PROGRAMS: WOMEN EMPOWERMENT IN NATURAL RESOURCE GOVERNANCE (WENG)


OVERVIEW

Goal: Women and Girls’ (10 – 49 years) right to utilize natural resources to affect positive and environmentally sustainable improvements in their household livelihood security is assured.

CARE International in Uganda experience with communities living adjacent to Protected Areas (PA) has consistently confirmed women and girls as among the most vulnerable and marginalized component populations. Evidence has shown that with equality between women and men, economies tend to grow faster, the poor are able to move out of poverty and the wellbeing of women, men and children is enhanced. In addition to the numerous limitations that women and girls experience on account of their gender, the remoteness of Protected Areas-adjacent communities means they are not linked with social services, markets, government institutions and information.

Mismanagement, degradation and depletion of natural resources and/or access restrictions disproportionately impacts poor rural women and girls. On this basis CARE International in Uganda identified “Poor and vulnerable women and girls (10-49 years) whose livelihoods are dependent on or are affected by degrading natural resources and/or protected areas” as the Impact Group for WENG. WENG seeks to improving livelihoods, change power relations and reduces gender-based violence in the home and community.

Key allies/partners are Local Government (in the target districts), Central Government and agencies such as the Uganda Wildlife Authority and National Forests Authority. CSOs (including national and local NGOs and CBO) have an important role as advocates for issues of importance to women and girls. WENG also engages community leaders and private sector institutions (MFI, tourism operators etc.) with the initial focus on ENR governance issues in the Albertine Rift and has also developed models for addressing the specific needs of natural resource-dependant ethnic minorities; starting with the Batwa in South-Western Uganda.

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Forest Resources Sector Transparency (FOREST)

The Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) funded FOREST initiative is being implemented from April 2013 to December 2017. FOREST’s goal is to support the civil society and the media to contribute to Uganda’s forest resources being governed in an accountable, transparent and responsive manner in order to benefit the country’s poor citizens.

Collecting materials from the forest
The objectives for FOREST include:
  • Improved Civil Society coordination, networking and multi-stakeholder collaboration leads to inclusive management of forest resources
  • Civil Society effectively monitors and advocates for appropriate forestry laws and regulations
  • Civil Society organizations empower poor and vulnerable citizens to participate in the governance of forest resources in areas under threat
  • Civil Society organizations have an increased legitimacy, accountability and transparency through capacity building

The program is implemented at national level, drawing its evidence from the Albertine Region of Western Uganda in partnership with 6 local partners: Joint Effort to Save the Environment (JESE), Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU), Adovcate Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE), Environmental Alert (EA), Panos East Africa (PANOSEA) and Community Development Resource Network (CDRN). So far, FOREST reached more than 162,727 direct beneficiaries (of whom around 48,182 women and girls) and around 6,183,000 indirect beneficiaries (of whom around 2,500,682 women and girls).

Partners for Resilience, Phase I: Climate Proof Disaster Risk Reduction (PfR I) and Partners for Resilience, Phase II: Strategic Plan (PfR II)

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs funded PfR initiative has been implemented since January 2011. The fist phase run from January 2011 to December 2015. The second phase will run from January 2016 to December 2020. While PfR I was implemented in Otuke District in Northern Uganda and was thus part of NUWEP, PfR II has a national advocacy component and the initiative was thus shifted under WENG. It is implemented in partnership with the Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid (CORDAID; consortium lead), Uganda Red Cross Society and Wetland International.

Reporting on tree cutting in Uganda

In total, PfR I reached more than 15,205 direct beneficiaries (of whom around 9,579 women and girls) and around 103,362 indirect beneficiaries (of whom around 52,715 women and girls). PfR II is expected to reach 38,000 direct beneficiaries (of whom 17,100 women and girls) and 68,617 indirect beneficiaries (of whom 34,309 women and girls).

The objectives for PfR I included:

  • Increased resilience of communities to disaster, climate change and environmental degradation
  • Strengthened Civil Society Organizations
  • Engagement in Policy Dialogues and raising awareness at local and international levels to promote lessons learnt on linking and learning

The objectives for PfR II include: Integrated Resource Management (IRM) is mainstreamed in policies and legislation at all levels; Implementation and enforcement of existing IRM policies (e.g. Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) policy, and the Natural Resource Management and Disaster Preparedness and Disaster Management policies); Increased understanding of (inter-)national climate finance; Investments in IRM are increased; IRM-based safeguards and screenings are incorporated in sectoral investments; IRM related funding mechanisms are coherent in the development, humanitarian and climate financing continuum; a selected number of public and private sector investments programs (TBD) are implemented based on context-specific integrated risk management principles that address community interests and priorities at all levels.

EMORY - Safe Water for Health Care Facilities

The General Electric Foundation and Emory University funded Safe Water for Health Care Facilities initiative is being implemented from April 2016 to September 2017.

