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0 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1.1 The Challenge of Rural Poverty

Nearly 75% of the world’s people who live on $1 or less per day live and work in
rural areas. Although urban poverty is more often the focus of public attention,
hidden is the rural poverty that drives it. Around the world impoverished people in
rural areas face enormous challenges. Not only do they confront limited economic
opportunities and underdeveloped markets, but they also tend to have less access
to public infrastructure and services such as health, sanitation and education, and
are less able to engage in advocacy with decision makers. Resource pressure and
environmental degradation create additional challenges to rural communities and
their livelihoods, exacerbating conflict prone situations and accelerating rural-urban
migration flows.

Enterprise & Community Development Trust [ECODET] believes that


alleviating suffering and poverty requires a focus on the needs of rural populations,
and has committed to focusing its work in rural areas in the selected target project
sites in Rukungiri District and Mubende District of Western Uganda and Mid-
Western Uganda respectively. ECODET’s constituents in Uganda, many of whom
themselves have rural farming roots, help make this work possible through their
financial, material resources and advocacy support.

SUSTAINABLE RURAL DEVELOPMENT

ECODET’s development programs build, increase and expand core community


assets – enduring resources such as labour and skills, health and a sustainable
environment – needed to pursue productive lives. As such, ECODET supports
development programs that attack the root causes of suffering—the environmental,
political, social and economic factors that can make certain communities vulnerable
to crises or trap them in endemic poverty. The goal is to identify local solutions to
poverty that can be replicated and scaled up to reach an ever increasing number of
people.

Rather than tackling each symptom of poverty one by one, ECODET instead looks
holistically at innovative approaches to foster sustainable livelihoods and
communities based on asset building. We apply our Sustainable Rural
Development programming in the context of our related work in Risk
Management. All ECODET’s work attempts to both meet the needs of and
respect the rights of impoverished peoples. Through our work with Risk
Management, programs aim at enabling communities to identify and manage their

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individual and collective risks in order to increase their resilience – which in turn
improves their ability to further develop their core assets.

A Holistic Approach to Poverty Reduction

In its work to build sustainable communities, ECODET focuses on increasing and


expanding core assets in three broad areas: livelihoods, environment and health.

Livelihoods
Core to the communities’ development is their capacity for productive work.
Agricultural production, and access to financing, collective bargaining, and the
market are all critical community assets. ECODET works to increase and expand
these assets by:

• Ensuring productive and profitable agriculture and


livestock: ECODET works to help farmers diversify and increase crop
yields, develop organic farming and integrated pest management
systems and techniques, and improve livestock ownership and
management.

• Building and strengthening microenterprise: ECODET


understands that access to capital, business development and
collective bargaining capacity are critical to rural livelihoods. As such,
ECODET operates a micro-credit programme by which poor rural
famers are identified and given an agricultural production kick-start
package in form of essential production inputs such as animals, high-
yield crops, training, crop production and animal husbandry support,
soil water conservation [conservation tillage], and other sustainable
agricultural practices that collectively add up to provide the first key
step to help them acquire capital, confidence and assets to break out
of the vicious cycle of poverty.

• Increasing fair trade and market access: In addition to


supporting improved production and business development, ECODET
works with local rural communities to help increase marketability and
market access at the local, regional, national and international levels.
This element is just one aspect of enabling the rural poor to earn a
living with dignity in ways that are capable of withstanding the
challenges of, and taking advantage of, the opportunities afforded by
globalization.

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Environment/Sustainable Resources
In addition to productive work, central to the community capacity is its ability to
protect and control its natural resources. ECODET’s work focuses on:

• Ensuring a safe and sustainable environment: ECODET


works to support community efforts to improve and protect their
natural resources, especially those that are vital to livelihoods.
Reforestation, soil conservation, watershed protection and irrigation,
organic farming, and the use of alternatives to chemical fertilizers and
insecticides are all elements in ECODET’s efforts to promote good
stewardship of the earth and ensure sustainable community–based
natural resources necessary for both human living environments and
agricultural production.

• Expanding community understanding of environmental


issues and impact: ECODET works with partners on environmental
education programs that help communities in its areas of operational
mandate to develop strategies for sustainable use and protection of
natural resources.

Health
In order for communities to be productive and sustainable they need healthy
foundations. If people cannot work due to illness, or must sacrifice productive
hours searching for clean water, the community’s asset base is eroded, increasing
the obstacles to development. ECODET works to build community health assets
by:

• Promoting good health: ECODET works with communities to


strengthen their capacities to provide basic community health
promotion, teach communities about food security and nutrition, and
to prevent and control the spread of malaria.

• Ensuring adequate clean water: Ensuring community access


to sufficient quantity and quality of water for human consumption and
agricultural needs is a critical component of healthy, vibrant
communities. ECODET works with partners to address water security
by developing water harvesting systems, promoting watershed
management, protecting springs and water sources, and reducing
water contamination.

• Combating HIV/AIDS: HIV/AIDS has devastated and


disproportionately affected Uganda’s rural poor. ECODET works with
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partners to increase HIV prevention efforts, provide social and
economic assistance to people living with AIDS – with special help for
orphans and vulnerable children – and support advocacy efforts for
justice for those infected and affected by the disease.

1.2 Key Success Factors

Requirements for the success of this project are:-

• The first requirement is the availability of competent partner/counterpart


NGOs to work in the project area and establishing a good communications
and flow of information between the village communities, SHGs, private
sector and the PMU.
• Second is the positive response from the private sector agencies for
collaborating with the project and providing market linkages for the produce
and in this respect, the creation of a favourable operating environment for
their operations.
• The third key requirement is preparing the target groups and all other
stakeholders through motivation, awareness raising, training and capacity
building.
• The fourth is the capacity of ECODET’s Project Management Unit [PMU] to
plan, supervise and monitor the progress of the project interventions and
provide effective support to and coordination with the Community
Management Committees [CMCs] and Self Help Groups [SHGs] and the
private sector agencies.

1.3 ECODET’s Approach and Work

ECODET works in rural areas in Rukungiri District and Mubende District seeking
to make an impact and build sustainable, resilient, productive and just
communities through programs that:

• Alleviate human suffering in situations of both acute and chronic distress;

• Reduce the vulnerability of communities to natural and human-caused


emergencies;

• Assist communities in satisfying their basic human rights for liberty and
security, education, food, health, and livelihood, in ways that are socially,
economically and environmentally sustainable; and,

• Help communities become empowered to influence decision-makers on issues


that affect their dignity and rights.

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We approach these four goals through programming in emergency response, risk
management, and sustainable rural development. These three aspects of our
work are integrally linked, each building on the other symbiotically to meet the
needs and defend the rights of the community. Together, they work to increase
rural community independence, augment the means to pursue and achieve
productive livelihoods, and strengthen rural community voice in decision making
processes, while reducing rural community vulnerability to external forces and
events.

1.4 Dynamic Complementarity

ECODET centres all of its work in a philosophy & framework called “dynamic
complementarity.” Rooted in ECODET’s deep-rooted tradition that believes
empowerment and justice happen only by ‘standing with’, rather than ‘doing for’
others in need, dynamic complementarity is a dynamic relationship between diverse
partners with complementary resources and skills working together to empower
poor communities to improve their lives. It recognizes that all poor communities
already have resources and assets that can be harnessed to improve their own
wellbeing. Building on these pre-existing assets, dynamic complementarity is based
on shared values and objectives, and uses jointly-developed strategies with
flexibility and openness to achieve sustainable results. Characterized by mutual
trust, respect, accountability, and transparency, the relationship contributes to each
partner’s growth and learning while carrying out its primary goal of improving the
well being of the poor.

In its community-empowerment and development work, ECODET uses dynamic


relationship to work through existing structures and organizations (“partners”)
where and whenever possible to foster community empowerment and to ensure
resources are used to maximum effect. ECODET seeks to be a catalyst for, and
facilitator of, development and social change led by local organizations and
impoverished people. Dynamic complementarity is not only a relationship between
ECODET and its partners, but a process of working together. It uses a rights-based
approach that relies on participatory and appreciative methods, leading-edge
development techniques, effective program management, and organizational
capacity building.

2.0 PROJECT BACKGROUND

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2.1 The Poverty Context

Africa has the greatest proportion of people living in extreme poverty—more than
40 percent or roughly 300 million people living on less than $1 a day. The
continent's environmental, epidemiological and geographical challenges—including
low-productivity agriculture, a high disease burden, and high transport costs—
render African rural communities most vulnerable to persistent extreme poverty.
This means that to collect safe drinking water and firewood for cooking, people
must walk several miles every day. It means that a child in sub-Saharan Africa dies
of malaria every 30 seconds, and that 1 in 16 women die in childbirth. With these
rural communities stuck in a poverty trap, they are unable to make the investments
in human capital and infrastructure required to achieve self-sustaining economic
growth.

The following facts depict the gravity in numbers:

 Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rate of undernourishment in the world,


with one-third of the population below the minimum level of nourishment.
 At least one million people in Africa die from malaria each year, 90 percent
of these deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa.
 A woman living in sub-Saharan Africa has a 1 in 16 chance of dying in
pregnancy. This compares with a 1 in 3,800 risk for a woman from North
America.
 More than 50 percent of Africans suffer from water-related diseases such as
cholera and infant diarrhea.
 In one out of four African countries, half the children enrolled in the last
year of primary school do not pursue their studies the following year.

Enterprise & Community Dev’t Trust [ECODET] project offers a bold,


innovative model for helping selected rural communities in Mubende and
Rukungiri Districts lift themselves out of extreme poverty. Enterprise &
Community Dev’t Trust [ECODET] is proving that by fighting poverty at the
village level through community-led development, rural communities in Uganda can
achieve the Millennium Development Goals—global targets for reducing extreme
poverty and hunger by half and improving education, health, gender equality and
environmental sustainability—by 2015, and escape the extreme poverty that traps
hundreds of millions of people throughout the continent.

With the help of new advances in science and technology, Enterprise &
Community Dev’t Trust [ECODET] works with people in Bulyankuyege Village
– Kamusenene Parish [Mubende District] and Nyakiju Parish [Rukungiri
District] to create and facilitate sustainable, community-led action plans that are
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tailored to the villages' specific needs and designed to achieve the Millennium
Development Goals.

Simple solutions like providing high-yield seeds, fertilizers, medicines, drinking


wells, and materials to build school rooms and clinics are effectively combating
extreme poverty and nourishing communities into a new age of health and
opportunity. Improved science and technology such as agro-forestry, insecticide-
treated bed nets, antiretroviral drugs, the Internet, remote sensing, and geographic
information systems enriches this progress. Over a 5-year period, it is anticipated
that community committees and local governments will be able to build capacity to
continue these initiatives and develop a solid foundation for sustainable growth.

2.2 Background Information about ECODET

Enterprise & Community Dev’t Trust [ECODET] is an organization of Ugandans


dedicated to helping people of Uganda and Africa at large joining the modern world
in development projects. Enterprise & Community Dev’t Trust [ECODET] is a
voluntary community based organization, which got registered on 22nd September
2007 and began its operations in the following month of October 2007
simultaneously in Kamusenene Parish – Kiganda Sub-County of Mubende
District and Nyakiju Parish – Buyanja Sub-County of Rukungiri District.
ECODET is under a highly-motivated and strongly-inspired leadership assisted by a
well-trained and skilled staff. For the last one-and-a-half years that ECODET has
been in operation, it has emerged to become a strong grassroots membership-
based organization, medium-sized, and professional CBO working to reduce poverty
and improving on the livelihoods of the poor communities within the respective
designated areas of its operations. Through a number of activities so far
undertaken, ECODET has established itself as a “leading CBO and key actor” within
the civil society in Uganda, contributing to sustainable livelihoods of the resource
poor, good governance in development resources management, sustainable
development and poverty reduction among the poor communities and the entire
country Uganda. The profile of the organization as an important partner and actor
in fighting rural poverty among the needy groups and communities has certainly
been established.

Enterprise & Community Dev’t Trust [ECODET] bases its core activities in the
fields of social-economic development such as environment protection and
management, production which includes agriculture improvement, introduction of
new crops to revive the old ones, Health which includes fighting malaria, HIV/AIDS,
health awareness and sensitization campaigns, family nutrition and disease-

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prevention education, access to clean and safe water, improved sanitation; Income-
Generating Activities like Bee keeping, livestock rearing and many more others.

ECODET is thus playing a complementary role with the existing government


efforts, as an external agent (catalyst), in community development initiatives and
the new co-management system and thus contributing to the overall national
development goals / agendas. ECODET undertakes this through the provision of
services / assistance in defining problems; providing independent advices, ideas
and expertise; guiding joint problem-solving and decision-making; and continuing
to advocate for appropriate policies.

Beyond this, ECODET has continued to undertake the following; training and
education on (leadership and organizational management); situational analysis and
problem-solving; consensus building; livelihood and enterprises management;
conflict management; advocacy; facilitation; networking; socio-economic
monitoring and evaluation; and facilitation in the development of good
communication channels and open discussions as well as the promotion of dialogue
between the needy groups and community members and governments (national
and local governments) through meetings and for us for discussions.

ECODET is an active member to both national and local organizations and has
managed to make friends from USA, UK, Australia, and New Zealand. This has
enabled ECODET to network, share information and experience as well as link
national, regional and international issues in practice and to shape policies at all
levels. ECODET has, therefore, emerged as a credible voice for the resource poor
needy groups and communities in Uganda.

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3.0 INTRODUCTION

3.1 Genesis and Evolution of Project

The institution of this project draws inspiration and guidance from the
trailblazing, compassionate and exemplary work of helping the
disadvantaged and under-privileged segments of the community that was
conducted with a great deal of passion, commitment and enthusiasm within
the designated project areas in the past by the late Mzee Yeremiya
Nyakairima [grandfather to Mwesigwa David Rwamatungi – the
principal project promoter of ECODET]. A deeply religious and devout
personality with a philanthropic aptitude for reaching out to the poor and
disadvantaged in society, the late Mzee Yeremiya Nyakairima devoted his
time and energies to initiate such projects basing on local church support
structures and jurisdictions. In using this sort of approach to initiate and
implement rural community socio-economic enhancement projects, the
principal idea was to simplify the process of project programme uptake and
fast propagation of project activities within the targeted communities by
utilizing the local community church leadership and mentoring roles,
organizing and mobilization capacities so as to influence the rapid
achievement of project objectives, principles and concepts within a limited
timeframe. It was also felt at the time that churches have a lot of external
connections and network linkages that can be put to good and productive
use in generating the requisite resource envelopes and facilities necessary in
motivating and expediting this kind of rural community socio-economic
development project work in the most deserving areas.

Basing upon this church-oriented rural poverty-eradication perspective, the


late Mzee Yeremiya Nyakairima seized the initiative by co-founding the
local church Nyakiju C.O.U.] in Buyanja Sub-County – Rukungiri District
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[which still stands strong up to today] as a functional base upon which to
advance the cause of the desperately poor and disadvantaged in society by
constantly and pragmatically addressing the root causes of socio-economic
injustices, inequities and inequalities through conscientious and diligent
grassroots-based community-development projects. It is also upon the same
foundational structures that ECODET has fashioned, crafted and directs its
current rural community development work so that it can beget a more far-
reaching and meaningful impact for the targeted communities as a cost-
effective and practical way of lifting themselves out of the dynastic forms of
poverty, neglect and social exclusion in which they find themselves.

3.2 Project Context: Mubende & Rukungiri, Poverty &


Livelihoods

The economy of these two districts is predominantly agrarian with the primary
sector contributing more than 70 percent to the districts’ domestic product. It is
characterized by unevenly exploited natural resource endowments. Some rich
and exploitable resources like forests and dense vegetation cover are locked out
through national policy for the sake of national environmental conservation.
Thus, the two districts bear the burden of maintaining the bio-diversity and
ecological balance of the entire mainland and are unable to utilise these
resources for economic upliftment of their people. Consequently, people have to
look for alternative economic support, which is insecure and unsustainable.

Some 95% of the two districts’ labour force is in the informal sector, and do not
have secure and sustainable livelihoods. There is severe under-employment and
surplus agricultural labour.

A number of reasons contribute to livelihood insecurity and marginalisation of


people in these two districts. There is high dependence on declining natural
resources. Agriculture is largely at subsistence levels.

