The Policy, Governance & Civic Engagement component seeks to build on the core functions and experience of coordinating civil society to engage in collective policy advocacy and engagements in key policy processes, emphasising the value in ‘bringing together’ NGOs to participate in multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral policy processes. The objective is to coordinate collective policy engagements by NGOs on policy issues of interest to NGOs, and relevant to Uganda’s development, as well as for long-perspective planning. Ultimately, the work under Policy Advocacy and Engagement is geared toward the development of citizen responsive policies and practices for the well-being of citizens and their rights.
Some of our work under Policy:
AGENDA 2030 ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda in September 2015, there is continued recognition of the role of civil society as a key stakeholder in ensuring that the SDGs become a reality. Uganda National NGO Forum hosts the 2030 Agenda Reference Group with over 100 CSO members bringing together women, youth, PWDs, Faith-based organizations, and cultural organizations committed to advancing CSO engagements on SDGs.
Uganda National NGO Forum has been at the forefront of coordinating Uganda CSO efforts to influence SDGs at national, regional, and global levels. We also play a representational role for CSOs within the National SDG Coordination Framework. We are part of the Policy Coordination Committee, SDG National Taskforce, and the Communication and Advocacy Technical Working Group. We are also members of SDG global groups such as the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP), Action for Sustainable Development, IFP, and the NGO Major Group.
UNNGOF is a key partner of the SDG Secretariat.
Monitoring of SDGs
Over the last three years, the Uganda National NGO forum under the auspices of the 2030 Agenda CSO Reference Group has coordinated Civil Society Organizations to produce Shadow reports and statements on SDG implementation. These reports are based on civil society and citizen-generated data on SDG implementation. Recent undertakings have been the production of Uganda Civil Society Statements to the 2016 and 2018 High-Level Political Forums and the production of the 2017 CSO-SDG Report.
Domestication of SDGs
While SDGs are global goals, there is a need to make a connection between local aspirations on what SDGs are and national and global aspirations on SDGs. As UNNGOF, we have been able to domesticate the SDGs so that citizens understand, appreciate, and relate them to their own realities. We do this through SDG mobilization campaigns -Global days of Action and Leave No One Behind, convene community dialogues, and social media engagements, produce IEC materials, produce and disseminate popular versions of the SDGs in local languages and conduct community outreaches through our sub-national partners.
Learning on SDGs
The SDGs are complex, many, and interrelated. It is important that all stakeholders understand what they are, how they can participate in their implementation, and also what needs to be done to fast-track the process. As UNNGOF, we have created mechanisms and spaces to enhance learning on best practices and innovations on CSO intervention on SDGs. We convene quarterly learning events and produce SDG quarterly newsletters.
VISION 2040 AND NDP MONITORING
Under this area, UNNGOF focuses on monitoring the NDP implementation across the country for improved service delivery and subsequent advocacy work both at the local and national levels. Monitoring of the NDP is intended to ensure that each NDP contributes to the attainment of Uganda’s Vision 2040. In the recent past, we conducted a Participatory Evaluation of NDPI and Citizens’ Survey on Uganda Vision 2040. UNNGOF also mobilizes CSOs to contribute to the formulation of the NDP. In the lead to the formulation of NDPII, NGOs developed 12 issues papers as part of their input into the NDP and these were submitted to Government Sector Working Groups and National Planning Authority. The Government of Uganda will be evaluating NDPII and launching the process develop to the NDPIII. UNNGOF has been nominated to represent CSOs on the NDPII Mid Term Review and NDP III Technical Working Group.
UNNGOF consolidates NGO participation in policy spaces including invited spaces. We do this through creating platforms and spaces to develop and promote positions and policy alternatives that reflect the widest diversity and best practices of CSO experience and perspectives. The platforms do not require formal membership; they are flexible coalitions and maximize inclusiveness. Currently, we host the CSO Social Accountability, EACSOF Uganda Chapter Platforms.
ASSESSING CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATION SUSTAINABILITY
Since 2009, Uganda National NGO Forum has coordinated the production of the CSO Sustainability Index reports with support from USAID. The CSO Sustainability Index is a tool created by USAID to study the strength and overall viability of CSOs. On annual basis countries are assessed on 7 standard dimensions; legal environment, organization capacity, financial viability, advocacy, service provision, infrastructure and public image. By using a standard set of indicators and collecting data each year, the CSO Sustainability Index tracks changes in the strength of the CSO sector over time and allows for cross-country comparison. So far the assessment is conducted in 75 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Europe.