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Civil society urges streamlined Parish Development Model

Julius Mukunda (gesturing) from the civil society making a presentation before the committee

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Civil Society Organisations have called on government to establish a clear allocation formula for funds under the Parish Development Model (PDM), while considering different demographic dynamics to promote equity.

Julius Mukunda, the Executive Director at the Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) said despite Shs465.48 billion being earmarked for operationalisation of PDM’s financial inclusion pillar, criteria for allocation of funds remains unclear.

He noted that government is proposing to give parishes the same amount of money regardless of the differences in demographics like population and size, including needs of the parish.

“Mutungo Parish in Nakawa Division has a population of 64,663 while Ibbiaworo Parish in Adjumani district has a population of 892. The ‘one size fits all’ criterion will affect its effectiveness,” said Mukunda.

He made the remarks while presenting a statement by Civil Society Organisations (CSO) on the Parish Development Model, to Parliament’s Public Service and Local Government Committee on Thursday, 03 March 2022.

Committee chairperson, Godfrey Onzima, said that interactions with Minister for Local Government, Raphael Magyezi, intimated that the Parish Development Model is targeting Ugandans in the subsistence sector.

“You may find that all the 892 residents of Ibbiaworo Parish are in the subsistence sector whereas some of the 64,663 in Mutungo Parish are not in subsistence but may have other investments,” said Onzima.

“We knew that PDM is for everyone but that thought seems to be changing. Can the Minister task the technocrats to bring the poverty statistics for each and every parish to this committee,” Mukunda pleaded.

Julius Emigu, Ochero County MP observed that some parishes in many urban centres in the county have tougher living conditions than some parishes in rural areas, thus the need for proper fund allocation in the model.

The CSOs, also including Action Against Hunger and Food Rights Alliance, urged the committee to ensure that government invests in a well-coordinated citizens’ awareness programme with clear dissemination roadmap of PDM guidelines translated in major local languages.

They observed that despite PDM’s intentions to improve the livelihoods of the ordinary citizen, many potential beneficiaries are not fully aware about the concept and objectives model.

He also recommended capacity building for officials who will implement the model and visible linkages of all pillars in the model through proper coordination, so as to curb duplication of interventions by different actors.

Jude Ssebuliba from the Food Rights Alliance told MPs that PDM is implementing the National Development Plan – III where all Ministries, Departments and Agencies should implement to the parish level which is not visible, currently.

“The extension service is meant to stop at the sub-county level and never to go to the parish. But even at the sub-county, the recruitments are not adequate. The area land committees that would have reached parish level are not even constituted or are dysfunctional,” said Ssebuliba.

He added that all these systems need to be prepared to receive the money to be availed by the model.

Mariam Akiror from Action Against Hunger called for an urgent need for a policy framework to guide the implementation of the PDM

Mariam Akiror, the Advocacy and Communications Coordinator at Action Against Hunger said there is need to ensure that there is level ground for the operationalisation of PDM with all the stakeholders.

“We need to retool the technical people who will disburse the money and also prepare the community to receive the money with the mindset of development so that it is put to its intended use,” Akiror said.

She added that there is urgent need for a policy framework to guide the implementation of the Parish Development Model.

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SOURCE: UGANDA PARLIAMENT MEDIA

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