Other characteristics of Project districts:

• Absence of mature markets and poor penetration of agriculture extension


and input services.
• Lack of non-exploitative sources of credit for consumption and investment
needs.
• Traditional skills of locals are now largely lost or become redundant. The poor
have only labour to sell.

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The Project seeks to address vulnerability of local people living in Bulyankuyege
and Nyakiju Parishes, which are remote and largely underdeveloped.

ECODET aims to scale up and deepen the approach of working in collaboration


with local Church of Uganda [C.O.U.] establishments as an institution to
enhance the livelihoods of poor people in Bulyankuyege and Nyakiju Parishes
respectively. It aims to do this through various activities, including building the
capacity of local communities, support to livestock and crop activities, improved
access to financial services, improving people’s awareness of and access to
social protection. ECODET has a strong focus on ensuring equitable access to
resources by both men and women, and on specific activities to reach the
poorest. It aims to ensure that in the decision making and planning process, the
project takes into account social and economic inequalities that deprive the poor
of access to natural resources, productive assets, government schemes and
decision-making and planning processes.

Typical issues that the Project will seek to address:

• Intermittent income flows, especially where they are related to seasonality


of agriculture/ natural resource-related labour
• Poor and under-productive resources combined with little or no access to
inputs and extension
• Lack of micro-enterprise opportunities in these areas
• Limited entrepreneurial skills/marketing opportunities/financial access
• Poor representation of vulnerable groups in decision-making bodies,
leading to poor targeting and the absence of a strong pro-poor focus of
programmes (social and economic exclusion).
• Indebtedness, which in turn leads to several related problems like land
alienation, exploitation (under-pricing of produce/over-pricing of credit)
• Distress migration
• Information, knowledge and awareness gaps
Although central and local government allocations for rural development and
poverty alleviation have increased over the years, proportionate effects are not
visible. There is a need to revisit existing schemes/ programmes and improve
their relevance and impact on the most vulnerable. This project could enhance
the effectiveness and impact of several existing initiatives by complementing
and supplementing them

Success of the Project will be judged on the basis of progress made on these
several fronts.
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3.3 Principles

 Flexibility
 Capacity-building
 Process-orientation
 Participatory decision-making
 Sustainability through ownership
 Experiential and experimental learning
 Sharing of learning with a wider forum
 Decentralisation of finances
 Efficiency – as related to financial and other resources
 Leveraging and combining resources from various sources
The Project is designed to be different from other projects in following ways:

⇒ It will provide untied funds/resource inputs in a graduated manner in


response to community needs, as capacities accumulate (for planning and
management) and downward accountability develops.
⇒ It will fund realistic and well-designed/directed projects and activities.
⇒ Funds/resource inputs will be injected mainly at the village-level, esp.
through C.O.U. affiliated structures.
⇒ There will also be a number of independent complementary initiatives (at
sub-county and project levels) to build capacities at all levels, with particular
emphasis on villages and communities, for which separate allocations of funds
will be made.
⇒ The Project will develop mechanisms and practices leading to greater co-
ordination between village development committees [at Local Council I level]
and line departments working at the public-government interface. It will
develop horizontal linkages across separate and hitherto compartmentalized
programmes, develop synergies and provide gap-filling resources and support
(including funds) where necessary.
⇒ The Project will emphasize 'processes' rather than merely targets.
⇒ It will catalyze and develop institutions rather than structures, develop
sustainable systems and practices rather than ad-hoc procedures that may not
survive end of project.
⇒ The Project will enable learning and spin-off initiatives.

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⇒ The Project will follow an ‘Area Development Plus’ approach combining
area development and individual beneficiary development, including
entrepreneurship.
⇒ The Project will seek to improve conventional approaches (like watersheds
and Joint Natural Resource Management) through experimentation.
⇒ The Project will seek to shift the initiative from government to village
communities, encouraging people to explore innovative ideas for livelihood
generation. (An Innovation Fund will be used as a catalyst).
⇒ The Project will manage a Livelihood Forum that will bring together
diverse agencies and actors involved/interested in poverty and livelihoods within
the target project areas and elsewhere.

3.4 Project Partners & Associates

At village level, the project works directly with:

 the poor (especially, small/marginal farmers, the destitute/'assetless' and


those who migrate in distress), the socially disadvantaged (women, SC/ST)
and provide relatively small amounts of resources to their micro-
organizations, focusing on demand-led capacity building, improving leverage
in village community development foci.
 LCIs, LCIIs, and LCIIIs increasing commitment of resources as they become
more sensitive to priorities of the poor
 other grassroots institutions developed by other programmes, projects,
initiatives

At District & Sub-County Levels


 The district administration
 PRIs [Project Resource Institutions]
 Line departments
 Markets
 CBOs
 Other institutions
In the wider context, the project also works with a range of academic, research
and other institutions with expertise in livelihoods.

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4.0 PROJECT MISSION AND GOALS

4.1 ECODET’s Mission

The MISSION of Enterprise & Community Dev’t Trust [ECODET] is to work


towards ensuring that the rural grassroots, marginalised and the most vulnerable
people affected by poverty, diseases, discrimination, and social exclusion have
access to healthcare, fundamental rights, education, safe and clean water,
sanitation, adequate shelter and food and working with the community to bring
about transformed development and poverty eradication.

4.2 Vision

The VISION of Enterprise & Community Dev’t Trust [ECODET] is to have a


well-organized and vibrant rural community, with the capacity to advocate for their
concerns, needs, interests and rights towards sustainable development. Also to
have a transformed set of communities in all major areas of life with settled life
styles, a community with a common goal in pursuing integrated developmental
programmes and results-oriented poverty-alleviation schemes in general, that are
both sensitive and responsive to the environmental in which they live.

4.3 Goals

ECODET has two GOALS in its perspective:

The first GOAL is to instigate and push for the formation of a national collection of
community-based development organizations with a fundamental mandate to
strengthen and empower resource-based community organizations with good
governance structures and broad layers of supportive grass root communities to
drive and advance, on a sustainable basis, rural community development processes
aimed at improving their livelihoods. This will be achieved through community-wide
mobilization and organization campaigns, socio-economic and demographic issues
awareness and sensitization programmes, resource-mobilization strategies,
advocacy and lobbying, training and research plus networking and information
sharing.

The second GOAL is to achieve sustainable improvement in the living standards and
welfare of and for the people, with the accompanying social discipline, through the
application of a blend of the centuries old traditional community development

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approaches and modern guidance practices, with contemporary development
strategies.

5.0 SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

1. Poverty-alleviation and Social Development Issues

1. To fight poverty among the rural grassroots people through introduction of


development projects.

2. To carry out awareness programmes on issues pertaining to health, poverty-


alleviation and development.

3. To improve on the living conditions of the needy groups.

4. To stimulate, promote and support economic activities in the rural communities


that improve the well-being and quality of life of disadvantaged groups, rural
women, rural youth and other marginalized groups.

5. To tackle the social aspects of life that limit community development especially
the HIV/AIDS pandemic, poor sanitation and health related issues in general, in
the rural communities.

6. To create and provide chances for employment opportunities of the people.

7. Set up, management and implementation of social development projects and


programmes including health, education, training and public utilities.

2. Food Security and Nutrition

1. To integrate the component of nutritional support and food security in all


ECODET’s activities.

2. To increase household incomes through improved food production practices that


promote sustainable use of natural resources in our areas of operation.

3. Community Health

1. To increase access to HIV/AIDS specialized care and support services within the
project operation areas.

2. To advocate for policies and programs in order to improve care and support for
the people living with HIV/AIDS [PLWHAs].

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3. To prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and its mitigation effects.

4. Assist in implementing any community-initiated HIV/AIDS programmes.

5. Sensitizing communities about HIV/AIDS prevention and care for PLWHAs.

6. To engage in general health awareness and sensitization campaigns.

7. To promote family nutrition and educate communities on disease-prevention


strategies.

8. To fight the spread of malaria through provision to free mosquito nets [ITNs] and
treatment/care.

4. Environmental and natural resource management, provision of


sanitation and safe clean water

1. To promote environmental programmes and proper sanitation and access to


clean and safe water for the target areas.

2. To mobilize and organize rural communities into community-based


organizations and build their capacity to undertake and participate in natural
resource management and development processes [including environmental
protection and management].

5. Institutional Capacity-building and Partnerships

1. To promote skills development and project management capacities with the


partner CBO’s and other agencies and their networks.

2. To promote Income-Generating Activities (IGAs) as a process for sustainable


development.

3. To build, strengthen the capacity of community institutions such as community-


based organizations in order to improve on management and planning at local
level.

4. Apply a group-lending, revolving funds system to provide micro-credit to


village community-centred groups

5. Partnerships with the following objectives:-

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• Assess the market opportunities and potential for establishing market
linkages;

• Improve the capacity of the staff and provide facilities for improving the
capacity of the rural poor and the farmers; and

• Prepare end-to-end subprojects to capture market opportunities.

6 SHG Formation & Development aims at converging and supporting the


livelihoods and enterprise development approach of the project with the
following objective:

• To organize women for their empowerment and building resilience in the


households.

6. Marketing Linkages & Sustainable Agriculture

1. To improve agricultural production by availing the necessary resources


[including microfinance loans].

2. To introduce new crop varieties.

3. To improve agriculture through extension services and marketing.

4. Pro-poor market linkages and value-chains with the objective of providing


‘equitable and non-exploitative marketing outlets and value chain establishment
for selected commodities’.

5. Sustainable agriculture development including in situ water conservation,


farming system development and cattle breed improvement with the following
objectives:
• To promote sustainable agriculture and provide the framework for farmers to
be able to increase cropping intensities and productivity under rainfed
conditions.
• To focus on agricultural practices that will reduce the cost of production in a
sustainable manner and reduce the risks through diversification of the
farming system.
• Breed improvement of local livestock thru: (i) creation of gainful employment
to the rural poor through dairy and livestock development; (ii) creation of
awareness regarding socio-economic benefits of improving the local cattle
and goats; and (iii) income generation through enhanced production of milk.

7. Community education

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1. To promote Functional Adult Literacy and computer skills to the rural
communities.

2. Promoting computer skills as part of the necessary Information Technology to


the community.

8. Women, youth, children and disabled people

1. To establish links with rural women groups with a view to assisting them in
developing initiatives that secure sustainable livelihoods and ensure food
security and creation of Income-Generating Activities (IGAs).

2. Promoting group work among women groups.

3. To help the orphans and other vulnerable children [OVCs] in education and
any other material support possible.

4. Promoting the well-being of disabled people.

5. To attract and induce back the energetic youths from towns and the city to
where they have migrated in search of employment and high standards of living.
The project intends to achieve this objective by creating a conducive
environment and incentive-based production system within the target areas of
its operation where the youth can be actively engaged and absorbed in gainful
economic employment projects and also educating their mothers and fathers
about this. The association will target the youths as they are the fathers and
mothers of tomorrow.

9. Networking, advocacy and lobbying work

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1. To network with any organization or agency that has similar objectives and aims
both locally and internationally.

2. To mobilize resources and facilities from key stakeholders, government and


donors so as to implement desirable community programmes.

3. To advocate and lobby government and other development partners to formulate


and implement policies and programmes that are relevant, supportive and
address the multifaceted concerns, needs and interests of the rural
communities.

4. To build and strengthen strategic alliances and networks for joint efforts to
maximize and effect change.

10. Humanitarian and Sociological Issues

1. To identify critical gaps in policy areas and facilitate participation in activities that
foster understanding of all aspects of human rights issues, peace, unity and
solidarity in the grassroots communities for national development.

11. Monitoring & Evaluation

1. To strengthen ECODET’s monitoring and evaluation component.

12. Project Management

1. To strengthen and enhance staff expertise to provide services to stakeholders


on sub-project development and financing.

2. To try to converge agricultural interventions established in the project area in


both the public and private sectors.

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6.0 SITUATION ANALYSIS

Causes of Poverty

A lot of research has been carried out by both the GOU, academic institutions and
the civil society organizations. Selective review of literature on socio-economic
indicators and patterns in rural Uganda indicates that poverty is perceived as a
complex phenomenon, which manifests itself in various forms at the individual,
community and regional level and occurring during different seasons. In Mubende
and Rukungiri Districts poverty varies from locality to locality, with the urban
centres better off than the countryside and the educated people having better
access employment opportunities than the semi/illiterates, and business proprietors
21
earning better income than those in agriculture. Such variability in poverty requires
complex, selective and sometimes an integrated approach.

People tend to experience poverty at a given time of the annual calendar. The peak
is mainly the month of January, February, May and June, September and October
(Department of Sociology, Makerere 2002). The months of January and February
are characterized by low earnings, low harvest, dry spells, which normally coincide
with high household expenditure on diseases, school fees, visitors, tax etc. And
worse still most of earning must have been spent on end of year festivities
(Christmas, New Year, last funeral rights and weddings). Similarly, the months of
May and June, September and October were reported to be ‘worse’ due to school
fees obligations.

Participatory poverty study findings in Uganda indicate that Poverty is regarded as:
• Inability to meet the basic necessities and social services.
• Lack of basic income or income earning opportunities.
• Lack/limited access to productive assets (land, credit, roads and
communication)
• Poor health
• A state of helplessness or lack of social support, especially among the
vulnerable groups.

Table 1: Causes of poverty in Uganda


Individual and Household Causes Community level Causes

• Ignorance of opportunities • Lack of change agents (due to rural-


• Lack of goals and targets in life urban migration) to serve as role
• Polygamy and large family size models and facilitating community
• Laziness among the youth and development.
gambling • Inability to mobilise local resources
• Overspending on alcohol • Lack of solidarity and jealousy
• Desire to produce many children for • Geographical isolation and neglect.
security, bride price, labour • Declined self-help spirit (Bulungi-
• Asymmetric access to household and bwansi)
community resources between man • Interference of local politics in
and woman development activities especially the
issue of tax and community work
• Degradation of moral and integrity
Education Sector Health Sector and WATSAN

• Low levels of education and limited • Inadequate and/or un-even


access to functional adult literacy distribution of health facilities
• Long distances to schools albeit UPE resulting into long distance to
• Poor education standards partly poor health facilities
planning of school location and • Limited capacity of the existing
increased enrolment facilities (medical and counselling
• Inability to meet scholastic material staff, medicines, modern
22
due to income, alcohol and attitude equipment)
among parents • Inadequate knowledge and
• Parents' attitude towards education practices on causes and preventive
• Poor career-guidance measures.
• Weak performance in science due to • Chronic diseases and high medical
few science teachers and science cost (on AIDS, T.B, Malaria etc)
equipment • Low levels of knowledge on
• high rate of girl-child drop out due nutrition, family planning services
to early pregnancy, peer influence, and early child development
and parents neglect • Logistical problems in procuring
• Limited access to secondary, tertiary the drugs and transporting the sick
institutions including technical schools • Lack of health insurance even
• Few and poorly qualified teachers among the working class
and low morale • Limited access to livestock water
• Poor information management supply in drought-stricken belts
• Computer illiteracy • Low levels of personal hygiene
and sanitation
• Lack of essential auger equipment
and skills for drilling the shallow
wells
• Low safe pit latrine coverage
Agriculture Production Support

• Limited number of acres under • Unfair markets


cultivation per crop • Limited access to initial
• Pests and disease that has affected capital/credit opportunities
banana, coffee, cassava and livestock • Poor access roads due weak
• Lack of production and tools enforcement of by-laws by the local
• Limited access to knowledge on leadership
modern farming techniques • High tax burden
• Limited access to agro-industry and • Limited access to productive
processing assets (land) especially by the
• Adoption of exotic species and youth.
breeds that are less resistant to harsh • Failure to form Community Based
physical-ecological conditions and Organisations (CBOs) intended to
threatening food insecurity improve household incomes and the
• Limited guidance on food security quality of life
methods, aquaculture and • Limited access to appropriate
conservation technology for agriculture, food
• Climatic conditions and depleted soil security, transport and
conditions communication, processing an alike
• Lack of storage and post-harvest • Lack of cooperatives to facilitate
management transportation, marketing, and
• Limited access reliable and safe access to agricultural inputs and
water sources (geographical credit
distribution, amount, and quality); • Weakened cultural endowment
and poor home-based water and entitlement resulting in weak
harvesting practices community based social safety-nets

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Off-farm Activities Intervention Failure

• Predominance of subsistence farming • Failure to guide population of


with 75% dominated by agriculture. what to produce, when and how
• Weak off-farm activities in form home- market it, and where to invest the
based employment (brewing, profits and surplus.
handcrafts, repair), trade, fishing, • Low utilisation of the local
construction, casual labour. leadership in mobilising the
• Failure to promote community tourism community.
• Emphasis on delivery of social
service delivery giving inadequate
attention to production.
• Failure to translate needs
assessment into appropriate action
• Failure to co-ordinate actors
participating in the delivery of
economic and social services

7.0 ROLE AND INVOLVEMENT OF THE CHURCH IN COMMUNITY


DEVELOPMENT

7.1 Introduction

The local church in most cases has not been involved in the development process in
most African countries. What usually happens is that development departments
are set up at the church denominational levels and are given the responsibility to
carry out development programmes at the community level. In some other cases,
para-church organisations carry out development programmes at the community
level. These organisations employ staff who are posted to serve in various
24
communities. Although in many cases, the development workers go through the
local churches in order to reach the communities, the local churches do not see
such development programmes as part of their ministry. Rather, they see
themselves as part of the beneficiaries of the programmes. The local church is only
asked to give support to the efforts of the development department or the para-
church organisation but it is not seen as part and parcel of the development
process. In many cases, the local church is by-passed and the Christian
development organisations deal directly with the local communities.

