The Gender Capital for Peace Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP) implementation in Northern Uganda is a twenty four month project funded by Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC), which aims to empower women in Northern Uganda (Kitgum and Pader districts) to hold their leaders accountable for the implementation of PRDP in a transparent, participatory and gender sensitive manner.
Looking at the problem of low performance of women leaders in local councils, women organizations and at community level in Northern Uganda in the development process, made worse by the armed conflict that destroyed most social institutions capacity, leaving a few women who occupy positions of power (women politicians, civil servants and head of women organizations) with enormous challenges in advancing women’s agenda in the structures they occupy. It is evident that the majority of the women in Northern Uganda specifically in the project area have very limited knowledge on the PRDP and the government guidelines for PRDP funds. The lack of information on the PRDP and the enormous task raises the challenging question of how the community especially women are going to participate in the implementation of the plan and eventually benefit from its intended results.
Fore seeing the challenge and the enormous task, UWONET initiated the Gender Capital project for Peace Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP) implementation in Northern Uganda, to improve the leadership and oversight capabilities of women in Pader and Kitgum districts. The intervention is aimed at influencing local governments for gender sensitivity in their planning, implementation `and monitoring of PRDP projects. The Gender Capital project is intended to focus on enhancing the technical capacities and skills of women councilors, women groups and civil servants in participatory planning, budgeting, and rights based approach, social accountability, monitoring and evaluation tools, lobbying and advocacy, leadership skills and networking amongst others. The development of the project was informed by a study conducted by the Women’s Taskforce for a Gender responsive PRDP and the women peace coalition of which UWONET is a member and coordinator respectively.
Currently UWONET is running the training of stake holders together with WORUDET in Pader and KIWEPI in Kitgum district. The trainings began with women groups to enhance their understanding on PRDP and to equip them with skills to improve their leadership and oversight capabilities to ensure that local governments are gender sensitive in their planning, implementation and monitoring of PRDP projects. A total of 200 women were trained. What strongly came out of the training was the need to scale up awareness on PRDP as a step towards effective monitoring because majority of the beneficiaries do not know much about PRDP.
Just concluded was training of district technical staff in Kitgum and Pader, the purpose of the training was to help the district staff understand and address gender equality and women rights issues within the PRDP. A total of 125 staff was trained.
Also just concluded was a peer exchange learning which saw 20 women from the PRDP districts visit their friends in Kenya to have a shared learning experience to create synergies and areas for networking. Besides the site visits the women had an opportunity to attend the launch of the Africa Women’s Decade in Nairobi. They had a wonderful time (exposure) and acquired brilliant ideas, more so became aware of what was happening in the continent, because they interacted with various women from different countries.
Other up coming activities includes;
• Training of opinion leaders
• Training of community watch dogs
• Radio programs
• Annual networking week