The Community Participatory Integrity Campaign: Sub National Experiences

Published By UNNGOF |  October 29, 2014

In a bid to strengthen efforts in the fight against corruption, Civil Society Organizations under the Black Monday Movement conceived a Participatory Integrity community Campaign to identify, affirm, recognize and celebrate public servants of Integrity.

At the end of the exercise, 1,841 citizens were reached in 20 meetings held in 10 districts.

Emerging from the participatory community meetings held so far in Luweero (Butuntumula sub county and Wobulenzi Town Council) on 23rd and 24th September 2014  and Kaberamaido (Abalang and Ameret) on 22nd  and 23rd September 2014 respectively, characteristics of integrity identified include; Trustworthy, Transparent, Accountable, God fearing, and Honesty. The four community meetings were attended by 387 people. While technocrats would define integrity from the comfort of their boardrooms, communities have gone ahead to define values of integrity relative to their way of lives.

For example during the community conversations integrity was defined as fulfillment of one’s commitment “Omuntu okuba omwesimbu aba atukiriiza ekintu kyaaba yeyamye okukola”.

The integrity icons nominated in Lutuula village in Luweero were Mr. Kigongo Fred,(49 years old with a family, engages in community activities especially during emergencies, helps people in distress); Mr. Bada Charles(45 years old-trustworthy and mobilizes people for community meetings and other development programs); Mukyala Nambi Gatrude (65 years old, – trust worthy, supports and unites families in community and provides counseling to young people); Mukyala Nakalembe Rebbecca (43 years old- trustworthy , cooperative and keeps secrets).

In Pader District, Lubele East Cell Pader Town Council the icons include: Akech Hellen (47 years, a Vocational School Matron at Friends of Orphans- she is honest, reliable and responsible), Onen Charles (42 years, a community facilitator Luna ward- is reliable and predictable), Ocaya Geofrey (53 years, Chairperson LC I Lubele East Cell-honest, fair and responsible), Latoo Rose (48 years, a district councilor & secretary for production and community Based services- is honest, kind lovely and reliable), Oryem Benard (46 years, headteacher Paipir Primary School-is hardworking, reliable, trustworthy, and reasonable), Amito Pilisana ( 38 years, a market vendor- is honest, lovely and transparent).

From the exercise, communities define the importance of Integrity as one that brings development since the integrity icons work as role models to inspire change especially among the young generation. Further, Community action plans have been developed to take forward the conversation of integrity and more engagements will be held with media to deepen the discussion at family level.

The community participatory Integrity campaign spearheaded by Uganda National NGO Forum kicked off in August 2014 in 10 districts including Luweero, Kalangala, Bushenyi, Soroti, Kaberamaido, Pader, Lira, Masindi, Jinja and Arua. Working closely with UNNGOF district partners and a team of trained researchers, two community meetings (one rural and peri-urban) were held in each district targeting 50-80 people.

The overall goal of the campaign is to build a pool of ideas and perceptions on integrity that will lead to a collective national discussion around integrity and actions to promote it at various levels. Specifically, the integrity campaign will initiate a community led process on building integrity in public life, recruit community integrity agents, identify and reward public officials working with integrity and popularize the discussions on integrity in public life.

To ensure that there is “big noise” on the idea of integrity in public life, this process will work in a tripartite arrangement with partners conducting research, media and advocacy playing different roles.