Although many pastors have received training on the role of the church in
development, most of them are yet to translate that into involving the local church
in the development process. Most local churches see their ministry as limited to
evangelism, teaching and discipleship. Social work is often limited to financial and
material assistance to the needy. Little or no efforts are made to mobilize
communities to take action to solve common problems that affect the community.
It is often felt that it is the responsibility of the church development department to
carry out development programmes.

This lack of involvement of the local church in the development process has made
the church not to be truly the light and salt of the community in which it is situated.
It has also made the church not to have a positive influence on the community. It
also makes the church’s evangelistic efforts less effective as the church tends to
look over look many needs in the community. The lack of involvement also makes
the church to be more inward looking instead of being outward looking; reaching
out to the people around and beyond.

The local church should see development programmes as part and parcel of their
ministry. As the local church is part of the community, it should embark on
community mobilisation programmes aimed at enabling people identify, analyze,
plan and take action to solve their problems so that people can live fulfilled lives as
intended by God. If local churches are involved in this way, then the role of church
development departments would then need to change from direct involvement with
communities to building the capacity of local churches to carry out holistic
development programmes.

For this change of approach to succeed, there has to be awareness creation among
the church leaders/pastors and re-orientation of church development
departments/para-church organisations involved in development work.
Denominational church leaders, leaders of church development departments, local
church pastors, Christian development organisations and Christian donor agencies
would need to understand and agree with the concept of focusing on the local
church as the primary development agent.

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7.2 Rationale for Local Church as Primary Development Agent

Jesus Christ came and established the church that is the visible body of Christ
represented by those people who have accepted him as their Lord and saviour.
John Stott describes the church as “the chosen and beloved people of God, his own
special treasure, the covenant community to whom he has committed himself for
ever, engaged in continuous worship, a haven of love and peace, and a pilgrim
people headed for the eternal city.” This describes the ideal church. There is the
universal church that refers to the body of all Christians world - wide. There is also
the local church which refers to the body of Christians in a specific local setting. Our
focus is on the local church which is in direct contact with the local community.
Because of the direct contact with the local community, the local church is
strategically placed and has a great opportunity to minister to the needs of the
members of the community be they spiritual or physical.

God called and equipped the church not to minister to its members only, but to
reach out and minister in a holistic way to needy people who are outside the
church. The mission of the church is to declare and demonstrate the gospel
(Matt.28:18, 19; Matt.22:37-39) to a sinful and a suffering world unto the
building of the Kingdom of God. There is always the tendency for the local church to
be inward looking and not outward looking thereby concentrating its programs on
its members forgetting about the needy people outside there. Jesus said we (the
church) are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. (Matt.5:13, 14). This
means the local church must have a positive influence on the community in which it
is situated. The local church must therefore be prepared to go out where the people
are, listen to them, find out what their needs are and together with them design
programs to meet their needs.

For the local church to effectively minister to members of the surrounding


community, it must first of all be a model of the Kingdom of God in every aspect of
life. This must be characterized by love for one another which should result in social
justice, righteousness and economic prosperity. For the local church to be a model,
efforts must be made to build their capacity to plan, implement, monitor and
evaluate holistic community based development programs. This should be the main
role of church development departments and other Christian development
organisations.

If every local church effectively carries out holistic community outreach, the impact
of this both at the local and national levels would be great. It would mean a wider
range of communities would be reached and transformed to the glory of God. In
this way, the church would positively influence the society at the national and
international levels.
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Involving the local church in the development process will be more cost effective as
there would be more use of volunteers rather than full time workers. The local
churches would be less dependent on donors as many local churches are able to
generate funds which could be used to support the work of the volunteers. This
would make the local church programmes more sustainable. Where some local
churches are not able to raise sufficient funds, the church denomination could make
arrangements in such a way that financial assistance can be given to them with
funds from the richer churches.

7.3 Stakeholders

The stakeholders in the whole process of enabling the local church to serve as the
primary development agent at the community level would be the following:

Denominational Church Leaders.


They would need to fully understand and agree with the concept of the local church
as the primary development agent at the community level and give their full
support for this to be successful.

Leaders of Church Development Departments and Para-Church


Organisations.
They would also need to fully understand and agree with the concept of the local
church as the primary development agent at the community level and give their full
support for this approach.

The Local Church.


The local church would need to be sensitized to see itself as the primary
development agent in the community where it is situated. The local church would
need to understand and agree play this role.

Local Church Pastors/Leaders.


They would need to understand the role of the church in development and give
their whole support for the involvement of the local church at the community level.

Church Development Departments/Christian Development Organisations.


Their primary role would be to support and build the capacity of local churches to
carry out holistic and community based development programmes. Their capacity
building efforts would include training, counselling, technical support, and
27
networking. There would be a need for reorientation of these organisations to play
these roles.

The Local Community.


The local community would need to be mobilized by the local church. For this to
happen, there must be a cordial relationship between the local church and the
community.

Community Leaders.
They would need to understand the importance and need for community
development efforts to improve the quality of life of their people and give their full
support for community development initiatives.

Local Church Development Committee.


This Committee would have the responsibility of planning, implementing,
monitoring and evaluating the development programmes of the local church.

Local Church Development Facilitators/Animators (Volunteers).


These are volunteers from the local church who would assist in mobilizing the
community for community development programmes.

Community Development Committee.


Members of this committee would be elected by the local community and would be
responsible for the implementation of community development programmes as
agreed by the entire community.

Theological Institutions.
They would have a key role to play in the training of pastors and church workers on
holistic development, biblical basis of development and the role of the local church
in development.

Training Providers/Consultants.
These are organisations or individuals that would provide training for the church
development departments and Christian development organisations that assist local
churches in the development process. The training provided would be wide ranging
including strategic planning, leadership, management, holistic and community
based development approaches, monitoring and evaluation. They would also
provide follow up support and counselling.

Christian Development Associations and Evangelical Fellowships.


28
These would play the role supporting and training church denominational
development departments and Christian development organisations in holistic and
community based development programmes.

Donor Agencies.
They would need to understand this approach and provide financial and technical
support to some of the stakeholders for this approach to succeed.

7.4 The Role of the Local Church

There are 2 main roles that the church should play in the development process at
the community level. These are values transformation and community organizing.

Values Transformation.
One of the first programmes that churches should embark upon is moral recovery
through intentional values transformation based on the Bible the infallible word of
God. It is clear to any discerning person that some moral values previously up held
high are being lost or watered down. People should value the good and best aspects
of their traditions and culture and work at enhancing them. Valuing the best that
there is will motivate them to positively envision the future and work towards
actualizing it.

Value systems must be transformed through the power of the Holy Spirit. This
should be done through consistent and in-depth Bible study and preaching on
various themes related to values.
The values that must be in place to enhance poverty alleviation and community
transformation would include the following:

• Love for one another.


• Honesty and sincerity.
• Community spirit.
• Accountability.
• Decision making by consensus.
• Hard work.
• Discipline.
• People’s creativity.
• Indigenous/appropriate technologies.
• Justice.

Community Organising.

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Community organising is the process of getting people to identify and solve their
community problems through collective actions that will neutralise or eliminate the
immediate or radical causes of the problem and constraints to a holistic quality of
life of the community. They go deeper to find out the root causes of their poverty
and find possible solutions to them. All members of the community are involved in
the whole process. Community organising values the worth, dignity and capability
of people as human beings created in the image of God. Through this process,
people are actually awakened, empowered and organised to identify their own
problems as they assess their situations and take initiative and responsibility in
finding solutions and in using their own resources. Given the opportunity to develop
and organise themselves, the powerless poor are enabled to collectively advance
their common interests and aspirations before the powerful - those who have the
wealth and control of resources both internal and external of the community. Thus,
the community begins to have a hand in decisions for their community life and
freedom to direct their destiny for a better quality of life.
Since the main goal of development is the empowerment of people, it is paramount
that the people are enabled to organise themselves to form community or people’s
organisations through which they can exercise control over their affairs and
undertake activities that will lead to the benefit of all concerned. Community
organisations could take the form of self-reliant cooperatives, savings and credit
associations, women and youth groups, farmers associations and trade
associations. The important thing is that they must be mutual benefit organisations
that derive their legitimacy on their abilities to serve their members interests. In
addition, they must have democratic structures that give members ultimate
authority over their leaders. The members must be able to hold their leaders
accountable. They must also be self-reliant in the sense that their continued
existence does not depend on outside initiative or funding. When properly
managed, these community organisations should be able to carry out both
economic and political functions very well thereby empowering the people. They
can organise training for their members based on their needs. These community
organizations can and should form alliances at various levels depending on each
country’s structure of government.

The local church should play a facilitative role in the whole process of community
organizing with assistance from Christian development organisations.

7.5 The Role of Christian Development Organizations

For local churches to play their roles as primary development agents, they must be
adequately supported or assisted by Christian development organizations. The main
role of Christian development organizations in this approach would be to assist in

30
building the capacity of local churches and community organisations to facilitate
and undertake holistic and community based development programmes. In order
for the Christian development organisations to be able to play this role effectively,
they would have to be trained in various aspects of capacity building. The capacity
building role to be played by Christian development organisations would include the
following:

Training.
Training should be provided for the local churches on holistic ministry and the role
of the church in development. In addition, training should be provided in areas such
as: Community based development/Participatory Rural Appraisal; leadership and
management; resource mobilisation; financial control and accountability;
appropriate technologies; monitoring and evaluation. Training should be
participatory, learner-centred, experiential and contextualized. Community
organisations too need to be adequately trained in various aspects of development
work as mentioned above so that they can carry out their responsibilities
effectively.

Follow-up/Counselling.
Christian development organisations should make themselves available to the local
churches for giving advice and encouragement especially at the initial stages of the
programme. At the initial stages, local churches would need a lot of coaching on
how to play their facilitative roles in the community organising process especially
considering that mistakes could be made and discouragement could set in. There is
also the need to build their confidence in applying the various methodologies. This
would entail constant visits by staff of the Christian development organisations.

Networking.
Different community groups and organisations should interact together for the
purpose of sharing and exchange of information, ideas and experiences. Access to
basic and relevant information is very crucial towards enabling communities to
develop themselves. Very often, development is hindered by lack of adequate
information. The information required could be in the areas of agriculture, health,
housing, appropriate technology, water and sanitation, etc. Networking helps to
provide this basic information. Christian development organisations should
therefore promote networking among community groups and organisations by
organising exchange visits, creating forums for regular meetings.

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7.6 4-D Strategy for Community Development

Enterprise & Community Dev’t Trust [ECODET] uses a 4-step strategy for
doing Christian Community Development in a given area. This strategy will lead to
long lasting growth and change in a community. Our biblical convictions
concerning ministry to the poor are the foundation of this practical strategy.

1. Define the geographic boundaries of an economically disadvantaged community to


serve

• Target your resources to a specific area

 [The areas we have chosen in Mubende and Rukungiri Districts are entire
parishes with more than 10 square miles each. These two pilot project areas
are some of the most poverty-stricken areas in Western and Mid-Western
Uganda with very low social and demographic indicators as well as low per
household incomes.]

2. Describe the needs of the community, giving special consideration to the felt needs
of the people living there

• Study the area's demographics and life situation


• Determine the food, housing, clothing, education, safety, job training,
counseling and spiritual needs
• Identify which people to serve
• Survey the community and determine other programs serving area residents

 [Even our ten square mile areas are an endless ocean of need. Rather
than scatter our efforts randomly over the target pilot areas, we believe it is
more effective to focus on key families/households that are responsive to
building relationships with us. They, in turn can assist others.]

3. Distribute resources and services to the community through relationships with the
people

• Share resources, skills, and services to match the described needs


• Develop programs that allow people to build relationships
• Establish criteria for interacting with other agencies and churches
• Initiate relationships with other churches and agencies that wish to
participate
• Create and use various ministries and programs to help distribute resources

32
4. Develop responsibility among people in the community, especially the youth, for its
continuing development

• Target the young children to prevent damage from gang involvement, lack of
education, and drug addiction
• Use programs that develop Christian community leaders
• Raise up community members who walk with Christ, graduate from high
school, pursue higher education, get jobs to provide for their families, find
decent & affordable housing and become leaders in their community

8.0 EXPERIENCE

33
ECODET has successfully started, engaged and propagated a number of self-
initiated community development programmes since it commenced its programmes
in September 2007. In the fields of health [malaria prevention], agriculture and
animal husbandry [goat production and multiplier project], micro-finance [laying
the foundations for village-based savings and credit co-operatives societies], IT
development under the computer literacy project, and Environment.

ECODET has developed a reputation for actively involving the rural resource poor
women, men, youth and other marginalized groups such as orphans and the
community at the grassroots level to effectively participate in their own
development programmes such as:-

Sensitizing communities about HIV/AIDS prevention and care for PLWHAs.

Promoting environmental programmes and proper sanitation for the target area;

Networking with organization and agencies with similar aims and objectives both
locally and internationally;

Promoting group work among women groups;

Promoting the well being of disabled people;

Increasing household incomes through the community goat production and


multiplier project and promoting sustainable use of natural resources in our areas
of operation;

To advocate for children’s rights, change social and economical factors governing
them, generate public sympathy for them, and reduce the condition which
disadvantage them.

In furthering our mission, ECODET has strongly undertaken the building of


strategic alliances, networks and partnership at both grassroots, local, national,
regional and international levels. ECODET’s strong commitment in reducing rural
poverty and improving the livelihoods of the rural communities especially the poor
women, orphans, infected and affected people with HIV/AIDS in Uganda is
recognized nationally, and internationally as always being able to reach out to the
poor and marginalized groups to play its catalytic role in the community
development process and working more closely with them, even at the short notice,
on time and within budgetary limits.

9.0 LOCAL OWNERSHIP

Critical to the sustainability of the ECODET project programmes is the need to


empower the entire community, including women and vulnerable groups, by
building local technical, administrative, and entrepreneurial capacity. In conjunction

34
with improved health and education, this transformation encourages women and
men to establish their own businesses, to take advantage of microfinance and
micro-enterprise opportunities and to explore income earning possibilities
beyond farming.

Participatory, community-led decision-making is central to the way the ECODET


project programmes work and is also fundamental to sustainability. Establishing
community agreement to become one of the ECODET project programmes sites
takes place through a series of discussions with elected and appointed officials,
community committees, and open forums at the local level. Discussions entail a
description of the planned project programmes, and the concept behind the
ECODET project. This village dialogue is a means of assuring transparency and
carries through the course of the entire project.

Once agreement is established, specific committees and community members begin


the process of identifying and evaluating project possibilities with the support of a
scientific team and local partners. Together they create a package of village-specific
project initiatives that are deemed most appropriate and cost effective. They also
produce a community action plan for implementing and managing these projects.
All along, the ECODET projects foster and empower democratic practices, and
actively promote gender equality in decision-making and allocation of resources.

On-site facilitators in community management and oversight, agriculture and the


environment, and health and infrastructure are hired through the village budget.
Wherever possible these facilitators are hired locally. A training center is also
established in the community.

