Moroto, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Civil Society Organizations in the Karamoja sub-region are demanding the operations of the District Non-Governmental Organizations Monitoring Committees.
The NGO Act, 2016 provides for the establishment of a District NGO Monitoring Committee in every district and sub-county to oversee the operations of partners at the grass root level.
However, civil society organizations have established that the NGO monitoring committees that are chaired by the Chief Administrative officer for the district level and Senior Assistant Secretary for the county have not been operational.
Richard Omoding, the Executive Director of RIAMRIAM Civil Society Network which coordinates all the partners in the Karamoja subregion said that they want the committees to be operationalized to be able to monitor the organizations.
Omoding noted that most of the districts in the region do not have functional NGO monitoring committees while others do not understand their roles giving partners an opportunity for exploitation.
He also observed that only Moroto district has a well-composed committee that is implementing its mandate and partners have always cooperated with the public officials.
Omoding urged the government to hold the partners accountable and value for money because a lot of funds are being channeled through development partners but have no impact on the ground.
He appealed to the National Bureau for NGOs to consider empowering the monitoring NGO committees at both the district and sub-county levels so that they are able to fulfill their mandate.
Omoding further cautioned all the partners coming to the region to ensure that they have the physical address and the key documents required before signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the district for operations.
Eric Namungalu, Head of Programs at the Human Rights Centre Uganda noted that the major challenge has also been in complying with NGO policies and building relationships with the public officials.
He said there is a need to build the capacity of Non-Governmental Organizations and to sensitize the district NGO monitoring committees to understand their roles.
Namungalu challenged the district monitoring committees to be meeting regularly and the partners should be able to know their obligations as well as complying with the laws of Uganda.
Meanwhile some of the organizations have been recording poor performance in their projects in terms of completing projects on time, duplication, and failure to achieve the objectives set for the project.
The National Bureau for NGOs has attributed the poor performances of projects to the lack of capacity building and implementation policy among the partners.
Stephen Okello, the Executive Director of the NGO Bureau observed that there is a low reading culture among the development partners to understand the policy implementation.
Okello noted that it is a major concern that should be addressed and improve the reading culture since they cannot implement what they do not understand.
He appealed to all the development partners in the region to promote the principles of good governance and more transparency in accountability.
Okello noted that it is not possible to hold the government accountable when the NGO body is still grappling with issues within the organization.
Currently, over 85 Non non-governmental organizations are registered and operating across all nine districts of the Karamoja sub-region.
Source: As published by The Independent.