The Partnership for Transparency (PTF) and the Anti Corruption Coalition for Uganda (ACCU) have begun to implement a country-wide strategy to further their shared anti-corruption aims, focused on Uganda. This marks the first strategy of its kind in PTF’s history.
The five-year strategy, approved in early 2021, takes a sweeping view of key sectors in Uganda facing transparency and corruption challenges and identified three as the focal points of the strategy: health, education, and public procurement. While these sectors face persistent corruption challenges in Uganda, they are also issues in which PTF and ACCU have extensive relevant experience.
With regard to the health sector, corruption is manifested at the macro and micro levels. PTF and ACCU will support CSOs and citizens in monitoring health services, particularly within the context of the COVID-19 response. To this end, on July 1, 2021 ACCU will begin implementation on a joint project with PTF to monitor Uganda’s distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. The Uganda Vaccines Monitoring and Transparency Project will focus on a series of activities designed to monitor and ensure the equity of vaccine distribution, compliance with national vaccine prioritization protocols, and minimize wastage of dosages. These activities will be undertaken in collaboration with health workers at the Kasangati Health Centre, where past PTF-ACCU projects have been implemented.
On education, interventions in this sector will focus on the lack of supervision and minimal citizen participation. PTF and ACCU will address these two points at the national and local levels. Lastly, there is limited knowledge of public procurement rules, and decisions on public works are often made by those acting for personal gain. To address this, the strategy will focus on the disclosure of information and training CSOs to monitor public procurement in Uganda.
To frame its approach, the strategy also provides extensive historical context as well as a summary of past PTF work in Uganda, including projects implemented with ACCU. Based on lessons learned in the focal sectors, the strategy sets forth PTF and ACCU’s strategic priorities in Uganda for the coming years.
Strategy interventions will take place on both regional and national levels. In order to do so effectively, PTF and ACCU will build coalitions among key actors such as fellow civil society organizations, local officials, and national government actors.
Beyond the work to support CSOs in the formation of strategic partnerships with state and non-state anti-corruption agencies, PTF and ACCU will work with accountability CSOs to enhance their capacities in monitoring health, education, and procurement, while also engaging leaders. PTF will also support cross-organizational learning. Citizens will be trained as community monitors, provided with information and logistical support to monitor local government programs. All of these objectives will be achieved by working with the media, an additional stakeholder group, to improve outreach to citizens and government officials.
According to ACCU Head of Programs Marlon Agaba, “The Uganda strategy aims at producing large-scale impact.” Ultimately the five-year strategy will take concrete steps to further PTF and ACCU’s joint aims to combat corruption across Uganda.