Technical capacity building, beginning at the onset of implementation, provides


villagers with the skills they need to sustain the project initiatives in the long-term.
Training courses for health and nutrition, agriculture and environment, energy and
transport services, water resources and sanitation, and business and
communications provide villagers with the skills they need in each area.

The participation and support of the central government [GOU] is also key to the
success of the ECODET project programmes. The conceptual thrust of the
ECODET project programmes is to win the national leadership’s support and
engagement with the programme. Agreeing on cost sharing from the outset and
making sure the programme is consistent with broader national development
plans ensures that the government [GOU] is a full and complementary partner in
the project in both the short- and long-term.

35
36
10.0 BASIC PRINCIPLE AND VALUES

The priority plans stipulated below will be implemented using basic principle and
values that will guide the future existence, survival, and resilience of Enterprise &
Community Dev’t Trust [ECODET]. These basic principles and values will serve
as catalyst in programme planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and
resource mobilization. These principles will be:

• Honesty and Integrity: being realistic about the capability and


competencies of the project administration, programme components and
individuals to undertake certain ventures, and where possible to seek
external technical backstopping resources that are readily available within
Uganda and abroad.

• Transparency and accountability: providing unrestricted access to the


people and agencies we are accountable to so that they can scrutinize the
utilization of resources and the resultant impacts on the community. One of
the strategic interventions will be to put in place strong financial and
administrative structures and streamlining systems, procedures and
practices, as well training the staff in financial analysis, management and
reporting procedures.

• Cost-effectiveness: Effective and efficient utilization of resources so that


any given amount of resources yield maximum benefits for both the ECODET
administration and the ordinary person. Use of locally available human and
physical resources will be maximized using the goodwill of the projects and
its exponents.

• Team Work: In both horizontal and vertical integration, development actors


and partners will be expected work closely in planning, implementation, and
M&E, and resource mobilization in order to achieve the ECODET goals.

• Consistency: The prime objective of this year is to achieve harmonization


and cohesion of development plans and programs so that programme

37
components and stakeholders have one voice on one enemy (poverty) and
one action (reduction) under the leadership of the project administrative
structures, and under the coordination of the local C.O.U.

• Voluntarism, dedication and sacrifice: Tackling poverty with meagre


resources demands maximum utilization of human resources, with the pilot
project areas people are required to donate their skills, talents and time
without immediate financial and material reward for their efforts. The spirit of
voluntarism will be inculcated in the youth especially those in education
institutions and technical people occupying important positions for survival
and self-sustainability of the project depends on these.

• Charity: A spirit of sharing our livelihood with the less advantaged will be
fostered, respect and value the concerns of the marginalized, the poor, the
aged, women and the disabled will be encouraged in order to promote social
justice.

• Result-oriented Output: The management style will be based on the desire


to achieve outputs (tangible or intangible) within a given time-frame and
space. The local C.O.U church leaders and the project itself will be expected
to set process and impact indicators to measure the extent to which results
have been achieved, and how they impact the local community including
men, women, children, disabled, elderly, orphans, People with AIDS (PWAs).

• Community based Development: The planned and on-going programmes


are intended to improve the quality of life of the community and mobilizing
the local resources so that the community becomes self-reliant. The
community development process will entail community work by the
community, for the community, about the community and in the community.
And, such can only be possible if we mobilize the available resources
(finance, labour, physical material) spearheaded by the project leadership in
liaison with the church institutions [both local-based and external church-
based development agencies] as well as local and central government
structures and institutions.

• Networking: Community development will be undertaken in close


collaboration with the local church establishment, local administration, and
the development partners and stakeholders. The ECODET’s project

38
development work is intended to supplement rather than substitute the
existing development action.

• Sustainability: All those principles are intended to achieve sustainability of


the development programmes with limited external support. Sustainability
will mean optimal utilization of resources, productivity, cost-effectiveness,
saving for investment, improved technology, gender equity, environmental
conservation, and timely and effective response to the ever changing local
and global operating environments.

39
11.0 PROJECT RATIONALE

Numerous adequately-funded government programmes [especially under NAADS]


for development and propagation of sustainable agricultural practices [including
introduction of new high-value, high-yielding crops varieties and livestock breeds;
introduction of farmer-to-farmer extension services; better land utilization
practices; the use of appropriate technology to modernize agricultural practices and
farm output; improvement of soil moisture conservation techniques in rain-fed
areas; the diversification of cropping patterns and the transition to organic farming]
are now available. However, due to a lack of design and implementation capacity,
these resources are presently under-utilised. The development of women- and
youth-centred SHGs is an on-going programme and there is an opportunity and a
need to further strengthen this to reach a higher proportion of distressed
households. There are also opportunities of focusing on agriculture-related and off-
farm micro-enterprises to diversify household income sources. There is a policy
framework which aims at reducing the distress situation, first by the provision of
emergency packages to affected households and by generic measures in the credit
sector and secondly by a shift in focus in agricultural development towards low-
input cost crops and organic farming.

The ECODET Project will support the development and propagation of modern
sustainable agricultural practices [including organic] farming, the production of on-
farm bio-inputs, strengthen the transfer of technology with the involvement of
other networking CBOs and the private sector and is thus in line with Central and
Local Government policies. This focus notwithstanding, in line with IFAD
[International Fund for Agricultural Development] strategy, the ECODET
Project will assist in technologies demanded by the farmers and not just modern
sustainable agriculture and organic farming. The ECODET Project is fully aligned
to the IFAD’s strategy for Uganda: capacity building, facilitating access to resources
and diversification of livelihoods and also in line with its policies of involving the
private sector in the rural development and poverty reduction campaign.

40
12.0 PROGRAMME DESCRIPTION

The Principal Objective of the ECODET project programmes is to achieve


sustainable improvement in the living standards and welfare of and for the people,
with the accompanying social discipline by the year 2011. ECODET recognises the
important role that everyone can play in planning, implementation, monitoring and
evaluation of community development programmes. The ECODET project
programmes comprise of four pillars and these are:
• Social Sector Programmes
These programmes are intended to promote social development, and they
include; community development, health and education services, and water
and sanitation.
• Economic Sector Programmes
Programmes under this sector are intended to create and expand income-
earning opportunities and these include; Sustainable Agricultural
Development, Investment and Industrial Promotion, Micro Enterprise
Development, and Land as an Investment Asset.
• Production Support Sector Programmes
These comprise all those programmes that support or facilitate effective
implementation of the three programmes outlined above. These include;
Micro-finance, Appropriate Technology Development, Training for skills
development, Community Sensitization and Mobilization, Information and
Communication Technology.
• Social Assistance Sector Programmes
These programmes are specifically intended to assist the disadvantaged
social groups such as women, youth, orphans, street children, and people
with disabilities, internally displaced people, the elderly and alike. It aims at
increasing access of these vulnerable and disadvantaged groups to social
services and productive assets.

41
While the central government is directly in charge of establishing macro-economic
stability and fostering good governance, ECODET is intended to directly contribute
the two pillars of PEAP [Poverty Eradication Action Plan] namely; improving the
incomes of the poor and improving the quality of life. However, effective
implementation of the four sectoral programmes indirectly contributes to macro-
economic and political stability through civic stimulation of production and
empowerment of the civil society.
The primary beneficiary of the ECODET project programmes in 2009/10 will be all
people/communities in Mubende District and Rukungiri District, which have a
combined estimated population of 1 million with majority [about 70% of the
population] being subsistence farmers living in rural areas. The secondary
beneficiary will be communities living outside these two first project target areas
through the spread-effect of development activities.

42
13.0 COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT THROUGH MICRO-CREDIT
SUPPORT

13.1 Introduction

There are certain misconceptions about rural poor people that they need loans at
subsidized rates of interest on soft terms; they lack education, skills, capacity to
save, credit-worthiness and therefore are not bankable. Nevertheless, the
experiences of several SHGs [self-help groups] reveal that rural poor are actually
efficient managers of credit and finance. Availability of timely and adequate credit is
essential for them to undertake any economic activity rather than credit subsidy.

The Government measures have attempted to help the poor by implementing


different poverty alleviation programmes but with little success. Since most of them
are target-based involving lengthy procedures for loan disbursements, high
transaction costs, and lack of supervision and monitoring. Banks often suffer from
poor repayment leading to a high level of non-performing assets NPAs [non-
performing assets].

Since the credit requirements of the rural poor cannot be adopted on project
lending approach as it is in the case of organized sector, there emerged the need
for an informal credit supply through SHGs. The rural poor with the assistance from
CBOs have demonstrated their potential for self-help to secure economic and
financial strength. Various case studies show that there is a positive correlation
between credit availability and poor rural community empowerment.

13.2 Empowerment Concept

According to the literature in the field, the empowerment is defined in different


ways. But we are considering that the most appropriate concept for community
empowerment is the definition included in the World Bank Operational Source
book:

43
Empowerment is the expansion of assets and capabilities of poor people to
participate in, negotiate with, influence, control, and hold accountable
institutions that affect their lives.

The main characteristics of community empowerment are the following

• Freedom of choice and action


• Control over the adopted decisions and financial resources
• Control over the institutions that affect the people life
• Increased human capabilities [access to health and education]
• Increased social capabilities [social belonging, leadership, capacities to
organize]
• Increased political capabilities ( access to information, capacity to represent
oneself or others, form association, participate in political life)

Returning to ECODET’s objectives, we would like to note, that empowerment of


poor rural communities is achieved through community capacity building and direct
access and control over financial resources for solving the most stringent
community need.

13.3 Community Empowerment Impact

First of all, community empowerment through the ECODET Project will have social
impacts at different levels:
• National
• Community
• Individual

a. Community empowerment impact at the national level consists in:

• Contribution to the creation of new bi-directional relationships


between local and central governments. ECODET Project communities
will have the confidence in their forces, the feeling of programme ownership
and self reliance. As a consequence, they will try to make the central
Government more accountable to them.
• Development of new market relationships between communities and
different institutions and organizations. A good example in this field
would be the creation of relationships between rural communities and private
service providers. In this context, buildings and other physical assets would
constitute the local public administration property. The private service
provider would be responsible for installations and other input elements
associated with the physical assets. The local communities, provide the

44
captive market by which the private service providers generates income and
other service-sustaining resources.
• Promotion of new relationships between communities. They become
more open and are oriented towards communication, learning about
others’ practices. A good example of this is the initiative of community
networking.

b. The impact of empowerment at the community level consists in:

• Improved access of the poorest to better social services


• Improved access of the poorest to new educational programs
• Improved management and planning capacities of local public authorities and
school principles
• Development of the civil society in the rural area
• Partnership development between different community actors
• Development of the sustainability approach at the community level
• Development of the community’s own resources and generation of new
investments

c. Empowerment impact at the individual level consists in:

• Self–confidence and self-reliance


• Self-respect and dignity
• Feeling of being a part of a community as a whole
• Feeling of responsibility to the community members
• Feeling of ownership and decision making person
• Increased participation in decision making process and community actions

13.4 Background

The activities and programmes of the ECODET Project were designed for the
economic empowerment development of the poor and economically-disadvantaged
sections of the community in Mubende District and Rukungiri District respectively.
These two districts have a high percentage of their population who are technically
classified as living below the poverty line [BPL] and have no ownership or access to
productive assets – mostly the unemployed youth who constitute the largest
segment of the population more than 60 percent of the local population]. The two
districts do not have any major industries apart from a few agro-processing units.
They also generally lag behind other districts in Uganda in terms of basic amenities.
The rapid growth of population has aggravated poverty, unemployment and
environmental degradation in Mubende and Rukungiri Districts respectively. Some
45
of the government-sponsored anti-poverty programmes [e.g. PAP and PEAP] have
not proved to be not quite as effective at tackling rural poverty, as they are more
bent on target achievement rather than human development. Moreover, the rural
poor have not been involved in the stage of programme planning to the stage of
programme implementation and evaluation meant for their socio-economic
emancipation.

13.5 Objectives

The main objective of the ECODET Project micro-credit intervention


programme is to adopt such a strategy, which would bring into fold the poor in the
development process. ECODET believes in the following:

1. Involvement of poor in the entire process of development from planning to


monitoring.
2. Identification of priorities by the poor themselves.
3. Empowerment of women as a key to self-sustained development of the poor.
4. Provision of community infrastructure as an essential pre-condition for self-
sustained growth.
5. Development of agriculture and related activities using local knowledge and local
resources apart from modern techniques to reduce the incidence of poverty and
unemployment.

ECODET considers the following four interventions as crucial for the poor to reach
the stage of social consciousness and empowerment.

a. Human resource development [by way of massive education, skill upgradation,


health services, safe drinking water, sanitation etc. for the disadvantaged
groups]

b. Economic development [through propagation of modern agriculture and


technology, family based asset creating activities and waste land development]

c. Attitudinal changes [to promote greater gender equality, self-reliance and


environmental sensitivity]

d. Self-management and momentum [for the promotion of saving and credit,


community management of infrastructure, leadership and self-help].

13.6 Community Centred Activities

46
To tap the potentialities and managerial capacities of poor rural communities
ECODET will have to implement several activities. ECODET has as of necessity to
play an instrumental in organizing the rural poor people to show their strength and
defend themselves for their rights with the formation of Community Management
Committees [CMCs]. These CMCs will have to work under the direct supervision
and guidance of ECODET and also, get regular information about Government
programmes, bank financing, marketing trends etc. The main output of this
approach is that the successful working of CMCs will result in the formation of a
large number of Self-Help Groups [SHGs].

For the rural poor to get gainful employment especially belonging to the integral
ECODET Project programme components, the ECODET Project will provide
training facilities and generate innovative programmes. The vocational skills, thus
acquired, help the rural poor [especially the women and youth] to be self-reliant.

13.7 Growth and Performance of SHGs

The successful working of Community Management Committees [CMCs] will


result in the formation of a large number of Self-Help Groups [SHGs]. A significant
feature of this system was that a large number of the economically-marginalized
and socially-deprived people will shift their borrowing from traditional moneylenders
to SHGs at reasonable rates of interest. Moreover, the ECODET Project will link
with national micro-credit finance disbursing agencies [e.g. NAADS, NEMA and the
Association of Micro-Finance Institutions of Uganda] to mobilize funds. The
ECODET Project will use the secured micro-credit funds to lend it to informal rural
community groups [such as SHGs] for generating economic activities and other
forms of community-based enterprises. It is expected that such informal
community groups will make prudent and informed investment decisions based on
their local resources, knowledge and collective productive assets to generate credit
and create gainful employment opportunities for themselves within limited time
frames. Some of the notable features of this scheme will be a high percentage
[over 90 percent] of repayment, utilization of funds for income creating activities
and generation of savings by the members in the SHGs.

