Uganda

Project: Buikwe - ICEIDA Development Partnership - WASH Development in Fishing Communities 2015-2017

Project: Support to the Implemetntation of Kalangala District Development Plan (KDDP) 2006-2015 

Country Strategy Paper for Uganda 2014-2017:  Uganda-CSP-2014-2017

The Icelandic International Development Agency ICEIDA initiated its cooperation with Uganda in 2000 when a General Development Cooperation Agreement between the countries was signed. Opening of an Icelandic Embassy in June 2004 further strengthened the relations between the countries.

In the first years, the cooperation focused on support to the national Functional Adult Literacy Program (FALP) in fishing communities on Lake Victoria, quality assurance in fisheries and prefeasibility studies of geothermal prospects. Recently, two new project were launched namely; support to the Kalangala District Development Program, and support to Entrepreneurship Training Programs. Furthermore, ICEIDA has provided direct support to MGLSD and various local NGO´s. A brief description of the current ICEIDA cooperation projects can be seen below.

From Iceida´s Annual Report 2014:

At the beginning of 2014 real economic growth was projected to strengthen to about 6%, supported by a fiscal stimulus, a rebound on agricultural production, faster private sector growth and increased foreign direct investment. At year's end real economic growth stood at 4.9% which was in improvement from 3.9% in 2013. Weaknesses in the global economy undermined growth in Uganda, particularly through impact on demand for Uganda‘s exports and inward flows of Foreign Direct investment. Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile said in December that the aid cut by donors would reduce Uganda's 2014 growth by 0.7%. Annual headline inflation fell to an average 4.3% in December 2014 from 5.5% in December 2013. The lower levels of inflation were partly attributed to a fall in food prices due to a good domestic harvest, lower global food prices and subdued traded goods price inflation, partly driven by the decline in crude oil prices.

Despite Presidential and Parliamentary elections only being scheduled for early 2016, the year 2014 saw significant maneuvers in preparations for the elections. The political fall-out between President Museveni and former Prime Minister Mbabazi dominated the last months of 2014. Following Mbabazi´s dismissal as Prime Minister in October, there were further maneuvers to disempower him on account of his perceived desire to contest the ruling party nomination for the 2016 Presidential elections. 2015 promises to be an uncertain but eventful year on the political scene in Uganda.

In February 2014, President Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA) into law imposing harsh penalties for same sex conduct as well as curtailing the freedoms of expression, assembly, and association. AHA provoked strong disapproval from the donor community who view it as an affront to human rights. Few donors cut their total contribution to Uganda but many donors decided to channel funds away from the Government and its budget and instead identify alternative modalities for delivering aid. By June donors had withheld or diverted over USD 118 million in assistance to Uganda in protest against the AHA's provisions. This donor reaction mirrors steps taken following the corruption scandal at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) in 2013. As a result the Ugandan Government was forced to review the FY 2014/2015 Budget to make adjustments in light of cuts in direct aid by the country's development partners. Prior to the AHA and OPM rows, development partners had provided approximately 25% of the State Budget. In August the AHA was declared null and void by the Constitutional Court on technical grounds, but donors and foreign investors are still suspicious especially after a leaked draft bill on “Unnatural Sexual Practices”, focusing on the so called promotion and recruitment aspects of the AHA, caused renewed fears of a discriminatory bill being adopted by Parliament.

Development Cooperation between ICEIDA and Uganda

In 2014 the development cooperation between Iceland and Uganda followed a path charted by the first Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for the cooperation between Iceland and Uganda which was completed in 2013. The Strategy covers the period 2014 to 2017 with a focus on fishing communities at the district level. Funding scenarios for the period of the CSP range from a total of 16.4 million USD to 21.9 million USD. 2014 funding for Uganda was at the lower end of the envisaged spectrum.

Within the framework set by the CSP, foremost effort was put on the continuing collaboration with Kalangala District Local Government and preparations for a new cooperation with Buikwe District Local Government, identified as the two main development partners of Iceland in Uganda.Support to the implementation of the Quality Assurance for Fish Marketing Project entered its final year in 2014. Final phasing out of adult literacy was moreover on-going in 2014.

Support to Fisheries Sub-Sector

Support to the Implementation of Quality Assurance for Fish Marketing Project (QAFMP)

The support to the implementation of QAFMP under the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), Department of Fisheries Resources (DFR) had its aim at improving the livelihoods of the fish dependent communities in selected districts in Uganda, through improvements in the quality and safety of fish for domestic and export market. The purpose of the Project was to increase the volume of marketed fish both in the domestic and export markets through reduction in post-harvest losses. As the Project developed and lessons were learned, increased emphasis was put on water and sanitation facilities in the selected communities.

The Project, as originally designed and revised after a midterm review, was essentially completed by the end of December 2013. However, towards the end of 2013, DFR requested for additional facilities at two more landing sites. The request was appraised by the ICEIDA Country Office and the Head Office in Iceland, in accordance with prescribed procedures. Based on the appraisal, ICEIDA approved to extend QAFMP by one year to be completed in December 2014. Subsequently, the Project Logframe and Implementation Plan were revised to include two additional clean water and sanitation facilities for fish handling and extended portable water for community use at the fish handling sites of Kawongo in Kayunga District and Akampala in Kaberamaido. Construction works commenced on schedule in June and were completed on time during the last quarter of 2014.