Safe Water for Health Care Facilities’ goal is to ensure that women at Health Centre Facilities have reliable access to safe water in an effort to address the challenges of nosocomial infections and to ensure good sanitation within health facilities in order to improve staff performance in delivering quality health care services.

Water is one of our most precious commodities. Use it wisely.
The objectives for the project include:
  • Install water purification systems in 6 hospitals in Western Uganda
  • Assess the status of water, sanitation and hygiene in 6 hospitals before and after the installation of the water purification systems
  • Determine the performance of water purification systems in reducing the bacteriological load of the water supplied in hospitals
  • Determine the sustainability of water purification systems in 6 hospitals in Western Uganda
Rights, Equity and Protected Areas, Phase II (REPA II)

The Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) funded REPA II initiative was implemented from January 2009 to December 2013. CARE Uganda implemented REPA under the DANIDA Framework Agreement since 2003. Phase I was a pilot rights-based and civil society empowerment program, which ended successfully in December 2008. REPA II focused on empowering ethnic minorities, improving local governance, reducing the costs of conservation while increasing benefits of poor households living adjacent to and dependent on gazetted environment and natural resources.

Empowering poor communities in Uganda

REPA II’s goal was that poor natural resource-dependent households achieve improved livelihoods, and natural resources are conserved as a consequence of civil society participation and equitable community based management systems. The project was implemented in Kabarole, Kasese, Kyenjojo, Kamwenge, Masindi, Kibaale, Hoima in Western Uganda.

The program worked with implementing partners (IPs) at local and national level. The IPs at local level were: Joint Effort to Save the Environment (JESE); Diocesan Social Services Department (CARITAS- Fort Portal) and Diocese of Kasese (CARITAS-Kasese); Kabarole CBO and NGO Forum (KANCA); Karambi Action for Life Improvement (KALI); Integrated Women in Development (IWDP); United Organization for Batwa Development in Uganda (UOBDU); Community Development and Conservation Agency (CODECA); Kisoro NGOs Forum (KINGOF); Tooro Botanic Gardens (TBG); Kibaale Civil Society Network (KCSON); and Ecological Conservation Trust of Uganda (ECO-TRUST). At national level, IPs included: Environmental Alert; Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE); Community Development Resource Network (CDRN); and Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU).

Batwa Health, Education, Agriculture and Land Rights (HEAL)

The CARE Norway funded HEAL initiative was implemented from March 2012 to December 2014. The HEAL project drew synergies from Rights, Environment and Protected Areas, phase II project (REPA II), a CARE Uganda 5-year project building on a good governance approach with the goal to improve the wellbeing of poor natural resource dependent households, including Batwa households. HEAL’s goal was to empower Batwa women and girls (10-49 years) to participate equitably in decision making at household and community levels, and have improved and sustainable livelihood security.

The project was implemented in Kabale and Kisoro districts in Western Uganda in partnership with Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Trust (BMCT) and African International Christian Ministry (AICM). In total, the project reached at least 1,211 direct beneficiaries (of whom 800 women and girls) and at least 3,800 indirect beneficiaries (of whom 1,200 women and girls).

Recognizing the importance of local ownership for the sustainability of the initiative and the importance to actively involve the local community in order to effectively re-integrate the Batwa in their area. CARE and partners trained 11 Village Savings and Loans (VSLAs) Community Based Trainers. Overall, 54 VSLA groups were formed reaching a total of 1,486 members of whom 67% are female and 30.5% are Batwa. The VSLA groups were not only trained in basic financial literacy and the VSLA methodology, but were also used as a platform to introduce other trainings, for instance sensitization sessions on the need for girl child education, women’s empowerment and sexual harassment. 97 Batwa were enrolled in other functional adult literacy initiatives.

Strengthening Local Governance in Natural Resource Management (SLOGIN)

SLOGIN focused on the role of civil society in promoting good governance, especially in local government, using natural resource issues as an entry point to protecting and promoting people’s rights. The project aimed to raise awareness amongst rural communities and local government of the need for good governance in natural resource management, and of relevant rights, policies, laws, and regulations. The project promoted the participation of civil society in all aspects of governance where NRM is concerned. A particular and intransigent problem lies in ensuring the inclusion of poor and marginalized groups. The project built the capacity of local (district level and below) CSOs working with community contact groups. The project identified existing and potential conflicts, and built the capacity of relevant actors in conflict resolution, management, and prevention.

The ultimate beneficiaries of the project were poor, marginalized people and communities dependent on natural resources, especially those who live in the vicinity of wetlands, forests, and protected areas in Kasese, Kabarole, and Kyenjojo Districts.