13.8 Constraints

• Lack of support from male members (of the families) as well as banks
• Large magnitude of the target group of poor people
• Attitudinal rigidities
• Difficulty in creating awareness among people
• Limited resources with the CBOs
• Large requirements of training and sensitization of issues
• Limited number of experienced intervention agencies
47
• Diversities of situations due to wide coverage
13.9 Overall Impression

• Use of resources (credit) for income generating activities


• Adoption of non-traditional activities
• Improvement in the income levels of SHGs members
• Nearly 100% recovery of loans
• Generation of small savings in the rural sector among women and youth
• Use of local knowledge and resources in productive activities
• Reduction in transaction cost for both banks as well as SHGs
• Maintenance of minimum records in the form of registers
• Maintenance of proper accounts by the SHGs
• Regular meetings of the SHGs members to tackle problems among
themselves
• Healthy relation and coordination between SHGs, CBOs and banks
• Grant assistance by banks to CBOs for capacity building (towards
strengthening and monitoring of SHGs, training, computerization, etc.)
• Support services to CBOs by banks for networking with other smaller CBOs

48
14.0 PROJECT LOGICAL FRAMEWORK

49
Narrative Summary Verifiable Means of Assumptions and Risk
Indicators/Expected Results Verification/Performance Indicators
[by end of project unless Measurement
otherwise specified]

Strategic Goal of Impact: • Conduct of periodic field • Continued government


ECODET case studies, surveys and focus on rural areas and
Improved agricultural evaluations. poverty reduction as
To contribute to improved productivity and production • Use of Uganda Bureau of priorities.
agricultural productivity within functional market- Statistics [UBOS] • Adequacy of ECODET
and production through oriented agricultural production agricultural and rural Project budget funding for
development the micro-credit
market-oriented systems in and beyond the
data/information. component and agricultural
agricultural development project area as means for • Regular monitoring data development support
and the promotion of achieving improved and from district-level component.
community-based sustainable livelihoods for rural management and • Effective coordination
enterprises as a means populations. information system. and monitoring within the
for empowering the rural • Country portfolio framework of ECODET
poor to sustainably • Improvement in household reviews/evaluations. Project interventions.
food security • Progress report of • Stability and security to
enhance their income and
(reduction in length of programme interventions. life and property prevails.
food security and reduce lean/hungry period, or • Benchmark and
their poverty in the increased number of meals per completion
project area [Mubende day or week). evaluations/assessments.
District and Rukungiri • Improvement in household
District]. assets. • Other poverty and social
• Reduction in child impact assessments
malnutrition.
• Reduction in rate of illiteracy. Suggested Performance
Indicators of Impact
• Reduction in numbers of men
Achievement:
and women below the poverty
line [BPL]. 1. % of cultivated area
under cash crops, and
• Positive change in District
household gross production
human development
value.
indicators.
2. % increase in volume of
• Improved access to and use
each priority commodity,
of services and schemes by
50 crop and/or livestock, which
poor households [especially
is sold.
micro-credit facilities]
3. % increase in volume of
• People with access to
produce moving outside of
51
15.0 PROJECT BENEFITS AND BENEFICIARIES

The overall project ERR [Economic Rate of Return] is about 20%. Sensitivity
analysis of Net Streams of investments and benefits under two scenarios: one,
the investment costs excluding the convergence investments by the government,
and two, investment stream excluding the convergence investments by the
government. In the analysis, a positive NPV is obtained under the current
Opportunity Cost of Capital and it remains positive even for a 15% discount rate.
The switching values indicate that the ERR is robust even under extreme scenarios
of increasing costs and declining benefits. Sensitivity analysis of IRR under
above-mentioned two scenarios indicates that the ECODET Project remains robust
both to decreases in benefits and increases in costs.

Beneficiaries: Under Phase I, the project will cover about 300 villages that are
targeted for soil and water conservation [SWC] and organic farming
demonstrations over a two year period. Some 164 households in each of these
villages will be directly benefited by SWC measures and technology transfer
demonstrations and training. The remaining landless households will be benefited
from interventions and facilities such as, SME [small and medium enterprises]
training and orientation, cattle & goat breeding training, marketing, establishment
of non-farm activities, women self-help group (SHGs). Thus the total number of
households that will benefit by the project is about 49,200 or roughly 250,000
million people.

Benefits: The benefit will come from modest increases in crop production due to
training and demonstrations. On an average, a household’s food production benefits
will increase from 1440 kg/household to over 2652 kg at full development and
incomes from the current less than UShs. 1 million/year to well over UShs. 12
million/year. The enhanced income is largely due to reductions in costs of
production, which ranges between 20 and 25% over the existing levels as a result
of introduction of sustainable agriculture practices, introduction on new higher-yield
crop varieties, increased livestock ownership and better animal husbandry
practices, and marginal production increases due to in situ moisture conservation
and other agronomic practices that are demonstrated to farmers in the targeted
villages.

In qualitative terms, minimized soil erosion in the cropped area, reduced runoff and
increased infiltration, and organic contents of the soil are some of the benefits,
which have not been quantified. Improvement in farming practices and land
management is brought in slowly but steadily by involving the farmers: from about
5,400 ha in year 1 to 12,200 ha in year 2. Enhanced soil moisture will result in
increases in cropping intensities from 104% to 109.5% at full development.
Increased livestock ownership coupled with intensive animal health care support,
52
will see dramatic increases in livestock reproduction and multiplication rates for the
benefit of the rural poor in the project target areas over the project period.

Households will also benefit by way of being supported to grow food crops and
commercial crops [e.g. coffee, vanilla, spice crops], creation of IGAs, community
health, environment protection through planting of trees, provision of safe and
clean water and improved sanitation facilities, education support to orphans and
vulnerable children (OVC), marketing of agriculture products and livestock. This will
enable them to increase their income and hence access and enjoy improved
standards of living.

16.0 TARGET AREA, TARGET GROUPS AND TARGETING

53
The Project area under Phase I of the ECODET Project will include the three
counties of Mubende District [Buwekula, Kassanda and Busujju Counties – and 11
Sub-Counties], and the two counties of Rukungiri District [Rubabo and Rujumbura
Counties – and 11 Sub-Counties] with a combined population of 1.015 million
persons, of which nearly 45% are below the poverty line [BPL]. There are about
700,000 farmers [representing about 161,500 households] operating with an
average farm size of around 2.6 ha. [about 6.4 Acres]. More than half of
landholdings are in the marginal and small size group of less than 2 ha. Overall, the
small marginal farmers, landless labourers/farmers, uneducated/unemployed
youth, and physically and socially disadvantaged and economically deprived women
constitute two-thirds of the rural poor. Some 27% of them face food insecurity. Of
the total poor households, about 75% are landless; some 14% of the poor
households with land, they hold less than 1 ha. Plots and mostly depend on rain-fed
farming practice.

In all, 300 villages will be identified and covered under the end-to-end projects
including in situ water conservation and sustainable agricultural development
including organic farming. Marketing and pro-poor market linkages will be targeted
in response to market signals and private sector preference. Self Help Groups
[SHGs] and Community Management Committees [CMCs] will also be set up in
these villages but may have some more villages due to overlapping. Villages will be
selected using the pre-determined selection criteria and response from the
respective village communities.

The project’s target group will be the rural households belonging to (i) uneducated,
unemployed and economically-marginalised youths, (ii) landless labourers/farmers,
(iii) the rural women, (iv) the small and marginal farmers and (v) the farmers
under agrarian distress.

First level targeting will be the selection villages with predominant population of the
BPL [below-the-poverty line] households. Within these villages, the project will
identify the poor and their needs using the bottom-up approach, where households
will be facilitated to join SHGs and strengthen their own organisations. Selection of
households will be on the basis of their BPL status. To control the possibility of
capture of benefits by the correspondingly better-off among households, a
prioritisation process will be set up. These processes and the resultant list of
identified households will be placed before the Community Management
Committees for validation. These processes will also be extended while identifying
the target groups for pro-poor linkages between producer groups, who will be
eventually converted to producer companies, and the private sector.
17.0 ANTICIPATED RESULTS/PROJECT INDICATORS

54
At the end of two years [Phase 1] of active project work implementation and
engagement with the concerned stakeholders, the net change result will not reflect
in overall changes in the portfolio, but rather in changes in the various activities
comprising the portfolio.

General Assessments

• Market opportunities for farm produce and potential for market linkages
through private sector agencies and market players.
• Commodity profiles for 20 potential commodities prepared and more than
120 sub-projects designed and validated for use by stakeholders.
• Technical and managerial capacities of some 200 SHGs, 120 joint liability
groups, 30 producer companies with seed capital support [micro-credit project
facilitation support], over 90 community development committees enhanced
with seed capital support[micro-credit project facilitation support] to provide
value chain services in an inclusive manner.
• Livelihoods opportunities facilitated through support to some 600 agri-based
enterprises and 150 livestock-based enterprises within the Phase 1 target
project areas.
• Equitable and non-exploitative marketing facilitated and value chains
established for selected commodities through 120 negotiated partnerships,
several contract farming in organic coffee, maize and beans, vegetables and
fruits, vegetable oil crops, and facilitating vocational training to 3,600 selected
village youth achieved.
• Convergence of agricultural interventions in public and private sector ensured
through staff training and orientation and skill upgrading to provide services in
an inclusive manner.

Agriculture

 More than 80 percent of the households in the project areas are expected to be
involved in agriculture. There will be indicative changes in cropping patterns
because of project interventions, with the incidence of cultivation of better-
yielding crop hybrids. The introduction of higher yield crops varieties will be one
of the focus areas of intervention in many of the project districts.
 The project will positively impact on the level of access of services related to
agriculture in comparison with pre-project situation. Improved access will be
significant especially for availability of improved seeds, fertilizers, credit,
trainings etc. The increase will be maximum (6 times) for agricultural related
information followed by seeds (more than 4 times) and fertilizers (3 times).
 Almost 60 percent of the households in the project villages are expected to
undertake soil and water conservation activities in their agricultural fields
compared to the almost 0 percent under the present circumstances. About 50
percent of the households in the project villages are expected to report change
55
in the seeds used for cultivation. Both of these are indicative of the increased
access to agricultural services and information that will be the focus of project
interventions.
 Two years down the road, and incident to the project interventions,
approximately 20 percent of households in project villages are expected to have
visualized increase in production of agricultural crops. The increased production
will be for maize, beans, upland rice, sweet potatoes, irish potatoes, cassava,
matooke [plantains], and vegetables crops. The enhanced level of production
will be incident to the project interventions.
 At the end of two years of project work, a regression analysis will be taken-up to
establish cause-effect relationship between increase in agricultural production
reported and causal factors. It is expected that the same project interventions
used during the project implementation period will feature as the most
significant contributors for the change.

Livestock

 After two years, it is expected that approximately 90 percent of the households


in the project villages will experience an increase in livestock ownership and its
related multiplication thereof [especially goats and milking cows].
 There will be a large increase in the number of households accessing veterinary
services within the project villages.
 Approximately one-fourth [25 percent] of the households in the project villages
will report that that the interventions - especially exposure to veterinary camps
will have led to reduced mortality rate and better livestock health. Reduced
incidences of diseases are expected to be reported by over 70 percent of the
project households.

Traditional skills vis-à-vis wage labour activities

 One of the project outputs is to engender transition from “wage labour to micro
enterprise or self employed service provider”, the same being achieved through
household members upgrading their skills or starting an enterprise.
 A significant impact of the project interventions will be that a sizeable proportion
of the households in the project villages will have members who will have
started their own micro-enterprise [IGA] or up-scaled existing traditional
enterprise in the project duration. Out of these, about 80% of the households
will have earlier been involved in wage labour activities.
 Out of these 10 percent households who will have started on their own or up-
scaled traditional skills, more than 30 percent households will report that they
have discontinued wage labour activities they were earlier engaged in.

56
Inclusion in groups

 A very high percentage [over 90 per cent] of households in the project villages
will indicate that they have gained membership to any community based
organization.
 By associating with the locally-based Self-Help Groups [SHGs] and village-based
savings and credit co-operative schemes active in the designated project
villages, the rate of savings among the targeted households is expected to jump
up significantly than is the case at the present.

Credit

 There will be an increased rate of loan uptake during the project implementation
period by households/individuals within the project villages.
 Access to institutional credit in the project villages will also increase as result of
the project interventions.
 This increase will be found to be maximum from ECODET as a credible and
reliable credit institution. The enhanced access from other institutions providing
credit facilities viz. SACCOS, other Micro-Credit Institutions, and village Banks
will also increase to some extent.

Food security

 There will be quite a significant reduction in food deficient days in project


villages as sharply contrasting with the pre-project situation. By that time, most
of the households will have the ability to cope through the crisis but only on the
expense of some financial, human, or social resources.

Common land resources

 A much higher proportion of the marginalized segments of the communities in


the project villages will be able to access, own and have direct control of their
own productive assets [e.g. land as a result of higher savings that will enhance
their financial capacity to acquire such productive assets].

Drinking water and Sanitation

 More that 80 percent of the households in the project villages will have access to
safe and clean drinking water as a result of having nearby access to Hand
Pumps and protected springs.
 The sanitation situation will radically improve for the better – with at least 90
percent of the households in the project villages having their own pit latrines
57
since such a facility will be used as the basis of qualifying and providing
production input support and micro-credit to each one of the households in the
project villages.

Changes in household income


 Approximately 70 - 75 percent of households involved in crop-cultivation
activities will report a significantly enhanced income from these sources over the
previous two year project intervention period.
 Not less than 80 – 90 percent of the households involved in livestock rearing will
report an increment in income from this activity.
 There will be a significantly scaled-up activity in agro-based micro-enterprises
and related spin-off benefits including, but not limited to trade in agricultural
and livestock products, supply of production inputs, transportation business and
the like by some of the households in the project villages.
 In the project villages, at least 10% of the households are expected to report
increased returns from Non-Timber Forest Products [NTFPs].

58
18.0 IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

PROJECT ACTIVITY YEAR 1 YEAR 2

A. ESTABLISHMENT Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 PERSONS/ORGANIZATIONS

1. Agree with communities in Project Areas DIR, CMCs

2. Develop & Sign MoU with contractors DIR, FAA

3. Solicit and form partnership with DLG & relevant


actors DIR, M&E, DLG, NGOs, CBOs

B. ACTUAL PLAN

DIR, M&E, PIO, CMCs, DLG,


1. Discuss best practices with communities NGOs. CBOs

2. Create Community Management Committees M&E, PIO

3. Train Community Management Committees M&E, PIO

4. Educate HH & communities on safe water usage &


good hygiene practices PIO, CMCs

5. Drill bore holes and install solar water pumps CONTRACTOR

6. Periodic maintenance & repairs of water works CONTRACTOR, CMCs

7. Carry out awareness programmes on issues pertaining


to health, poverty-alleviation and other social
development issues M&E, PIO, CMCs

59
8. Set up, management and implementation of social
development projects and programmes including
health, education, training and public utilities DIR, M&E, PIO, CMCs

9. Provide and increase access to HIV/AIDS specialized


care and support services within the project operation DIR, M&E, PIO, CMCs, DLG,
areas NGOs. CBOs

10. Sensitize communities about HIV/AIDS prevention DIR, M&E, PIO, CMCs, DLG,
and care for PLWHAs NGOs. CBOs

11. Engage in general health awareness and DIR, M&E, PIO, CMCs, DLG,
sensitization campaigns NGOs. CBOs

12. Educate communities on disease-prevention DIR, M&E, PIO, CMCs, DLG,


strategies NGOs. CBOs

13. Provide mosquito nets [ITNs] and malaria treatment DIR, M&E, PIO, CMCs, DLG,
and care NGOs. CBOs

14. Promote environmental conservation programmes PIO, CMCs, DLG, NGOs. CBOs

15. Induce and facilitate the formation of Self-Help DIR, M&E, PIO, CMCs, DLG,
Groups [SHGs] NGOs. CBOs

16. Promote skills development and project


management capacities DIR, M&E, PIO, CMCs

17. Improve agricultural production by availing the DIR, M&E, PIO, CMCs, DLG,
necessary resources [including microfinance loans] NGOs. CBOs

18. Improve local agriculture through extension services DIR, M&E, PIO, CMCs, DLG,
and marketing NGOs. CBOs

60
DIR, M&E, PIO, CMCs, DLG,
19. Promote Functional Adult Literacy in the community NGOs. CBOs

20. Promote computer literacy and skills as part of the DIR, M&E, PIO, CMCs, DLG,
necessary Information Technology to the community NGOs. CBOs

21. Create, activate and facilitate Self-Help women


groups to engage in Income Creating Activities DIR, M&E, PIO, CMCs, DLG,
through micro-credit support NGOs. CBOs

22. Actively engage in networking activity, advocacy and


lobbying of key stakeholders, government and DIR, M&E, PIO, CMCs, DLG,
other development partners NGOs. CBOs

C. MONITORING & EVALUATION PLAN

1. Define baseline information needs M&E, PIO, CMCs

2. Design baseline & analyze data M&E

3. Design M & E system M&E

4. Prepare quarterly monitoring report M&E, PIO, CMCs

5. Conduct annual evaluation & plan activities with


Project Village Committees M&E, PIO

6.Prepare annual Cooperating Sponsor Results & Request


Report DIR, M&E

7.Conduct mid-term review & analyze findings M&E

61
8. Conduct final evaluation, analyze findings & share
information M&E, DONOR

KEY: DIR = Director – Projects, PIO = Field Projects Implementation Officer, FAA = Finance and
Administrative Assistant, M &E = Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, DLG = District Local
Government, NGOs = Non Governmental Organisations, CBOs = Community Based Organisations,
CMCs = Community Management Committees

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19 .0 PROJECT MANAGEMENT, ADMINISTRATION AND SECURITY

19.1 Programme Management

ECODET will have governance and management structures in place at both the
headquarters and branch level. Headquarters will guarantee the proper coordination
and sound resource management and also link up to other participating community
welfare improvement and empowerment organizations and networking agencies in
funneling and directing technical and logistical support to the intended beneficiaries
in the selected project rural areas.

