Africa Freedom of Information Centre, with support from the Democratic Governance Facility, brought together members of civil society, community monitors and the media to talk about sustainable ways of increasing citizen participation in monitoring public contracts for better service delivery. AFIC has been training local citizens on the importance of open contracting and how they can get involved.

In the discussions, it was quite clear that CSOs, Community Monitors and the Media entirely believe that they can only achieve much when they work together. Kanungu NGO Forum, through the chairperson of the board committed to reach out to as many NGOs/CBOs as possible, encouraging them to pay attention to issues that affect citizens, especially to do with service delivery.

Community Monitors strongly believe that its equally the responsibility of citizens to concern themselves with what goes on around government implementation of public contracts. With the skills acquired in contract monitoring, Kanungu Community Monitors are willing to pass on these valuable skills to other citizens in their localities.

The media in Kanungu pledged full support towards amplifying community voices and providing space for citizens to talk about issues identified in contract monitoring. During one of the follow up meeting in Kanungu district, the journalists requested that CSOs and Community monitors should always involve them in the field monitoring visits such that they are also able to capture the findings; these shape debate on radio and television talk shows

As a way of pushing the agenda forward, they resolved toward select a committee with a representation of various sub counties in Kanungu district which was tasked to mobilize more CSOs and citizens to actively participate in monitoring public contracts and also hold their leaders accountable. A WhatsApp group was formulated for effective information sharing and coordination of the members and this was named Citizens Participation in Inclusive Development (CPID).

CPID Forum is a local citizens’ initiative in Kanungu that will bring together all people from diverse backgrounds to deliberate and participate in better governance, better service delivery and inclusive development. The forum is composed of civil society organizations, community monitors, local leaders and the media in Kanungu district.

Ivan Mushana, upon being selected as the chairperson of the forum, appreciated  AFIC for cresting wider awareness of the people’s right of access to information so they can fully participate and play a collective role in ensuring better service delivery which also helps to reduce corruption cases in Uganda and Kanungu district in particular.

Africa Freedom of Information Centre continues to build the capacity of citizens across the continent in contract monitoring so they can be able to hold their leaders accountable for improved service delivery. When citizens work together, they achieve more.

 

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