NDNSP Background information

Established in January 2006, the Consortium of National District Networks Support Programme (NDNSP) is an effort towards developing a collective model for harmonized and better coordinated support for the growth and institutional development of district NGO networks.

The NDNSP is a four year, program currently funded by DANIDA-HUGGO spanning June 2006 - Dec 2010 (however was later given a no-cost extension to June 2011). The management of administrative and coordination functions is provided by the Uganda National NGO Forum which is the host organization of the NDNSP Secretariat. A Steering Committee is the policy making organ responsible for overseeing programme implementation and taking strategic policy decisions. The programme has an Annual Consortium Forum (ACF) which comprises of key actors in the programme and provides an opportunity for cross learning among various partners and stakeholders.

The Consortium brings together International, National and Regional Organisations in a Consortium to support, oversee and steer the development and implementation of a programme aimed at fostering fruitful collaborations in the realization of a united and vibrant civil society sector that can fully harness its potential to significantly influence and contribute to the country's development process.

One of the prime objectives of the NDNSP is to offer core operational and organizational development (OD) support to District Networks (DNs) - defined as an umbrella organization formed by a group of voluntary, thematically diverse organizations that actively come together to meet common objectives through experience and information sharing in a learning group in a new approach that takes into consideration the process and dynamic evolution of civil society at sub national level. This is to be achieved through effective Organizational Development (OD) process, a core role of Process Facilitators (PFs). The Consortium is thus both a learning group and a mechanism for coordinated engagement with DNs, PFs and various stakeholders.

KCSON as a beneficiary/ partner of NDNSP

KCSON accessing funding from; in the first three years since 2007 directly from DANIDA, but since 2010 from Uganda National NGO Forum, under annual partnership agreements signed between KCSON and DANIDA-HUGGO and later with Uganda National NGO Forum.

The project goal is to ensure that there is a vibrant civil society in Kibaale district where the citizen's civic expression is enhanced.

The project purpose is to enhance coordination of all civil society organizations through a well functioning district network that brings together the majority of civil society organizations.

The project also has been using a more of consultancy approach in organizational development where Development Research and Training (DRT) has been a process facilitator to KCSON and Members. This has taken us through organizational development aspects successfully. There is also collaboration with National NGO forum and National District Network Support Programme (NDNSP) consortium Secretariat.

Major Achievements to-date

Left: KCSON's Coordinator Paul Mulindwa engages residents of Kyanaisoke while Right: Gard Benda interviews a child during a DV research in Kibaale district Left: members aboard a ferry to Kalangala on L. Victoria - Right: some members at Kalangala District NGO Network Offices

Lessons Learnt

Streamlined communication mechanism/system amongst the participating stakeholders improves on performance and attainment of better results.

Collaboration and coordination amongst CSOs is very important if impact of the sector is to be felt. Also government at all levels as well as the community needs to be kept aware of what is going on in the CSO sector and vice versa. This would give KCSON and CSOs a strong voice in Kibaale district. The strong CSOs would actively engage in key advocacy issues with a combined and concerted effort. This partnership can also have more results towards community development, which is the ultimate goal of both government and CSOs.

In the peace building initiative, strengthening partnerships between public, private and Civil Society Organizations sectors in advocating for peaceful coexistence with the involvement of the local community is an important aspect.

CSO to CSO learning events involving all stakeholders improves on collaboration and experience sharing including finding actual solutions together to the challenges we meet.

Process facilitation in Organizational development is a good approach but the extent to which an organization achieves improvement depends on the implementation of what is learned under process facilitation events. Also the DN can engage the Process facilitator more than just the trainings by trying partnership ventures.

Involvement of the local community in assessing government performance improves on public accountability and transparency like call in radio programme with the participation of technical staff leading to active participation in sustaining such the interventions.

Challenges

There are differences in the level of organizational growth and development of many MOs. These organizations are at the same time scattered all over the district and implementing different programme components with different capacities and staff. Most member organizations have volunteers who are expensive in their own way in terms of collaboration and sustainability.

There is a challenge of shortage or even lack of funds for Member Organizations to implement their planned activities coupled with limited skills in fundraising from different donors independently. The DN is sharing information with the MOs on the available opportunities and how to tap them, with technical mentoring and couching to prospecting members.

Lack of an Institutional home to house the DN Secretariat remains a challenge.