In the same way some one may just pick a phone and make a call; it’s the same way social services can be provided by leaders to the citizens. Mobile phones help us to share jokes with friends and families, entertain and keep us informed, pay daily utilities and make us more organized but at a cost. For the case of service delivery, If citizens do not engage with leaders to demand for accountability and transparency in public service delivery, poverty levels will increase, more women will be illiterate, in addition to facing all forms of injustices and political elites will continue suppressing the voices of PWDs, vulnerable women, children infected and affected by HIV and AIDS because they have very little access to information on performance of their leaders.
WOMEN OF UGANDA NETWORK(WOUGNET) with support from Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) works with m-Omulimisa, a mobile technology company to offer the opportunity to community especially women in eastern Uganda to exercise their power and sovereignty to improve service delivery.
Promoting effective use of ICTs for citizen engagement with leaders to improve accountability and transparency in public service delivery in Uganda under SIDA,ICT4DEMOCRACY in East Africa campaign emanated from this principle that fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals are inherent and not given by the state because all power belongs to the people who shall exercise their sovereignty in accordance with the 1995 constitution of the republic of Uganda under article 1(1) to use available avenues to demand for accountability from their leaders.
The innovation is highly effective and reliable, and all you need to do is register on the SMS platform through the message menu by dialing the district name, sub-county name and send the message to 8228.This enables you to send your concern of poor service delivery to WOUGNET SMS platform and get feedback from duty bearers. WOUGNET then instantly forwards the messages to the leaders in order to gather feedback for the information to be disseminated and discussed in different fora, including VSACS meetings, community engagements meetings, district engagement meetings and the radio talk-show to increase access to information and the chances of having the issues addressed.
Among the things that the project has achieved include, a cattle slaughter slab constructed at Magola sub-county, Osia-Kidera bridge at Rubongi Sub County completed, hygiene and sanitation improved in schools and surrounding communities, a total of forty community boreholes drilled at a costs of one hundred and fifty million shillings, three new latrines at St.Agnes primary school constructed and poor performing schools had their teachers transferred.
Innovatively embracing and applying ICT empowers women, media and other civic groups to use ICTs to effectively access and share information, advocate and raise awareness on service delivery, equality, right to information and freedom to express opinion and engage with leaders through a mix of ICTs and traditional media segments.
Written by Amuku Isaac, WOUGNET