Relations & Communications Officer

Action For Development

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Job Opportunities in KAS and ACFODE under new EU Financed Project

The Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) and Action For Development (ACFODE) have received funding from the European Development Fund (EDF) as part of the Democratic Governance and Accountability Programme (DGAP) for the project “Action for Strengthening Good Governance and Accountability in Uganda”, to be implemented over a period of 24 months. Applications are invited from suitably qualified and immediately available individuals to fill the different project positions within KAS and ACFODE. These will be contract positions to last a maximum of 24 months, including two months of probation. KAS and ACFODE are equal opportunity employers, qualified female candidates are particularly encouraged to apply.

Click on the respective position for the detailed job profile and application requirements.

Project Officer ACFODE

Project Accountant KAS

Project Assistant KAS

Project Assistant ACFODE

Submitted By Sandra Nassali

Public Relations & Communications Officer

Action For Development