All other Project components were completed in 2013 as covered in last year's report. A final evaluation of QAFMP will be carried out in 2015.

Multisectoral Support

Support to the implementation of Kalangala District Development Program (KDDP)

KDDP is a multi-sectoral program supported by ICEIDA at sub-national level in Uganda. The goal of the Program is to contribute to sustainable livelihoods and equitable social economic development in Uganda's Kalangala District. As per original design, the Program will be completed by mid-2015 after a 10 year-long implementation period. The overall program strategy is to support the Kalangala District Local Government (KDLG) to implement its own development strategy in the areas of fisheries, education, health (2006-2010) and tourism development (2011-2014); and to improve local governance thus promoting delivery of better services to the population.

Some delays in the implementation of KDDP were incurred at the beginning of 2014 due to administrative and management complications within KDLG. After a constructive intervention from the Ministry of Local Government, KDDP activities were mostly back on track by the end of the second quarter. At the end of the year a noticeable improvement in performance by KDLG had been registered which is likely to extend well beyond the lifetime of KDDP.

During 2014, most sectors supported by the Program had implemented planned activities. The infrastructure component reflected the advanced stage of implementation, as defects liability periods for matured construction contracts ended and retention was paid out mainly for works related to fisheries. Construction of 20 drying racks at Kisaba and Kachanga was completed during the year as well as 3 choker kilns at Kisaba, Kyagalanyi and Kachungwa. The construction of two more kilns at Namisoke and Ttubi was on-going at year's end. Classroom blocks were furthermore constructed at Kibanga, Lwabaswa and Jaana; teachers' house in Kachanga and Kitobo; and, 6 dormitory blocks at Kibanga, Mazinga and Kagulube Primary Schools were renovated.

Due to prolonged difficulties with the Tourism Development component, the KDDP Program Steering Committee (PSC) decided in July to suspend the activity and reallocate funds to the education sector.

The operational support to capacity building activities and service delivery interventions continued under administration, fisheries, and education sectors such as: strengthening the district's capacity for development planning and management; monitoring and evaluation; facilitating quarterly audits; district radio program; fish quality assurance; operation and maintenance of water and sanitation facilities; environment inspection and audit; continuous assessment of learners' in primary and secondary schools; promotion of co-curricular activities in sports and performing arts; strengthening school inspection; supply of basic text books and instruction materials to primary schools, and equipping secondary schools.

A tracking and audit of text book supply for primary schools was conducted in 2014. The audit established the gross number of textbooks and the current status of textbook to pupil ratios in the schools, which is one of the quality indicators monitored by the Program. As a follow-up to the audit, KDLG requested additional funding for textbooks aimed at achieving an improved textbook to pupil ratio from 1:3 to 1:1 which would be a first in Uganda. ICEIDA approved the request and implementation commenced in December and is due to be completed in the middle of 2015.

These efforts in the education sector in Kalangala have contributed tremendously in the improvements of primary pupils pass rates. In the 2014 national primary leaving examinations Kalangala District was ranked 12th out of 118 districts, compared to 38th position in 2012 and 24thin 2013. Before ICEIDA extended support under KDDP to primary education, Kalangala was usually among the 5 worst performing districts in Uganda.

Two medical students that have been sponsored by ICEIDA under the KDDP since 2009 completed their University studies in 2014 and commenced a one year-long internship training at Mulago National Referral Hospital and Naguru Hospital in Kampala. Both will return to Kalangala for duty once the internship training has been completed.

As KDDP is due to be completed by mid-year 2015, discussions took place within the PSC as how best to consolidate results achieved and ensure sustainability beyond the 10 year Program period. It was decided to commission a review to guide the phase-out both in terms of activity concentration and duration. The review was completed before the end of 2014 and presented concrete and practical steps to be taken during a planned regressive discontinuation of the Program. The partners will decide before the middle of 2015 how to proceed.

Support to the preparations of Buikwe District Fishing Community Development Program (BFCDP)

Intensive and thorough preparation for the cooperation with Buikwe District was on-going throughout the year, with clear direction being provided in the Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for the cooperation between Iceland and Uganda. A Partnership Agreement for BFCDP was signed in October 2014 by the Director General of ICEIDA, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and the Chief Administrative Officer of Buikwe District Local Government (BDLG). The Partnership Agreement lays out the overall cooperation framework for ICEIDA support to BDFCDP under which project components for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), education, fisheries and health will be developed and supported.

The technical foundation for the BDFCDP was established in three situation analyses, i.e. health, education and fisheries, which had been identified in the CSP as the main focus areas for the cooperation with Uganda. A common denominator from all the situation analyses was the importance of WASH, which was seen as critical for development in each of the three sectors. In addition to three situation analyses, an Institutional Capacity Assessment of BDLG was concluded by Uganda Local Governments Association in March 2014.