At the expiry of each community welfare improvement and empowerment


programme component, an M&E assessment will be carried out and where possible
community-based mitigation and rehabilitation measures undertaken by ECODET.

19.2 Administration

ECODET operations systems will be managed by a cadre of field staff and


programme officers headed by the Director General and assisted by the Director
of Projects. At the Headquarter level, coordination and direction of programme
activities will also be handled by a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer and a
Finance and Administrative Assistant. There will also be a Management and
Information Systems Analyst to oversee the smooth operation and systems
function of the installed project MIS [Management Information System] at the
ECODET Project Headquarters. The Livelihoods Forum will be headed by a
Livelihoods Forum Coordinator, who will be reporting directly to the Director
General. Headquarters will also have an Accountant and Office Assistant. Each
of the ECODET Project programme components will have a Programme
Manager – heading and directing its specific operations and activities.

At the field level, there will be Parish-based Project Facilitation Teams which will
be under the direct tutelage of the Director of Projects. The Project Facilitation
Team Coordinators will be directly answerable and coordinate to the Director of
Projects within the ECODET Project hierarchical set-up. Much of the field work
and direct implementation and oversight of ECODET Project programme
components will be the responsibility of the Project Implementation Officers
[PIOs].

19.3 Operating Procedures

Successful organizations understand the importance of adopting procedures which


do not stifle individual creativity and innovation. The Enterprise & Community
Dev’t Trust [ECODET] Project supports the premise that programmes should be
63
structured to stimulate individual stimulation among community welfare
improvement and empowerment workers and the economically-disadvantaged
target groups they serve.

Operating procedures and policies for each ECODET Project programme


component will be outlined in an Operations Manual. All programme component
projects will have some unique characteristics which will require some adaptations
to the standard operating model. Effective management of inherent of inherent
risks will be absolutely critical to the success of each project. The successful
operation of each ECODET Project programme component will depend upon the
co-operation between the personnel from ECODET Project and each partnering
community-based group. The ECODET Project will also co-operate with other
agencies to bring about the best possible results for the economically-
disadvantaged rural community-based target groups.

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Figure 1a: ECODET Project Organization Chart [Institutional Arrangements]

District level ECODET Project

Forum Steering Group Project Management Unit

Rural Livelihoods Forum

Sub-County level Project Management Committee

Sub-County Project Support Unit

Project Facilitation Teams

Village level

Community Management Committees

Area Based Committees Affinity Based Groups

i.e. natural resource mgmt committees i.e. SHG, user groups

Figure 1b: ECODET Project Organization Chart [Administrative Lines of Authority]

65
ECODET Board of Directors

Director General

Office Assistant

Director of Projects

Finance & Admin. Asst. Accountant

P/M P/M P/M P/M P/M P/M P/M P/M P/M P/M P/M P/M

PASD FSN CH ENRM ICB MLSA CE WYC NAL H&SI M&E PMgmt

PIOs PIOs PIOs PIOs PIOs PIOs PIOs PIOs PIOs PIOs M&EO PAS

Key:

P/M: Programme Manager; PASD: Poverty Alleviation and Social Development Prog. Component; FSN: Food Security and
Nutrition Prog. Component; CH: Community Health Prog. Component; ENRM: Environmental and Natural Resource
Management [including provision of sanitation and safe clean water] Prog. Component; ICB: Institutional Capacity Building &
Partnerships Prog. Component; MLSA: Marketing Linkages & Sustainable Agriculture Prog. Component; CE: Community
Education Prog. Component; WYC: Women, Youth, Children and Disable People Prog. Component; NAL: Networking, advocacy
and lobbying work Prog. Component; H&SI: Humanitarian & Sociological Issues Prog. Component; M&E: Monitoring and

66
Evaluation Prog. Component; PMgmt: Project Management Prog. Component; PIOs:
Project Implementation Officers; M&EO: Monitoring and Evaluation Officer; PAS:
Project Administration Staff.

19.4 Resource Inputs

To register a successful community welfare improvement and empowerment


programme delivery system for economically-disadvantaged groups in the targeted
project areas, the following inputs of capital, running inputs supplies and facilities
must be realized.

CAPITAL INPUTS

Office Inputs

• Office Desks and Chairs, Office Cabinets, literature books, computers +


printers, photocopiers, scanner, spiral binder, fax machine.

OPERATIONAL ITEMS

• Vehicles, motorcycles, power generators, digital cameras, video-cameras,


television, video-deck, cassette-speakers, appropriate technology machinery
and equipment, crop-cultivation and animal husbandry inputs, Insecticide
Treated Mosquito Nets [ITNs] and basic medical supplies like vitamins and
first aid tool kits.

FINANCIAL ITEMS

• Funds towards the poverty alleviation and social development component.

• Funds towards the food security and nutrition component.

• Funds towards the community health component.

• Funds towards the environmental and resource management, and the


provision of sanitation and safe clean water component.

• Funds towards the institutional capacity-building and partnerships


component.

• Funds towards the marketing linkages and sustainable agriculture


component.

• Funds towards the community education component.

• Funds towards the women. Youth, children and disabled people component.

67
• Funds towards the networking, advocacy and lobbying work component.

• Funds towards the humanitarian and sociological component.

• Funds towards the monitoring and evaluation component.

• Funds towards the project management component.

RUNNING INPUTS

Office Recurrent

• Office space, stationery, sundries, banking, auditing, and newspapers.

TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS

• International travelling, fuel, vehicle maintenance, licence and insurance,


communication facilities and amenities, e-mail and internet.

MANPOWER

Director General; Director of Projects; Poverty-alleviation and Social Development


Programme Manager; Food Security and Nutrition Programme Manager;
Community Health Programme Manager; Environment and Natural Resource
Management Programme Manager; Institutional Capacity-building and Partnerships
Programme Manager; Marketing Linkages & Sustainable Agriculture Programme
Manager; Community Education Programme Manager; Women Youth, Children and
Disabled People Programme Manager; Networking & Advocacy Programme
Manager; Humanitarian Support Programme Manager; Project Management
Programme Manager; Monitoring & Evaluation Officer; Finance and Administrative
Assistant; Management and Information Systems Analyst; Livelihoods Forum Co-
ordinator; Accountant; Office Assistant; Project facilitation Team Coordinators;
Project Implementation Officers; and Community Volunteers.

SUPPLIES AND FACILITIES

Material Production

• Research

• Training

• Education

• Promotion

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19.5 Marketing

The ECODET Project will develop a comprehensive plan to solicit corporate


sponsorship and private donations. As part of the marketing plan, the ECODET
Project will aggressively brand its identity with the use of printed collateral
materials. The ECODET Project will also develop multi-media presentations aimed
at evoking positive responses from the targeted audiences. The ECODET Project
aims at cultivating cordial relations and gaining favour with “like kind” community
empowerment and welfare improvement service organizations in Uganda and
throughout the rest of the world. In addition, the ECODET Project will network
with selected philanthropic organizations, public charities and foundations. With
such affiliations and networking activity, the ECODET Project expects to galvanize
crucial support and garner more opportunities for more people in privileged
situations to embrace the ECODET Project service structure model and commit a
sizeable portion of their resource endowments, energies, talents, time and goodwill
to the cause.

69
20.0 COSTS & BENEFITS

The direct economic benefits from the project are expected to be in five areas:

• Production impact: main effects on production will arise from access to


crop and livestock technologies and advice, which will focus on improving the
resilience of farmers to uncertain agricultural environments and the growing
impact of climate change. There would also be benefits from increased
production in village common lands (grazing and forestry in particular), and
from enterprise and business opportunities. This should help increase the
total output and its value from land and non-land assets.

• Employment impact: short-term employment would be available from


various physical activities through partnership with the relevant District Local
Government project-support components. Long-term employment benefits
would be available due to increased economic activities in target areas, as
well as strengthened linkages with urban labour markets through the
Migration Support component.

• Poverty reduction impact: this will result from the cumulative impact of
interventions through the following: increased earnings from land and non-
land based activities for the poor; increased availability of staple foods,
reduced levels of debt as a result of improved incomes and from improved
access to financial services; improved access to existing social protection
schemes; and, accent laid on ensuring more equitable distribution of benefits
for the poorest.

• Capacity building impact: arising from improved effectiveness and poverty


focus of government schemes, as well as investment in local level institutions

70
through the Community Management Committees. This could arise from:
better skilled personnel; better skill mix in institutions; enhanced
organizational capacity; and increased ability among primary stakeholders to
articulate their needs and access various development Projects.

• Policy and system impact: this should arise from the project’s efforts to
work in a “programme mode”, and from the proposed work on improving
planning systems (micro planning and block planning), and policy
formulation.

Activities to be undertaken in the project will be, to a large extent, demand-driven.


However, the basket of choices for rural people also needs to be expanded, and
people need to have information on what each economic option entails. The choices
that poor people make are also often constrained by elite capture at different
levels. While planning for detailed interventions, emphasis will be placed on
ensuring their cost-effectiveness and adhering to value for money principles.

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21 .0 SUSTAINABILITY

The project-trained community volunteers, and various exposures and training


provided to the Community Management Committees [CMCs], the operations and
maintenance of the completed works would be ensured. In addition, the CMCs will
also be able to submit proposals for drawing funds from ECODET Micro-Credit
Account for their future activities. The SHGs, based on the intensive two-year
training received from the master trainers would continue to provide guidance to
the farmers on organic cultivation and the farmers would have been aware of the
large benefits, it brings to them and more over, the FFS [Farmer Field School]
approach is a self-sustaining one.
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Institutionally, the ECODET Project will make considerable efforts to promote and
sustain SHGs, CMCs, and producer companies/cooperatives. The CMCs would
continue to monitor and support the SHGs ensuring their sustainability, besides
undertaking a diverse range of activities to fulfil the members’ needs. The CMCs will
evolve over a period of time, the goal is to make these institutions community
funded and managed. The women- and youth-centred SHGs will also be linked to
banks/MFIs and the development assistants/master trainers nurturing these
institutions are likely to be retained by these financial institutions on commission
basis ensuring the sustainability of SHGs. Producer companies/cooperatives linked
with banks and the private sector would be able to sustain on their own operations.

The staff deployed with the ECODET Project’s Project Management Unit [PMU]
and Project Facilitation Teams [PFTs] will be on contract basis and their primary
objective is to transfer their expertise and experience to the SHGs and the village-
based CMCs and prepare a framework for up-scaling. This would have been
achieved during the project implementation period. Thereafter, the activities would
be continued by the respective SHGs and CMCs with the support of the ECODET
Project and other experienced CBOs and the market players.

22.0 MONITORING AND EVALUATION

22.1 Final Audits


Auditors will be hired to conduct both financial and social audits, one year to the
end of each two-year project phase to reconcile any outstanding issues and prepare
73
for the next phase of the project. The planned audit will examine plans at the
inception and re-examine findings and recommendations provided in the course of
implementation. A financial analyst will be hired to conduct a financial and
operating systems audit using generally and internationally accepted auditing
standards. Based on the audit findings, recommendations and follow up will be for
future project use.

22.2 Monitoring & Evaluation

22.2.1 Effective monitoring and evaluation is particularly important for all


ECODET projects, and will require the development of a detailed monitoring and
evaluation framework for each successive phase. This will build on experiences of
the monitoring framework in the preceding project phase and be developed during
the inception period. The framework must be sufficient to track all of the indicators
of activity and impact which are important for each of the outputs. At the same
time, monitoring and evaluation must be cost-effective, and should not distract
effort from implementation.

22.2.2 At the outset of the next two-year phase a baseline survey covering the
new villages and households will be commissioned. It will feed into the
comprehensive MIS [Management Information System] which is being developed. It
is expected that the design, piloting, and implementation of the MIS and baseline
survey will be subcontracted to an organisation with appropriate specialist
expertise. The role of this organisation will be to establish a robust and user friendly
information tracking system, helping the decision making process and monitoring
the progress, both qualitative and quantitative, in close partnership with ECODET,
stakeholders, the Community Management Committees and the collaborating Donor
Agency.

22.2.3 The purpose of the baseline survey is to provide a benchmark against


which the impact of ECODET’s phased projects will be measured. It will also assist
the Project in the identification of the poorest households, and individuals, specific
interventions. Information gathered during the baseline survey will play an
important role in the development of the ECODET Project MIS database. It will
need to be supplemented with additional studies on specific issues and vulnerable
groups. For example, a specific study on the impact on women and female headed
households in particular is envisaged as part of the impact assessment study.

22.2.4 In addition, ECODET has a particular emphasis on lesson learning and


dissemination of the experiences in using this approach through the Community
Management Committees [CMCs], both to inform policy-making at the local and
national levels and to inform other development interventions the concerned project
implementation areas and beyond.
74
22.2.5 The monitoring system must, in addition to providing information for Project
evaluation and impact assessment also provide the material from which lessons can
be learned and policy for promoting the livelihoods of tribal communities developed.

22.2.6 A workshop was held in November 2008, to review monitoring and


evaluation lessons across similar Projects. The following key lessons from that have
a bearing on the next phase of ECODET projects are captured below:

• Establish baseline information which can be used as a starting point for all
Project activities, both as a management tool for targeting but also to assess
progress against key indicators;

• To incorporate best practices from other Projects when establishing


information management systems in order to facilitate cost-effective
collection of date and storage of information

• To ensure that monitoring and evaluation systems provide appropriate,


timely and sufficient information that is easy to apply and is an effective
management tool;

• To plan the monitoring and evaluation framework to take into account the
scope for wider convergence with existing government systems;

• To ensure a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods and to use


participatory techniques and self-assessment tools

• Actively engage stakeholders in developing monitoring and evaluation


systems and in the review processes.

22.3 Performance Indicators, Targets and Achievements

The performance indicators and targets are summarized in an Indicator


Performance Tracking Table (IPTT) as presented in the table below. The annual
targets in the IPTT will be estimated based on the projected annual increase in
population to be served, resources available (personnel and materials) and time of
initiating and activity. Some base values of monitoring and impact indicators are to

75
be determined (tbd) after the baseline survey and secondary data from the field
plus relevant departments in the districts of operation.

INDICATOR PERFORMANCE TRACKING TABLE (IPTT)

Indicator Baseline FY09 FY09 FY10 % …..FY10 LOA LOA


Target Achieved Achieved Target Target Achieved
vs Target

Objective

Impact
indicator

Evaluation workshops will be held annually to assess progress, challenges and


necessary reviews will be made that will roll into the following years’ plans and
budgets.

23.0 INFORMATION MANAGEMENT


76
Information Management is another line function that will be directly under the
Director of Projects, independent of monitoring and other functions.

It will assess and periodically review information and decision support needs of
communities, and the Project (all functions and departments). Based on this, it will
develop:

> integrated data collection formats and procedures to ensure that all data
elements are captured close to the point of occurrence in space and time. It will
avoid loading communities and operational staff. It will avoid unnecessary and
repetitive data capture.
> protocols for eliminating/minimizing errors close to the point of occurrence in
space and time
> networked computers for recording captured data

> programs and procedures for integrating data into a relational database, leading
to meaningful analysis
> timely (periodic) customized report formats for all stakeholders, particularly
communities
> access and procedures for ‘on demand’ non-standard querying by all
stakeholders, particularly communities
An information management plan will be developed in the first year of the
project, and reviewed regularly.

Information outputs will be fed back to concerned stakeholders to enable


performance improvement.

77
78
24.0 LIVELIHOODS FORUM

The Livelihoods Forum will consist of eminent people and representatives of


institutions of repute, with interests and achievements in areas relevant to
livelihoods, poverty reduction, equity & justice, natural resource management, and
good governance.

The purpose of the Livelihoods Forum is to

> provide a pool of intellectual and professional resources for the project

> provide research inputs relevant to the ECODET Project

> identify lessons from project experience relevant to state and national
policies.
> help the ECODET Project to access external knowledge and information

Members of the Livelihoods Forum will be

> networked to the project,

> invited to workshops and events organised/promoted by the project,

> invited to offer critical comments and suggestions from time to time,

> encouraged to convey lessons demonstrated by the project to the larger


world.
There will be a Steering Group consisting of up to seven eminent persons invited
in their personal capacities, from government, civil society and professionals, plus
one representative of the financing donor agency. The Director General will be
Member-Secretary of the Livelihoods Forum. The Steering Group will be
constituted through consultations between ECODET and the financing donor
agency.

