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«Advocacy with and for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children: Findings from Qualitative Research in Uganda. © Uganda Ministry of Gender, Labour and ...»

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A report prepared for the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development/ CORE Initiative

Advocacy with and for Orphans and Other

Vulnerable Children: Findings from Qualitative

Research in Uganda.

© Uganda Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development/ CORE Initiative 2007.

This report was prepared by Development Research and Training (DRT), www.drt-ug.or.ug.

This material may be freely used as long as the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social

Development is acknowledged.

Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development P.O. Box 7136 Kampala, Uganda Tel: 256-41-347-854 Fax: 256-41-257-869 E-mail: OVCecretariat@mglsd.go.ug Financial support for this publication was provided by President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief through the i United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the CORE Initiative Uganda 617-A-00-05- 00002-00.

CORE Initiative is implemented by CARE International Uganda, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, the International Center for Research on Women, and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Communication Programs in support of the Uganda Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.


This is a report on a qualitative research on ‘Findings to guide the development of a National Advocacy Strategy to support Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children. It is the result of a collaborative effort of the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development, and CORE Initiatives and has involved inputs from various individuals and institutions in and outside of Government. We extend special thanks to officials in the Ministries of Health, Education, and Local Government, as well as those from the District local Governments of Gulu, Luwero, Pallisa, Kampala and Kisoro.

Valuable contributions were made by UNAIDS, USAID, DFID, Civil society organisations Implementing OVC programs country wide, as well as other Non Government Organisations.

All other individuals and institutions who contributed to this research and who made suggestions during consultations are also acknowledged.

Author’s Note: Official statement from the Minister will be included in the final draft.






SECTION: I: Background and context

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Objectives of the study

1.2 Methodology

Section II: Study Findings, Analysis and Recommendations

2.0 Evidence from literature

2.1 Findings from the Qualitative Study

2.1.1 Factors affecting the allocation of resources

2.1.2 Potential partners, advocates, competitors

2.1.3 Priority Issues for Advocacy

2.3.4 The profile of other ministries vis-à-vis MGLSD

2.3.5 How does the budget process work in Uganda?

2.3.6 Influencing donor decision-making

2.3.7 Efficient and Effective mechanisms for advocacy

2.3.8 Media Coverage and Positioning of MGLSD


3.1. General conclusions and recommendations



Appendix 1: Uganda’s Budget Cycle

Appendix 2: Process of Local government planning/ budgeting

Appendix 3: Fiscal releases, budget estimates and budget projections from central government to local government from financial year 2002/03-2007/08

Appendix 4: An illustration of sub-county expenditure estimates for the financial year of 2006/07.......... 75 Appendix 5: Examples of the Current Partners involved in supporting or doing OVC work

–  –  –

In spite of the frequent reference to OVC as a category that befits urgent attention and support by a cross-section of stakeholders, the evidence suggests that the priority which is accorded to this category of children in planning and budgeting is rather low. A number of reasons have been advanced to explain this low level of prioritization. One of these is the image which the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development under which OVC matters are considered portrays. In the following study we have identified key issues which will need to be addressed in order to raise the profile of OVC in particular and MGLSD in general.

For this effort to bear fruit, it needs to be taken beyond the technocratic to the political level – so that OVC issues become an essential part of the political commitments which local and national leaders make. Committed advocacy at national and local levels should help to address this concern.

The study concludes that ineffective leadership, organization and management for OVC programming on the part of both MGLSD and district leaders has led to further marginalization of OVC issues in planning and budgeting. At the central level the leadership challenge has been further complicated by the amorphous nature which MGLSD took on when it was created through a merger of three different ministries into one. Hence there is an urgent need to firmly establish the ministry’s new identity and “selling point”. On the other hand, at district and sub-county levels, the absence of an undisputed leader and champion on OVC matters has led to such issues being left on the margins of what lower level governments actually focus on.

We further observe that the main hindering factor is the rather lukewarm image (profile) which is portrayed by the parent ministry and the CBS department. This is further aggravated by the lack of information and data on OVC, and the absence of innovative alternative propositions on how to address the orphans’ crisis.

One of the biggest assets with respect to OVC programming is the comprehensive policy and institutional framework on OVC. If appropriately supported, this policy and institutional framework can go a long way to persuade central and lower local governments to allocate resources for OVC programmes. However donor interest in supporting the social sector in general and OVC in particular is difficult to gauge at the moment. The current discussion on promoting social protection approaches and interventions is one possible way in which OVC matters can be brought back to the centre ground – as issues which the social protection objectives of MGLSD, and generally the Uganda Government, aim to focus on. Thus the need to highlight OVC issues in the on-going discussion on social protection and, through advocacy, is evident.

DRAFT iii There exists in Uganda a rich array of potential partners and advocates for OVC advocacy and communication. The study established that both profile and funding for OVC can benefit considerably from collaborating with the private sector. Building on the now well-established model of public-private partnership, and through well structured relationships with the sector, MGLSD has an opportunity to both raise the profile of OVC while at the same time drawing on resources which are available in the private sector. Private sector partnerships could be established with such organizations and companies as CELTEL, Coca Cola, MTN, UTL, Mukwano, etc.

Child-focused NGOs and agencies remain key advocates for OVC. ANPCANN, UNICEF, SCF, World Vision, and a host of others are a case in point. However a lot of suspicion still exists between NGOs and between them and MGLSD on prioritization and methods of work.

