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IRC Uganda advocates for increased O&M funding

Published on: 31/08/2015

IRC Uganda is currently involved in key advocacy initiatives to increase operation and maintenance (O&M) funds and ultimately to change the budget allocations in the District Water and Sanitation Conditional Grant. 

IRC Uganda has embarked on an advocacy process to convince government to increase funding of O&M from the current 13% to 15% of the national budget by February 2016. This was revealed by the IRC Uganda Country Director, Jane Nabunnya Mulumba, during a presentation she made to the Stockholm World Water Week 2015. Jane's presentation was during a session on Policy Innovation to Accelerate Change. During the presentation, Jane outlined a series of activities and tactics that have been planned for the advocacy process. These include:

  1. Action research to collect evidence
  2. Meetings of the Functionality Thematic Group
  3. Meetings with Members of Parliament
  4. National and district policy advocacy dialogues, meetings and consultations
  5. Production of IEC materials including; posters, policy briefs, flyers, video documentaries and audio recordings
  6. Capacity building sessions for civil society organizations
  7. Media and on-line communication;
  8. Collaboration with Water and Environment Media Network
  9. Newspaper articles/features, radio and TV programming
  10. Presentations at key sector events; Joint Sector/Technical Reviews, Sector Working Groups, District/Sub County Budget Conferences

The IRC Uganda Country Director also identified the key challenges which will probably hamper progress in the advocacy process.

  1. Too many districts to reach and involve within a short period
  2. Multiplicity of actors with different interests and demands
  3. Political interference and misinterpretation of facts and issues
  4. Changes in the political landscape owing to ongoing Presidential and Parliamentary election campaigns
  5. Policy changes related to budget are long-term processes
  6. Changes in the composition of the Functionality Working Group
  7. The District Water and Sanitation Conditional Grant (DWSCG) allocation formula is complicated
  8. Belief that budget related advocacy is only for the economists
  9. Capacity to do practical advocacy at the decentralised level is lacking