The Steering Group will engage with the ECODET Project on a regular basis. It
will develop themes and issues for discussion and research. It will enlarge, foster
and catalyze the Livelihoods Forum. It will develop researchable issues relevant
to the project, and issues of wider interest. It will oversee and guide research that
follows. Research and related work will be contracted out, using funds available to
the project.

Professional and administrative support to the Livelihoods Forum will be provided


by a small full-time cell within the ECODET Project, headed by Livelihoods
Forum Coordinator, reporting to the Director General.

In the first year of the Project, the Steering Group will be constituted and a
research and action plan developed.

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25.0 ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS, RISKS AND ASSUMPTIONS

25.1 Environmental Assessments

The project is designed to contribute to the restoration and improvement of the


ecological balance in the target areas. The range of menu on natural resource
management related issues include soil and water conservation, improving soil
health for agriculture, rain water harvesting, restoration of traditional agro-
biodiversity, livestock, and so on. The project design has incorporated activities to
mitigate the effects of droughts and the promotion of low-input, contract organic
farming and agricultural diversifications. Adequate attention has been given to
incorporate environmentally friendly and environment enhancing activities in the
overall design. Therefore, the project is classified under NEMA [National
Environment Management Authority] Category “B”.

25.2 Major Risks

There are 2 key risks from a social development perspective.

The first is that Community Management Committees may not have the skills
and incentives to orient their activities and resources to target the poorer and the
more marginalized households. With a considerable amount of resources flowing
into the rural-based community development system not just from the ECODET
Project but also from other government-financed community development
programmes and other donor agencies, the stakes of the vested interest groups are
going to be substantial. It will call for a sustained and significant effort, particularly
by PFTs [Project Facilitation Teams], to ensure that the resources reach the
deserving. Specific mechanisms and tools to do this will be incorporated into the
Phase 2 Operational Guidelines.

The second risk is to that the ECODET Project may be unable to attract, retain
and develop staff with the necessary skills and experience to tackle this challenging
agenda of gender and social inclusion. With the scaling up and new emphases of
Phase 2, the Project will need to find more competent and sensitive staff (including
preferably women). Many of the ECODET Project areas may not be preferred
areas for better-qualified people and for women in particular because of poor
facilities (housing, school for children, health services) and poor connectivity. The
ECODET Project will respond to this challenge in the first phase by recruiting
local people and building their capacities. It will still do the same in the second
phase but the capacities required will be of a higher order.

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25.3 Other Categorically-defined Risks

The risks are deemed medium, but with prospects for high return. This sub-section
outlines the key external and institutional risks which may arise and specific
mitigation measures that will be undertaken to handle these risks.

A. A major natural disaster occurs (Medium probability, medium impact).


Major disasters (droughts in particular) may occur in the Western and Mid-Western
regions of project implementation, and with climate change, such a scenario may
not be far from reality. Their impacts are likely to be localised and could adversely
affect programme outcomes if a particular region is badly hit. The ECODET Project
seeks to enhance the resilience of the poor to cope with such shocks.

B. Political priority to support decentralisation and the Community


Development Committee structures is not sustained consistently either in
time or across different line departments (medium probability, medium
impact). The central impetus behind decentralisation remains strong. However,
there is a need for a more supportive governance environment. Decentralisation
initiatives are often dependent on the response of specific politicians or officials.
The ECODET Project seeks to demonstrate positive lessons from the engagement
with the Community Management Committees, and to communicate this effectively
to key decision makers at both District and Sub-County levels in order to broaden
political acceptance. There will be a need to identify particular champions of change
and build up a critical mass of support for decentralisation. The Livelihoods
Forum will have a particularly critical role to play in this.

C. Political interests, particularly in the run up to the 2011 District and


Sub-County Local Council elections place pressures on resource allocations
and decision making at the local level (medium probability, medium
impact). This will be mitigated by a) presence of clear standard operating
procedures and manuals within the project on decision making, resource allocations
etc; b) clear selection criteria for recruitment of ECODET Project Facilitation Teams
and staff which screen out those without robust management experience or those
most vulnerable to political influence.

D. Wider district policy is not open to influence by evidence on how policy,


institutions and processes impact on the lives of poor people (medium
probability, high impact). The communications strategy will need to explicitly
address the issue of communicating the vision of ECODET at all levels, as well as
promoting regular updates of policy relevant information to key decision makers.
Regular interaction with key decision makers at district level is envisaged. Civil
society will play an important role in assisting ECODET to build a consensus around
what needs to happen if poverty and hunger are to be reduced for the poor rural
81
populations in Mubende and Rukungiri districts. The Livelihoods Forum provides a
major means of mitigating this risk.

E. Rent seeking behaviour continues to constrain the abilities of poor


people to access their rights and entitlements (medium probability, high
impact). The livelihoods of poor people are constrained by rent seeking behaviour
at local levels. Phase 2 proposes to use a number of tools to strengthen
transparency and accountability both of the Community Management Committees
to its membership, as well as between line departments, service providers and the
Community Management Committees.

F. Key local service providers fail to respond to increased demand from the
Community Management Committees or to adopt innovations in service
delivery (medium probability, medium impact). Phase 2 envisages a number
of close partnerships with other programmes which plan to make inputs which are
complementary to the ECODET Project . Close partnerships will enable SPMU to
flag up any weaknesses in implementation at an early stage. The Livelihoods
Forum and the District-level Executive Committee will provide a mechanism to
raise and address these constraints.

G. The funds are not used for the intended purpose or are misappropriated
(medium probability, medium impact). A 2007 assessment of financial systems
of most medium- to large-sized CBOs has identified three areas where systems
must be strengthened (internal audit, roll out of the Financial manual, and 6
monthly reviews of external audit recommendations). A plan of action is in place to
strengthen systems and should be monitored by the financing donor agency on a
quarterly basis. A number of mitigating measures have been identified to improve
accountability and transparency specifically at the Community Management
Committee level.

Risk Matrix Summary

Impact HIGH MEDIUM LOW

Probability

HIGH

MEDIUM D, E A, C, F, B, G

LOW

25.4 Assumptions

• Political Stability is maintained in the country and the Kingdom region


82
• Stakeholders fulfilling their roles as partners in the programmes
• Effective collaboration of national and local CBOs
• Availability of appropriate personnel for the programs
• Target groups will participate in the planning, implementation and monitoring
processes

26.0 TROUBLESHOOTING

83
This project document is not designed to anticipate and address every possible
contingency. A number of unforeseeable contingencies are sure to arise. The
Project will respond to these with flexibility and imagination.

Where a competent authority is not available, and there is need for immediate
action, a committee of three persons may take decisions on behalf of the
competent authority. The committee will include concerned subject matter
specialist, and two peers of equal rank in the same unit. Such decisions will be
recorded in writing, and submitted to the competent authority for ratification at the
earliest opportunity. Reference to higher authorities will be made only when
problems cannot be solved otherwise.

In addition, the following ‘troubleshooting teams’ are constituted:

 One at Project HQ (coordinators Admin/Finance, Gender & Equity, Livelihoods


Forum)
 One each at district level (officers in charge Admin/Finance, Gender & Equity,
the concerned PFT [Project Facilitation Team] Coordinator)
Any member of the Project team, any associate or person from communities should
feel free to bring to the notice of the nearest ‘troubleshooting team’ any issue that
requires special handling. Discussions and proceedings of troubleshooting teams
will be informal, and need not necessarily be recorded. The Project Monitoring,
Learning & Evaluation Coordinator will frequently interact with troubleshooting
teams at all levels, and feedback lessons to the Project.

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27.0 DETAILED BUDGET

The following is an indicative two-year ECODET Project Budget, which will be


further refined during the three month inception period. The participatory planning
processes would decide the funds per project component and the types of livelihood
interventions to be supported through donor Financial Aid [FA] funds. The
constituent annual budgets will be prepared as part of the annual plans of
operations developed by the ECODET Project and agreed with the donors.

The second phase of the project will be to establish a central revolving fund where
savings realized from ECODET-initiated micro-enterprises will be consolidated will
be rotated through a central fund as the core part of the micro-credit system to
support and sustain subsequent village-level micro-enterprises for new entrants to
the system. The central fund will also function as a repository account for any
further funding assistance towards meeting the costs of Phase II project activities
and collective micro-enterprise investments that cannot be adequately funded by
community savings and other generic resources created by the SHGs and any other
group socio-economic initiatives.

DONOR ECODET/COMMU TOTAL BUDGET


CONTRIBUTION -NITY
CONTRIBUTION
NO DESCRIPTION USD USD USD

A POVERTY ALLEVIATION
& SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

1 Rural Poverty alleviation 0 11,762 11,762

2 Awareness programmes on
health, poverty-alleviation
& development 0 13,457 13,457

3 Uplifting conditions of 0 8,175 8,175

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needy groups

4 Stimulate economic activity 0 10,319 10,319


to improve rural livelihoods

5 Tackle social limitations to 0 6,205 6,205


community development

6 Create employment 0 7,025 7,025


opportunities

7 Set up, manage and


implement social
development programmes 0 12,629 12,629

Sub-Total 0 69,572 69,572

B FOOD SECURITY &


NUTRITION

1 Integrate nutritional
support and food security
activities 0 13,588 13,588

2 Increase household
incomes through
environmentally-sensitive 0 20,500 20,500
food production practices

Sub-Total 0 34,088 34,088

C COMMUNITY HEALTH

1 Increase access to
HIV/AIDS specialized care
and support services 5,023 0 5,023

2 Advocacy to improve care 0 5,670 5,670


and support for PLWHAs

3 Prevent the spread of


HIV/AIDS in rural areas of
operation through publicity 0 5,193 5,193

4 Assist in implementing any


community-initiated
HIV/AIDS programmes 0 5,474 5,474

5 Sensitizing communities

86
about HIV/AIDS prevention 0 6,791 6,791
and care for PLWHAs

6 Promote general health


awareness and sensitization
campaigns 0 4,125 4,125

7 Promote family nutrition


and educate communities
on disease-prevention 0 5,288 5,288
strategies

8 Fight the spread of malaria


thru distribution of ITNs
[Insecticide Treated Nets] 7,600 0 7,600

Sub-Total 12,623 32,541 45,164

D ENVIRONMENTAL AND
NATURAL RESOURCE
MANAGEMENT +
SANITATION & SAFE
WATER PROGRAMMES

1 Promote environmental
awareness programmes
and proper sanitation and
access to clean and safe 0 20,115 20,115
water for the target areas

2 Mobilize and organize rural


communities to undertake
and participate in natural
resource management and 0 20,124 20,124
development activities

Sub-Total 0 40,239 40,239

E INSTITUTIONAL
CAPACITY-BUILDING &
PARTNERSHIPS

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1 Promote skills development
and project management
capacities with the partner
CBO’s and other agencies 0 15,000 15,000
and their networks

2 Promote and facilitate IGAs

0 8,911 8,911

3 Build and strengthen the


capacity of community-
based institutions 0 7,707 7,707

4 Apply a revolving funds


system of micro-credit
lending to village-based 25,000 0 25,000
groups

5 Instigate and support the


formation of rural Self Help
Groups [SHGs] 20,000 0 20,000

Sub-Total 45,000 31,618 76,618

F MARKETING LINKAGES
& SUSTAINABLE
AGRICULTURE

1 Source and provide


agricultural inputs to
improve agricultural 18,303 0 18,303
production in project areas

2 Introduce new crop 16,500 0 16,500


varieties

3 Raise agricultural activity


through activation of local
extension services and 0 6,975 6,975
marketing support

4 Strengthen and expand the


existing Goat Outreach
Project [Goat Credit 23,000 0 23,000
Scheme]

88
5 Encourage and support
rural poor to take up other
livestock-rearing activities 0 6,474 6,474

6 Introduce and sustain the


development of new
agricultural practices 7,046 0 7,046

Sub-Total 64,849 13,449 78,298

G COMMUNITY
EDUCATION

1 Promote Functional Adult 0 11,025 11,025


Literacy

2 Promote computer skills


and literacy in the rural
communities of operation 0 10,428 10,428

Sub-Total 0 21,453 21,453

H WOMEN, YOUTH,
CHILDREN & DISABLED
PEOPLE

1 Economically empower
rural women groups to
improve and sustain their 10,531 0 10,531
livelihoods

2 Promote women-based 0 4,500 4,500


group work

3 Support Orphaned and


Vulnerable Children [OVCs]
in education and other 7,333 0 7,333
humanitarian support

4 Promote the well-being of 0 3,609 3,609


disabled people

5 Mobilize and galvanize


youth into socio-economic
development and 0 10,667 10,667
empowerment groups

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Sub-Total 17,864 18,776 36,640

I NETWORKING AND
ADVOCAY WORK

1 Mobilize resources and


facilities from key
stakeholders, government 8,790 0 8,790
and donors to implement
achievable community
programmes

2 Build and strengthen


strategic alliances and
networks for joint efforts to 0 8,754 8,754
maximize and effect change

Sub-Total 8,790 8,754 17,544

J HUMANITARIAN AND
SOCIOLOGICAL WORK

1 Identify critical gaps in


policy areas and facilitate
participation in activities
that foster understanding of
all aspects of human rights
issues, peace, unity and
solidarity in the grassroots
0 15,965 15,965
communities for national
development

Sub-Total 0 15,965 15,965

K MONITORING &
EVALUATION

1 Strengthen ECODET’s
monitoring and evaluation
component 52,307 0 52,307

Sub-Total 52,307 0 52,307

L PROJECT MANAGEMENT

1 Strengthen and enhance


staff expertise to provide
services to stakeholders on
90
sub-project development 38,000 0 38,000
and financing

2 Try to converge agricultural


interventions established in
the project area in both the 25,156 0 25,156
public and private sectors

Sub-Total 63,156 0 63,156

M CAPITAL COSTS 79,109 0 79,107

N OPERATIONAL COSTS 98,295 0 98,295

O RUNNING INPUTS 29,724 0 29,724

P TRANSPORT & COMM 48,300 0 48,300

TOTAL 520,015 286,455 806,470

28.0 CHALLENGES

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1] Development of a more integrated approach to the support of needy people in
the target project areas of our focal interest.

2] Bringing more partners on board.

3] More funding and support is needed to replicate the innovative practices carried
out by the ECODET Project in other areas beyond the first pilot project areas in
Mubende and Rukungiri Districts.

4] Financing limitations at the moment constrain our capacity to extend the Goat
Outreach Project to other physically and socially disadvantaged and economically
deprived communities in other deserving districts of Uganda.

5] Currently offering limited rural smallholder farmer training sessions owing to lack
of demonstration materials, physical assets, materials and other essential
agricultural inputs to make the program an effective and high-impact one with
measurable indicators of success.

6] ECODET Project not able to conduct a comprehensive, holistic and wide-area


community health and education campaigns due to lack of adequate resource- and
material-capacity to engage in such social service programs [including transport
facilities and other critical logistics necessary for field operations].

7] Due to the overwhelming demand for our services [as evidenced from our
preliminary surveys and other baseline studies on the ground] in the districts of
Mbarara, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Kabale, Kamwenge, Kyenjojo, Kabarole, Kasese,
Masaka, Mityana, Sembabule, Kabula, Kiboga and Kibaale Districts, there is an
absolute need to acquire a plot and set up a coordinating office [preferably in a
centralized location like Mbarara Town or even Kampala] to smoothen and
effectively administer our field operations instead of hiring costly offices in
downtown Kampala that clearly puts a strain on our operational efficiency and
sufficiency.

8] The Project still faces stiff challenges in outsourcing the key inputs and resources
from donor organizations and government agencies due to limited publicity and
networking outreach. Such critical inputs that are at the centre of Project’s
continuity and success such as seeds, agricultural implements, demonstration
materials and teaching aids, anti-malarial drugs and ITNs, audio-visual aids for
health education and sensitization campaigns, water-purification chemicals, water-
drilling equipment and machinery, tree seedlings, simple appropriate technology
equipment, and micro-credit seed capital are all lacking as a result of this being a
very young project that has not yet built and consolidated its linkages and contacts
with important stakeholders.

