ICCO-Cooperation is rolling out a Convening and Convincing (C&C) Program in Lango, Teso and Karamoja region. This program is developed in line with the Uganda social and political context, past and current ICCO Consortium members program track record, and within the overall C&C programmatic framework.
ICCO-Cooperation in this program focuses on the three pathways; Political space for CSOs; Realizing inclusive and sustainable food systems; and, Small producers’ empowerment and access to markets. The program seeks to reclaim space for civil society; organizations will contribute to constructive dialogue concerning pro-poor food security and agribusiness policy development and implementation. By strengthening civil society organizations to engage in these thematic policy dialogues, ICCO Cooperation is contributing an enabling environment for CSOs and ensuring operational space is assured for independent development actors.
To kick start this program, ICCO undertook a 5 days “Change the game” training for its partners who included: Share an Opportunity Uganda; Uganda National NGO Forum; Facilitation for Peace and Development; Lira NGO Forum; ADP-Karamoja; Church of Uganda-Teso; Pentecostal Assemblies of God-Soroti; and Advance Afrika. The training, that ran from 23rd -27th February 2017 at Wash and Wills Mbale, aimed at equipping partners with “game changing” skills like advocacy, dialogue and capacity building. It was facilitated by Rev. Patrick Onaga who described it as a course that focuses on building the capacity of CSO actors in mobilizing communities to engage in lobbying and advocacy in order to realize progress in the desired needs. He challenged CSO actors to ensure that all stakeholders are involved so as to work collectively to address gaps in communities.
Speaking at the training, Mr. Manishimwe, the Program Officer East, Central and Southern Region-ICCO stressed that for each of the 3 pathways, a baseline was conducted in all the regions and urged all partners to use the survey reports to inform their interventions during the project implementation. Mr. Emilian further stressed that the project aims at equipping community members with skills to engage their duty bearers – the reason why the training was organized for project implementers to understand harmonized approaches on how to build capacity of the targeted communities. Key topics covered included problem and solution analysis, mobilizing support, beneficiary participation and legitimacy, stakeholder analysis and understanding power, understanding policy and decision making processes, negotiation skills among others.
In appreciation of the training, participants had this to say – “the training offered opportunity for project implementers to network and identify areas for synergy but also helped us to appreciate each others’ role in this program”, Ronald Rwankangi, Country Director Advance Africa. Ms. Florence Soobi, Director Share an Opportunity Uganda noted “the training gave participants opportunity to strengthen their advocacy skills and were able to understand and appreciate the kinds of referrals to use/make during the program implementation”
Story by Robert Ninyesiga