Thus while most are involved in considerable advocacy and would be suitable collaborators, their contribution can best be maximized if there is harmony in discussion and decisionmaking on key OVC issues, priorities and methodologies. As such, a strengthened network of child rights organizations, such as Uganda Child Rights NGO Network may be one way of addressing this challenge. Hence supporting the emergence of collective voice and action through more open discussion with all key stakeholders and more effective networking will be essential.

From the study the three key priorities for OVC advocacy which emerged from care givers are improved socio-economic security, better access to health and education services, and increased awareness on the rights and responsibilities of OVC. On the other hand community leaders emphasized the importance of better regulation of institutions which care for OVC in order to enhance child protection. They also highlighted increased funding for projects supporting OVC as an important area for advocacy. CSOs reflected a longer list of advocacy priority areas, arguing that this was a derivative of the various types of engagement which they had with communities and OVC themselves. The NGO list included provision of an essential services package for orphans, increased resource allocation to MGLSD, establishment of a national database for OVC, enhancement of socio-economic security, increased opportunities for psychosocial support for OVC, and child protection. Perhaps most importantly OVC themselves prioritized advocacy for education, against stigma, for care and support, for socio-economic security and for reintegration and resettlement as their advocacy issues.

We draw three main conclusions from the study. First, and not unexpectedly, different stakeholders present different advocacy priorities. In instances where the priorities do not overlap for the different stakeholders this has implications for which ones are taken up.

Secondly, while OVC and care-givers mainly prioritized issues which have specific relevance to OVC’ personal livelihoods, NGOs and others included (and often focused on) advocacy issues of an institutional nature. Thirdly, the range of priority issues suggest a need for a strategy which spans the three levels of: (a) family and community; (b) district and subcounty; and, (c) national.

The study recognizes that other line ministries such as education or health present a more visible and positive image than that of MGLSD and CBS. Institutional and organizational management challenges aside, this study concludes that the higher profile which is accorded to the other ministries is mainly due to the frequent reminders in official and non-official circles (including media, publications, manifestos, etc) about education and health being

–  –  –

Advocating for raising the profile of OVC issues at all levels of administration and having such issues included in the national priority planning areas will be of priority. In addition, there is a need to clearly articulate MGLSD’s and CBS’s goal and objectives and their relationship to OVC and to popularize these widely with a view to raising the conscience of the public on what the ministry and departments currently do and can do in the future.

On budgeting, although budget allocations for the sectors, including the social sector, are informed by the ceilings imposed by the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) at national level and by the Local Government Budget Framework Paper (LGBFP), what actually gets allocated at the operational level is often the result of both technical and political processes, the latter tending to have greater influence. The coherence and the convincing nature of arguments will need to be improved in order to influence change.



ACDA Assistant Community Development Assistant ACDO Assistant Community Development Officers AMREF African Medical and Research Foundation ANPPCAN African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect CAO Chief Administrative Officers CBO Community Based Organisations CBS Central Broadcasting Services CCF Christian Children’s Fund CDAs Community development Assistants CDOs Community Development Officers CORE Community Response to the HIV/AIDS Epidemic CORE Communities Responding to HIV/AIDS Epidemic.

CRC Constitutional Review Commission CSO Civil Society Organisations CWD Children With Disabilities DDHS District Director of Health Services DDP District Development Plan DRT Development Research and Training FALP Functional Adult Literacy Programme FAWE Foundation for African Women Educationalists FBO Faith Based Organisations GOU Government of Uganda GUSCO Gulu Support for Children Organisation IDP Internally Displaced Persons IGA Income Generating Activities KURET Kenya Uganda Rwanda Ethiopia Together LC Local Council LLG Lower Level Government MAAIF Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries MFPED Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development MGLSD Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development MOES Ministry of Education and Sports MOH Ministry of Health MTEF Medium Term Expenditure Framework NAADS National Agricultural Advisory Services NCC National Council for Children NGOs Non Governmental Organisations NOP National Orphans Policy NPPA National Poverty Priority Areas DRAFT vi NSPPI National Strategic Programme Plan of Investment NSSF National Social Security Fund NUDIPU National Union of Disabled Persons in Uganda OVC Orphans and other Vulnerable Children PEAP Poverty Eradication Action Plan PEPFAR Presidents Emergency Programme for AIDS Relief PHC Primary Health Care PLA Participatory Learning Approaches PMA Plan for Modernization of Agriculture PMAU Poverty Monitoring and Analysis Unit PNO Principal Nursing Officer PRA Participatory Rural Appraisal SDIP Social Development Investment Plan UCRN Uganda Child Rights Network UMSC Uganda Muslim Supreme Council UN United Nations UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund UPE Universal Primary Education USAID United States Agency for International Development USDC Uganda Society for Disabled Children USMC Uganda Muslim Supreme Council UTL Uganda Telecom Limited UWESO Uganda Women’s Efforts to Save Orphans WBS Waava Broadcasting Services WFP World Food Programme

–  –  –

Table 5: Illustrating spread of Funding across section in Community 43 Based Service Department for Kisoro, Pallisa and Luwero

–  –  –

It is estimated that there are over 2 million orphaned children, 250,809 children with single or multiple disabilities, 4,190,200 children affected by conflict, and many more who are made vulnerable due to poverty, poor health, and limited access to services in Uganda. The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) is mandated with the responsibility to lead and coordinate the national response for these marginalized groups, who are categorized as orphans and other vulnerable children (OVC).

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