A strategic planning workshop was held in Entebbe in June 2014 where a strategic plan for BDFCDP was developed based on the situation analyses. The Buikwe District Strategic Plan for Fishing Community Development was completed in August, and work started on the formulation of the Sector Strategic and Development Plans beginning with the WASH sector, which was prioritized for action. ICEIDA approved in September a request from BDLG for pre-program capacity support to enable the District address prerequisites for program implementation and its overall capacity for improved service delivery in key departments. Secondary capacity support procurement will continue in 2015.

The Country Office resisted as long as possible the temptation of providing short-term and unsustainable gap-filling solutions to capacity challenges identified in the Institutional Capacity Assessment of BDLG, focusing however on district-driven solutions with support from the Central Government. However, in view of an acute capacity gap in the District Planning Unit, which caused serious delays in the preparation process, a decision was made to fast-track the preparations for Support to WASH Program Component. In order to fast-track WASH, it was agreed to provide technical assistance for the preparation of the Buikwe District WASH Strategy and Development Plan for Fishing Community Development and a consultant to support the District Planning Unit directly. Furthermore, an Independent Assessment of Financial and Accounting Systems at BDLG was completed in December 2014.

The Buikwe District Local Government WASH Project Component was completed and approved formally by all relevant BDLG bodies in late November. BDLG subsequently submitted a request to the ICEIDA Country Office for support of the WASH Project Component which was processed and forwarded in December to ICEIDA HQ for appraisal.  

Support to Education Sector

Support to the implementation of Uganda´s Functional Adult Literacy Program (Non-formal education)

The support to the functional adult literacy program (FALP) had focused on strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development (MGLSD) to implement a Five Year National Action Plan for Adult Literacy (NAPAL)-2010/11 to 2015/16 and was completed and closed in 2012. The follow-up on the funds that had been set aside to implement activities dependent on the approval by Cabinet of the Literacy Policy was concluded in 2013. The Policy was however only approved by Cabinet in early 2014. Hence, a request from MGLSD to facilitate the printing and dissemination of the National Adult Policy (NALIP) was received in May 2014. The request was approved in December when it became clear that funds would be available from within the ICEIDA Uganda budget. The MGLSD undertook to implement the agreed activities by the close of March 2015 and thereafter submit a report and accountability for the funds accordingly.

Cross Cutting Issues

Gender

Gender equality is identified in the Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for the cooperation between Iceland and Uganda as a cross-cutting issue and as such it will be taken into consideration and integrated into all development activities.

The main gender concern in fishing communities continues to be marginalization of women in decision making, management and utilization of the fisheries resources. Women are therefore the most vulnerable link in the fisheries value chain. As the main focus of the cooperation with Uganda is on fishing communities at the district level, ICEIDA seeks to give distinct attention to the role women play. Valuable gender lessons have been learned from previous projects and programs in ICEIDA's Uganda portfolio that provides guidance for the new cooperation with Buikwe District. Situation analyses for health and education furthermore highlighted both sensitive and complicated gender dynamics that need to be addressed.

As part of the preparatory process for the cooperation with Buikwe District, ICEIDA established technical collaboration with the Kampala office of UN Women. Specialists from UN Women carried out gender analysis on all situation analyses utilizing a recognized gender check-list analysis. Similar gender analysis will be carried out on all Project Documents, starting with the WASH Program Component in early 2015.

Following general gender training in 2013 for staff at the ICEIDA Country Office, in which gender focal officers from Buikwe and Kalangala Districts participated, it was decided in 2014 to invite both District Local Governments to send a fellow to the 6 month-long GEST UNU Gender Training Program in Iceland. Both Districts nominated Community Development Officers to partake in the 2015 Program. However, the Buikwe candidate had to withdraw at the last minute making it impossible to find a replacement on a short notice. It is hoped that Buikwe will be able to nominate a fellow for the 2016 Program.

Environment

Environmental sustainability is defined in the CSP as cross-cutting issue with equal importance as gender. Issues pertaining to environmental sustainability will thus be taken into consideration and integrated into all development activities.

In the CSP we read on page 9: “The linkage between resource depletion and livelihood concerns, necessitates the introduction of improved fish exploitation, diversification of livelihoods, increased employment opportunities in fishing communities as well as improved health (basic health services, specifically maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS prevention and care, as well as availability of potable water and sanitation facilities) and education (basic primary and adult education in addition to developing professional expertise through vocational and skills training).”The sustainability of Uganda's fisheries resource is therefore the most challenging environmental issue affecting ICEIDA supported interventions. It is one of the foundations behind Icelandic development cooperation in Uganda that has its focus on improved livelihoods in fishing communities.

Both KDDP and QAFMP provide ICEIDA with valuable experience in addressing post-harvest loss and lessons in how to improve pecuniary returns from fishing activities to the local community, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable. Both KDDP and QAFMP have also shown examples of how access to safe water and improved sanitation has gained importance and prominence as lessons from the implementation are being learned.