Governance and Accountability
Effective governance and accountability are essential in addressing poverty, improving the quality and coverage of essential services. However, at national level, we can observe shrinking political space and the commitment to poverty reduction is questioned.
Poor people need to understand the impact of poor governance on their lives and be equipped to challenge it, especially women whose voices are still largely excluded from decision-making. This ‘demand side’ of accountability needs to be strengthened.
Oxfam is working to ensure that Vulnerable Women, youth and men have increased space for and role in contributing meaningfully to decision-making in development processes and holding Governments, Private sector, Social Institutions and Civil Society Organisations accountable.
We are building active citizenship around taxes & budget allocation, extractives and women leadership.
Oxfam is focused on addressing the following;
Inequality. With the growing inequality, Uganda may experience growth, but not sustainable development that benefits ordinary citizens. Women and children are most affected by poverty and inequality this may stand in the way of Uganda achieving her development goals.
Inequality manifests itself in many ways, such as how national resources (including land, minerals, oil, water, and taxes) are collected and allocated. Currently, citizens’ agency is almost non-existent because citizens are unable or not empowered enough to raise their voices in such matters.
Oxfam works to empower the citizen’s voice towards shifting the terms of debate on issues such as Tax reform and investment in the social sectors of education, health and agriculture. We do this by building coalitions and movements through campaigns that can mobilize at scale and supporting especially women with the means and the opportunity to engage.
Citizen Participation. One of the root causes of poverty is lack of participation in decision-making and governance processes. This can be deliberate, systemic or accidental. Citizen involvement is critical for enhancing democratic governance, improving service delivery, and fostering empowerment.
Oxfam would like to see citizens participating and taking decisions, making input to policies and influencing practices at different levels. We are therefore facilitating neighborhood assemblies that create spaces for citizens to come together to discuss issues affecting them, explore their own contribution in finding solutions and bringing in the responsible leadership to be held accountable. Citizens are also mobilized to participate in campaigns such as around taxes, among others, to ensure that their voice is heard.
Corruption (lack of transparency and accountability): Corruption is an all-encompassing problem. Government programmes and services are usually funded by public money. This money is acquired from taxes, debt financing, foreign aid, revenues from government investments and from the extraction of natural resources such as gas and oil. It is meant for supporting public goods and services such as schools, health centers/hospitals and other infrastructure. Poor management practices and corruption result in depletion of public money, channeling funds away from projects, which deliver public goods and services. The vulnerable and poor people suffer the most because they heavily rely on public systems and government services to meet their basic needs. Oxfam works together with partners to mobilize citizens to understand their role in standing up against corruption. This is done through awareness drives, public campaigns.
Women’s leadership. The assumption is that women in leadership positions will help steer decisions/policies towards issues that affect women specifically. Oxfam runs projects such as women transformative leadership so as to increase the number and quality of women in leadership positions right from grass root level to National.