92
93
29.0 ANNEXES

Annex 1: The Goat Outreach Project [Goat Credit Scheme]

Introduction

The Goat Outreach Project aims to alleviate food insecurity and to diversify the
livelihood of subsistence farmers in its mandate areas. The project seeks to link
economic rehabilitation through a credit-in-kind approach, with a strong focus on
gender and the empowerment of women farmers. The Goat Outreach Project was
identified after the importance of goat in the farming systems of Mubende and
Rukungiri Districts was recognized. The primary objective of the Goat Outreach
Project is to improve the poor rural farmers’ welfare by generating income and
promoting milk consumption. This annex examines the effects of the Goat
Outreach Project on the rural poor farmer beneficiaries in the focal project areas.

Project Conceptual Framework

Credit is essential in poor rural economies in a variety of ways. It is required to


finance working capital and to invest in fixed capital, particularly among farmers too
poor to accumulate much savings. Credit is a key input in every development
program. This is particularly true for rural development because so long as
sufficient credit is not provided to the development programs in the poor segments
of society, the goal of development cannot be achieved.
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The motivating belief has been that loans are an essential part of various input
packages prescribed as part of agricultural investment projects designed to
introduce modern technologies and thus to stimulate change and growth in
agriculture. Credit is one of the essential factors to accelerate the rate of adoption
of modern technologies, increase agricultural productivity, and improve the living
conditions of small-scale farmers. Access to credit would enable small-scale farmers
to use improved farm inputs such as fertilizer and seeds as well as to improve
tillage and husbandry practices.

Need

• Many families in rural Uganda are looking for ways to generate income to
ensure adequate nourishment and healthcare.

• Rural poor famers in the mandate area showed a willingness and capacity to
generate income by rearing goats but lacked the necessary capital to initiate
such a project.

Phase One Pilot Testing Sites

• Nyakiju C.O.U. – Buyanja Sub-County; Rukungiri District

• Musozi Village – Kiganda Sub-County; Mubende District – where 17


smallholder farmers have so far benefited from the Goat Credit Scheme
from September 2007 to date.

Goat Distribution Methodology

The goats are given to groups of poor rural farmers [Self Help Groups] and also to
individuals [especially women] with a commitment and passion to succeed. Each
group may consist of 100 poor rural farmers, and each rural farmer in one group is
assigned a counterpart in the other. The rural farmers often targeted are the
poorest of the poor, or women who have no collateral in land or sale-able assets, as
well as no livestock. Women-headed households are also given priority although
women farmers from men-headed households are also included. The farmer
beneficiaries are selected by the local Community Management Committees
[CMCs], and occasionally assisted by the Village Councils [LCIs] and local C.O.U.
congregation network structures and development committees. Locally adapted
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goats of 8 to 12 months old and free of visible defects are purchased from local
markets. The goats are first quarantined for ten days and then examined for any
disease-related problems.

Training of Farmers

Farmers are trained in all aspects of goat management and production, including
housing, feeding, health care, and record keeping. With regard to the goat’s general
management, feeding and health care, group-training sessions are also conducted
in their local villages. From time to time, the ECODET Project organizes a team
consisting of goat production experts from Makerere University to make regular
visits to follow up on the development of the goats and the performance of the
farmers in the pilot project areas. The university team also administers drugs and
additional health care advice when goats become sick. The women farmers are also
required to transfer the first two female goats born and raised at each farm to their
counterparts in the second group of farmers. To coordinate this agreement, a
Memorandum of Understanding is signed between the rural farmers and the
University.

The Community Management Committee [CMC] consisting of village elders and


representatives from the District’s Dept. of Production [concerned with agricultural
production] have been established to enforce the repayment of loans and the
transfer of the goats to the counterpart poor rural farmers in the second group.
Very few problems arise from this sort of arrangement-mostly because the
counterparts between the two groups often reside in the same village and thus are
linked by kinship ties and social obligation. The few cases when the transfer of
goats is not conducted is due to the death of the first round of goat stock.

Results and Benefits

• The targeted poor rural farmers managed to generate income from goat
sales. As a result, they acquired assets and diversified their livelihoods to
include the raising of poultry, cows, oxen, and donkeys. Moreover, they
invested in the purchase of improved agricultural inputs such as improved
seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. Such a multiplying effect helped to increase
crop and animal production, which in turn enhanced the household’s capacity
to send their children to school and improve the family’s welfare. As a result
of the project, considerable changes were observed in poor rural farmers’
welfare and their attitudes towards goat production and management, and
their capacity to share their new skills and knowledge with other rural
farmers in their neighborhoods.

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• There is evidence that a growing segment of poor rural farmers are able to
acquire milk from their goats, estimated to be 0.5 to 2 liters per day. It is
clear that the income from goat sales has had a substantial impact on the
rural poor by enabling them to secure their food supply and improve their
livelihoods. Providing rural farmers with goats enhances their ability to
provide adequate nutrition to their families via the direct use of goats
products, such as milk and meat, or through the use of cash derived from the
sale of live animals or their products. Cash income becomes especially
important for families to pay for education or to buy other household or farm
necessities. The sale of excess livestock and livestock products also had a
beneficial effect on the region’s economy.

• The goat credit project has shown a marked success at raising living
standards and strengthening household’s livelihoods. Improvements in
housing condition of rural farmers were observed. For instance, the 53% of
rural farmers who owned an iron-roofed house before the project increased
to 85% afterwards. About 47% of the rural farmers who owned grass-roofed
house before the goat credit scheme reduced to 15%.

• The rural farmers are now more confident they can get through the dry
season without food aid. They are able to send their children to school and to
pay for better health care for their families. The integration of milk into
children’s diet improved their nutritional status and reduced their
susceptibility to disease. Families are now able to eat meat occasionally
slaughtering a goat for a festive occasion, or for when an ill family member
needs a protein richer diet.

• Furthermore, owing to the growing population density in the more arable


areas of Uganda and the subsequent shrinkage of grazing land, an increasing
number of small plot farmers may be unable to maintain a large ruminant
such as a cow for subsistence milk production. As evident in the project
results achieved so far, producing goat’s milk has proven to be a viable
substitute under such circumstances.

• Relative to cattle and sheep grazing, raising goats is more productive in the
district’s unfavorable arid ecosystems or in its agricultural highlands that face
pressure from high population [e.g. in some areas of Rukungiri District].
Consequently, goat production in these areas plays a key role in rural
prosperity given its various agro-product possibilities and its socio-economic
benefits including food security, income generation, nutrition, and farm
system stability. By virtue of its hardiness to adapt and thrive in diverse
ecosystems constrained by climatic stresses and resource limitations, goat

97
farming is clearly a viable strategy for improving the livelihood of the rural
poor in developing countries of Africa and Asia.

• While animal products such as meat, eggs, cow’s milk and butter are more
important as sources of cash revenue than as means of fulfilling nutritional
needs, goat milk is utilized for home consumption particularly by family
members, such as children, lactating mothers and the diseased, who have
more critical protein requirements.

Benefits to Women

• Credit delivers a range of particular benefits when targeted to low-income


women. It is seen as a critical input for increasing women’s employment in
small scale enterprises, and it is expected to encourage the adoption of
improved agricultural technologies that can enhance the productivity of
women’s household, income-generating and expenditure-saving work. An
increase in women’s income can facilitate and improve the livelihood
enhancing tasks women perform for their households as the brokers of the
health, nutrition, and education of other household members. It is also
argued that credit represents a form of economic empowerment that can
enhance women’s self-confidence and status within the family, as
independent producers and providers of a valuable cash resource to the
household economy.

• As a result, the women in the program have been greatly empowered by


having a regular source of surplus income to meet the medical, educational,
and nutritional needs of their families.

• In addition, men in the villages admit that such economic empowerment of


their women has helped to curb promiscuity, thus mitigating HIV/AIDS.

Requirements

• Capital to purchase goats

• Donation of goats or other livestock

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Annex 2: Peripheral Project Support Staff
99
Volunteers

As ECODET advances and unfolds its rural community-development and


empowerment, it expects to gain invaluable benefit from the efforts of both local
and international volunteers. International experience shows that these motivated
individuals have lots of goodwill, time and capacity to leave lasting impressions in
the communities where they volunteer by working alongside CBO/NGO employees
to build that organization's capacity to work more effectively in the communities
that they serve.

With the gradual evolution of the ECODET Project, we expect to host hundreds of
English- and French-speaking volunteers from countries such as India, South Africa,
Canada, Latin America, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Kenya, Nigeria,
Norway, Uganda, Sweden, and the United States to participate in helping ECODET
to achieve its mission. ECODET expects to see these volunteers leaving significant
legacies in the country-side districts where they will have worked. College students,
recent graduates, working professionals, retirees, are among the many
occupational categories that we can look up to serve as volunteers and interns for
ECODET.

Volunteers are given high levels of responsibility, and in return they have the
opportunity to accomplish meaningful work in collaboration with ECODET's
employees and local community members. As a result, volunteers return home with
multicultural perspectives and a wealth of experiences that stay with them
personally and professionally for the rest of their lives.

The Facilitator

ECODET’s Director of Projects and Programme Managers select


facilitators based on past experience, level of education (a minimum of five years of
CBO/NGO work or previous experience in the ECODET programme or other nation-
wide community-oriented projects), availability during the entire 24-month
programme, willingness to work in isolated rural areas, respect for villagers, and
enthusiasm for the programme.

Facilitators are the backbone of the ECODET programme. Since women in Uganda
are at the core of agricultural production work, it is only a natural outcome that the
majority of the facilitators in the field will be women - many of whom will be former
or active participants in the ECODET program. Before facilitating each of the
different ECODET modules, these facilitators will be taken through an orientation
course in rural community development work and coordination know-how. The
facilitators are typically placed in a community of their same language and ethnic
group, preferably close to their own home village. ECODET also expects to see
these facilitators sticking with the program for many years to come, thus
reducing training costs and providing stability to the organization.
100
Project Implementation Officers [PIOs]

Program Implementation Officers [PIOs] oversee the work of community facilitators


and report to the Director of Projects on program implementation. ECODET
supervisors are frequently selected from a pool of experienced facilitators.
They visit seven to ten community centers at least twice each month to provide
support, collect program data, work with Community Management Committees, and
share pedagogical strategies to improve participant learning. They disseminate best
practices; as a result, new ideas quickly spread to other facilitators in the region.
They also help organize inter-village meetings and regional events.

101
Annex 3: Elaboration on some Core Project Programmes

The Empowered Communities Network

Throughout the course of ECODET’s Phase I 24-month Community


Empowerment Programme [CEP], Community Management Committees [CMCs]
will develop the management skills necessary to undertake and implement diverse
development projects. These CMCs have enormous potential to lead community
empowerment efforts and to help macro-level development projects gain the
necessary grassroots perspective from the very communities those projects aim to
help. In order to leverage this potential, it will be necessary for ECODET to create
the Empowered Communities Network [ECN] to support the increasingly large
number of CMCs that will have been trained through ECODET’s CEP. The goal of
the ECN is to help the participating CMCs to initiate and lead their own grassroots
development processes by facilitating partnerships with other local and international
organizations.

ECODET sees its future success stemming from the organization’s belief that
development is a collaborative process. The CMCs themselves embody ECODET’s
vision for sustainable development: democratic, community-based organizations
that consult and coordinate with partner organizations in order to meet the needs of
the community and improve the well-being of all community members.

With the necessary development tools and leadership skills in hand, CMCs can
develop and implement specific action plans through subcommittees focused on
topics of importance to the community: from environmental issues, to community
health topics, from education and social mobilization, to income generating
activities and child protection. With ECODET’s collaborative approach as the
cornerstone of the ECN, and with the CMCs as the vehicle for this collaboration,
ECODET hopes to link these trained CMCs with government authorities, other
development NGOs, international organizations, and other service providers in

102
order to connect community-identified development goals with domestic and
internationally funded resources.

Donor funds enable CMCs to be agents of their own development and undertake
projects at the grass-roots level that directly improve the lives of community
members. ECODET will also help to link NGO partners, microfinance institutions,
businesses and government services with ECN members that are:

- Developing community health, education, environmental or economic projects


- Identifying income generating projects to implement and grow community
solidarity funds

- Seeking training in specialized domains, such as sustainable agriculture, natural


resources management, etc.

Enhancing Economic Opportunities

Many African economies have been experiencing growth over the past few years.
Unemployment remains high, however, and economic opportunities are limited,
particularly in rural areas. ECODET is addressing these issues by providing villagers
with:

• capacity building in basic math, small project-management, and budgeting


skills;
• opportunities to partner with local and international NGOs and lending
institutions;
• microcredit activities.

The curriculum of the Community Empowerment Program [CEP] includes


lessons on simple literacy, math, project management, and budgeting skills, which
help participants successfully plan and launch small businesses in their villages.
Problem-solving lessons encourage participants to set financial goals and plan for
the future.

Through the Empowered Communities Network [ECN], ECODET helps


communities partner with local and international organizations willing to work
together on small business ventures and microcredit programmes.

Finally, ECODET provides funds and training to microcredit associations in selected


villages. Successful small business projects have included:

• the sale of staples such as bananas, maize and beans, and millet;
• the production and sale of locally made bricks, handicrafts, etc.;
• collective projects such as community gardens and animal-raising
cooperatives.
103
ECODET’s microcredit activities offer participants, particularly women, the
means to start a small business and earn an independent income. Access to credit
encourages entrepreneurship and self-sufficiency while opening up new
opportunities for income generation. Achieving a measure of economic security is
critical to developing a sense of autonomy in the family and the community.

Empowering Women and Girls

Among ECODET-trained Community Management Committees [CMCs] in the target


project areas, over 80% are coordinated by women and composed of at least nine
women members. With those experiences, women are able to go on to roles in local
councils and regional federations or associations. As they participate in the
ECODET programme, women:

• learn to make important decisions for themselves and their children


concerning education, health, hygiene, and their families' expenses;
• become active members of CMCs engaged in creating positive social change;
• run small businesses and participate in microcredit activities to raise money
for their families;
• organize and lead campaigns for increased birth registration, vaccinations,
pre- and postnatal consultations, and girls' enrollment in school;
• emerge as leaders on a regional level by creating associations to safeguard
human rights and travelling to raise awareness in other villages.

In an area of the world where women have often struggled to make their voices
heard, female participants in the ECODET programme are proving that women can
break gender barriers and take active leadership roles in their families and
communities. ECODET classes foster dialogue in which men and women contribute
equally to discussions regarding community affairs. For many female participants,
these classes represent the first opportunity they have had to voice their opinions
before a group of men and women. Not limited to adults, adolescent girls lead
movements for the protection of their human rights and speak out in public against
discrimination in the education of the girl child and child/forced marriage.

Sustaining the Environment

African villages and urban neighbourhoods face a number of serious environmental


challenges, including poor waste management, soil erosion, increasing
desertification, and diseases caused by poor public hygiene. Many of the rural
communities in the target project area live in unsanitary physical environments that
pose numerous risks to community health.

ECODET's modules on health and hygiene provide villagers with the necessary
knowledge and skills to find creative solutions to the environmental problems in

104
their communities. As a result, ECODET community members actively improve
their physical environments, including:

• the establishment of weekly community clean-ups to pick up trash and cut


mosquito-harbouring grass and bushes;
• the construction of latrines to prevent the spread of illness and parasites;
• the building of more fuel-efficient wood-burning stoves, thereby reducing
deforestation and desertification caused by excessive wood-collecting. Fuel-
efficient stoves also decrease both the amount of smoke inhaled and the
number of hours women must spend collecting wood;
• the construction of walls and covers for wells to keep water safe from
mosquito larvae, water-borne diseases, and other contaminants.

Preventing and Treating Malaria

Every year between 300 to 500 million people become sick with malaria and more
than one million of these people die. Of these deaths, over 85% occur in sub-
Saharan Africa, primarily among children under the age of five. However, despite
the deadliness of the disease, malaria is treatable and preventable given the proper
knowledge and resources to combat it.

Through ECODET's programme, communities become aware of the threat of


malaria. In the Community Empowerment Program [CEP] modules on health and
hygiene, participants learn about the ways malaria is transmitted and strategies to
avoid attracting the mosquitoes that carry the disease as well as proper treatment
methods.

With this new knowledge, program participants organize with their Community
Management Committees [CMCs] to take the following actions:

• removing standing water that attracts mosquitoes;


• covering wells;
• buying mosquito nets and medication for the treatment of malaria;
• learning how to make and sell locally-produced anti-mosquito lotion;
• requesting further supplies and resources from the government and other
organizations.

These preventive actions will reduce the prevalence of malaria infection in the
present, and more importantly, create lasting changes in how communities combat
the disease in the long term.

105