Overall Objective: By 2011 civil society organizations and poor and marginalized communities in targeted areas have developed the capacity to hold government accountable for the quality of service delivery, and to participate effectively in governance processes related to the use and management of natural resources.
Donors: DANIDA & CARE Denmark
Project Duration: January 2008 – December 2011
Location: Kasese, Kabarole and Kyenjojo Districts

Combating Child Mortality among Batwa (CCMB)

The 2-year Combating Child Mortality project funded by CARE Denmark aspired to meet immediate and urgent needs of Batwa living in Kabale and Kisoro districts. The primary focus was on under-five children and landless Batwa. The project focused on two main activity axes: bringing health services closer to Batwa and resettlement of landless Batwa families. The CCMB project goal which was estimated to be achieved by 2010 was to: Reduce under-five child mortality of Batwa in Kisoro and Kabale Districts. And the specific objective is to: To reduce under-five child morbidity among landless and settled Batwa in Kisoro and Kabale Districts through improved health services, nutrition and access to land. The project was implemented in partnership with three local organisations: Rugarama and Mutolere hospitals for outreach clinics and treatment of severely malnourished children; and Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Trust (BMCT) that leads in the resettlement process. The hospitals had extensive experience working with outreaches in Kabale and Kisoro Districts but not with the Batwa. United Organisation of Batwa Development in Uganda (UOBDU) a Batwa membership organisation was a strategic partner for mobilization of its members, but also participated in further designing and scaling up the project.

The Batwa are an indigenous minority group living in remote parts of South-western and Western Uganda, in Kabale and Kisoro Districts numbering about 2,300 people. The Batwa were expelled from their ancestral forests when these were gazetted as forest reserves in the 1940s and later as national parks in the early 1990s. They were never compensated for their loss of land and livelihoods. Some Batwa currently stay in small settlements on small plots purchased by non-government organisations but a large proportion are to this day landless and live as unwelcome squatters on other people’s land. The landless Batwa often live in primitive leaf huts un-insulated against rain, cold and mosquitoes. They score extremely high on all poverty indicators, with a children-below-five mortality estimated at 59% .

The health interventions of the project targeted 20 Batwa communities in Kabale (7) and Kisoro (13) districts. Whereas the project primary target was the Batwa, out reaches and VSLA training covered both Batwa and non Batwa. Health interventions include: training of Batwa Village Health Team (VHT) members, drama, outreach clinics, Conditional Benefits distribution, admission and treatment of severely malnourished children, and a few other deserving cases identified during out reaches.

Enterprise, Environment and Equity in the Great Lakes (EEEGL)

This program was designed as a five-year initiative that started in January 2007. The program addressed the inter-related problems of poverty, conflict, and environmental degradation within the Virunga landscape that lies in the transboundary region of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This area lies at the centre of a major zone of conflict within the region that has killed millions of people and impoverished many millions more.

The program was a joint venture of CARE and the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) - a consortium of three international conservation NGOs (WWF, AWF, and FFI) a leader in conservation programming in this region.

Overall objective: Increased livelihood opportunities based on sustainable use of natural resources, and improved governance of these resources, have made a substantial contribution to poverty reduction and environmental conservation in the Virunga landscape of the transboundary region of Uganda, Rwanda, and DRC, in particular benefiting the more marginalized and vulnerable groups in the population of this region.

Donors: Howard G. Buffet Foundation, Project Duration: 2007 – 2011, Location: (Regional) Uganda, Rwanda & Democratic Republic of Congo

Community Empowerment and Collaborative Action for improved Governance (CECAG)

The CECAG project was implemented in the Districts of Nebbi, Moyo and Adjumani in the West Nile region between the months of December 2008 and July 2010. The project was initially designed to last eighteen months but was extended for another two months. The project was implemented with financial support from the 9th EDF Support to Decentralization Programme (SDP) in Conjunction with the Ministry of Local Government (MOLG). The project was designed to empower people at the grassroots as rights holders and give them voice to engage with duty bearers to engage them to influence decision making and demand accountability and transparency from them for improved service delivery. Consequently, two critical areas of service delivery namely Universal Primary Education (UPE) and Primary Health Care (PHC) were identified as areas that needed attention due the low quality of service delivery in selected districts.

The project was implemented in partnership with one national partner and six (6) Associate Civil Society Organizations. All the associates are based in their respective districts. The associates were responsible for the implementation of the project activities. However, in order to have direct supervision and carry out effective monitoring of the project activities, CARE Country Office, the EDF Implementing Partner established a sub-office in Arua and project staff to implement the project. This ensured that the project activities started and ended on time.
Achievements:

  • 20 CSO leaders mobilized and inducted in strategic planning
  • 2 CSOs assessed for their needs in Organisational Self-Assessment (OAS) and Organisational Development (OD) by DENIVA the national partner to the CECAG Project
  • Capacity building for 3 CSOs in Nebbi District in strategic planning and organizational development
  • All CSOs that the consultant interacted with had developed strategic plans for their organizations and others were in the final stages of developing them
  • Follow up visits were undertaken to assess the competences of CSOs in all the three districts in the months of April – May 2010.

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Uganda: Country Statistics

  • Population:
    41,645,556
  • Life Expectancy:
    62.3 years
  • % Of Pop Female:
    54%
  • Aged 0 - 14:
    48%