Profiling the journey of the Humanitarian Platform

Published By UNNGOF |  May 12, 2020

The Humanitarian Platform for Local and National Organisations in Uganda marked one year since its launch on 07th March 2018. The platform hosted by Uganda National NGO Forum was established as a mechanism to strengthen the coordination and capacity of local and national organizations in dealing with the humanitarian situation in Uganda, including preparedness and response.

One year later, the Platform has registered successes and among these are; strengthening coordination, identifying entry points in national and regional spaces, information sharing, profiling the work of humanitarian actors, supporting local actors to participate in strategic spaces at national and international levels, built partnerships with government, INGOs and other global platforms. Notwithstanding the challenges around sustainability, weak internal governance systems and shrinking space for CSOs.

Therefore, the 1st Annual Members’ Forum was convened for members to take stock of the past year and strategize on how members can reposition themselves as local actors in the ever-changing humanitarian context. This meeting was held on Monday, 18th November 2019 at Hotel Africana, Kampala in attendance of over 100 participants including representatives from Government, OPM, CRRF, Media, both local and national organizations in the Humanitarian sector and INGOs.

The meeting also provided an opportunity for members to interact with the NGO Bureau following the press statement by the Minister of Internal affairs where NGOs that had not been registered were told to cease operations. The interim ED of the NGO Bureau, Mr. Stephen Okello informed participants that the validation exercise had ended but those NGOs that do not appear on the website should visit the Bureau’s offices to finalise with the process. He noted that for an NGO to legally operate, it should have 3 documents i.e. NGO Permit, certificate of Incorporation and Certificate of Registration. He underscored that the exercise will enable the bureau have a reliable and comprehensive database on NGOs that will be used as a reference for many.

While presenting the achievements of the CRRF, Ms. Anna noted that Uganda volunteered to pilot the CRRF in 2016 and since its inception and since then there have been achievements such as establishment of national Arrangements which help track whether humanitarian money is used specifically for developments hence improving refugee welfare, refugees have been included in the National plans such as the Education response plan and also National coordination arrangements at both the national and district level where refugee response is included in the District Plans, the revised LG planning guidelines and the sector development plans. Participants were also informed about the upcoming Global Refugee Forum where Uganda will share a position on the CRRF. Individual Organizations were also share good practices and success stories at the Global Refugee Forum website as it might help secure funding for local communities.

Participants were updated on the Global processes on the Localization Agenda, Charter4Change and IMatter Campaign. International Organisations such as; Save the Children, Red Cross were also given space to share opportunities that are available for local humanitarian actors at both the local and global levels.

Mr. Francis Iwa the Chairperson, Steering Committee, Humanitarian Platform shared the Journey of the Humanitarian Platform taking into stock the Successes such as; organizing learning events, developing issue papers, participation in different forum discussions at national, regional and global level among others.

Ms. Esther Nakayima the Coordinator, Policy Advocacy and Engagement presented the Platform’s Guiding document. Members of the platform were given an opportunity to discuss and give comments on areas which need improvement. Some of the comments included; inclusion of a section on managing member expectations, how AGM conducts its business, entry and exit point of members among others. It was agreed that the comments would be taken into consideration.

On the issue of nomination of Steering Committee members, participants agreed that the platform maintains the existing members and source from its active membership to fill the vacant positions. They also suggested that the Steering Committee members should all be registered members of the platform.

The Humanitarian Platform website was then launched by Mr. Richard Ssewakiryanga  and Mr. Francis Iwa