Authored by Sarah Pacutho | On: Thu, 08/21/2014 - 12:19

 “Quality work goes with effectiveness, responsible behaviour, openness; it builds unity, efficiency, courage and moral standards to question others” Prof. Kwesiga, Chair National QuAM council

For the first time in 4 years, we witnessed a sub national NGO, Kabarole Research and Resource Center being awarded an advanced QuAM certificate alongside Care International. At the event, 26 NGOs were awarded certificates in the categories of advanced certificates [2], Standards [21] and Provisional certificates [3]. Rwenzori region had the highest number of NGOs followed by West Nile region. Other NGOs awarded included Fida Uganda, SEATINI, Kyenjojo Farmers Association, Batwa Development programme, BUCINET, Koboko Civil Society and Community Reseource and Development Network among others.

On 7th August 2014, in Kampala, the National QuAM council and the QuAM secretariat convened the 4th National QuAM Assembly, which was also an occasion for awarding certificates to 26 NGOs that had successfully passed the quality assurance examination.  The Assembly was attended by over 110 delegates comprising of District QuAM Committee members and District Network coordinators, National NGO Networks, Board members of Uganda National NGO Forum and DENIVA, representatives of the donor community, CSOs and Media.

The awards event was graced by the Head of the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) Mr Lars P. Christensen and the East African Regional Representative Ford Foundation Mr. Mourice Makoolo.

Mr. Christensen appreciated the occasion for showcasing the success of the initiative with a unique character that was appreciated beyond Uganda. He congratulated all NGOs that had subjected themselves to the test of quality and encouraged them to walk the talk. He ended by pledging further support and the commitment of DGF to the QuAM initiative urging staff and promoters to be vigilant and look out for all NGPOs to be certified.

Mr. Makoolo urged everyone to live and practice the quality standards they were being awarded for. The Assembly was crown by a group photo and display of certificates awarded to various NGO

Professor J. B Kwesiga, chair of the National QuAM Council stressed that through the QuAM initiative it was important for all stakeholders and promoters to package the right message and come up with a strategy to assess the impact of the initiative.

“If this initiative is about internal governance then it is about self-discipline, self-respect orderliness and quality. All NGOs should respond to their commitment and embrace the QuAM process” added Prof. Kwesiga. He underscored the importance of building NGO quality linked to efficiency and effectiveness of work so that the QuAM initiative outcomes could speak through the work NGOs do.

Ms. Aida Mehangye, Board Member and representative of Uganda National NGO Forum, appreciated the commitment of both promoters to uphold their duty and determination to take the initiative to greater heights. As the lead promoter of QuAM, she added that QuAM was a good tool and called on all those NGOs that had successfully gone through the quality test to lead by example to those yet to undergo the process.

“NGO quality testing is a sound moral ground to hold government accountable,” she said as she ended her remarks.

The Chairman of the QuAM council, while presenting the annual report 2013-2014, mentioned the robust media campaign that had resulted into awareness among NGOs on the initiative and consequently the number of NGOs certified had grown from a mere 5 in 2010 to 79 in 2014.

It was agreed that to entrench the QuAM initiative there is need to uphold the principle of standard financial contribution by QuAM promoters at all levels, develop and adopt a realistic fundraising strategy to finance QuAM work, and design a monitoring and evaluating system to track progress and impact.

Amb. Gabriel Kangwagye NGO Board Chairperson, while representing the Chief Guest, Minister of Internal Affairs, applauded the efforts NGOs have put in place to clean their houses for integrity and accountability. The Minister appreciated the QuAM initiative and promised government cooperation to bolster the initiative alongside government regulatory processes of NGO oversight by the NGO Board. He expressed the desire by Government to create an enabling law for NGOs in Uganda. He reported that Government had completed drafting amendments to the NGO Act 2006, which he believed was a step forward for NGOs that were conducting their work within the law.

“We castigated dishonest NGOs that are prone to common accusations such as diversion of funds, poor allocation of resources, employment of unqualified staff and overlapping work in areas of operations which led to poor performance. We will whip such unless they change, “read Amb Kangwagye from the Minister’s speech.

Despite the stormy weather that crowned the awards ceremony, the recipients left ecstatic about their milestones attained through the QuAM initiative.