Oxfam unveils 10-year plan to end inequality in Uganda

The deputy representative of the United Nations Population Fund Uganda, Mr Daniel Alemu (left), and Mr Francis Shanty Odokorach, the country director of Oxfam Uganda (2nd right), launch a 10-year country strategy towards ending inequality in Uganda in Kampala on Tuesday. PHOTO / FRANK BAGUMA

What you need to know:

  • The strategy (2021-2030) is also aimed at building a peaceful and resilient society in which people’s rights are upheld, and State and non-State actors are responsive and accountable.

Oxfam, a global humanitarian organisation on Tuesday, unveiled a 10-year strategy that provides a roadmap on how to end inequality in Uganda by 2030.

The strategy (2021-2030) is also aimed at building a peaceful and resilient society in which people’s rights are upheld, and State and non-State actors are responsive and accountable.

Oxfam’s country director Francis Shanty Odokorach said the strategy seeks to provide inclusive and accountable governance systems to promote the rights of vulnerable people, economically empower the marginalised, ensure that people vulnerable to crises are safe and secure, and recognise the rights of women and girls.

“People in Uganda, who were marginalised before the coronavirus, appeared have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and related measures to curb it like the lockdowns, and studies are showing that inequality deepened during the pandemic,” he said.

Mr Odokorach added that they will focus on their work in the Greater Northern and Eastern regions with an emphasis on areas with high levels of poverty and vulnerability.

However, he noted that they will effectively respond to humanitarian crises that occur anywhere in the country, and also influence and support policies and laws at a national level.

The strategy commits to six new shifts including a new pillar on gender justice and women’s rights that will enable the organisation to work with women and girls in all their diversity, undertaking urban programming, a transformative approach to partnerships, and education that enables learners know their rights.

Others are; an integrated approach to programming and embracing digital integration and engaging the youths across the country to build strong movements against poverty and injustice.

Mr Odokorach also noted that these shifts will be achieved through the four pillars of humanitarian response and preparedness, governance and accountability, resilient livelihoods and gender justice and women’s rights.

Asked how the strategy was generated, he said it was through consultative and inclusive approaches which involved diverse stakeholders like local communities to ensure that it is relevant to them and their needs.

“When I visit some of the communities we serve, I am inspired by how they are taking charge of their lives, seizing opportunities availed to them and how they are beating odds. The women, men, youths and children have the willpower. They just need an enabling environment and services,” Mr Odokorach said.

But the executive director of Uganda Women Network (Uwonet), Ms Rita Aciro, said policy makers and civil society organisations ought to first understand the triggers of inequality, saying this will help them get sustainable solutions.

Ms Aciro pointed out social-cultural norms as one of the biggest triggers of inequality which she said ought to be dealt with head-on.

The executive director of Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group, Mr Julius Mukunda, said: “As long as we don’t address the issue of production and productivity then we won’t plug the inequality gap that the country is currently grappling with.”

Implementation

To ensure successful implementation of the strategy, Oxfam will work with community members who face inequality and live in poverty in Uganda.

The specific groups are women and young people aged between 12 and 35, vulnerable communities and marginalised groups. Others are refugees and all those experiencing humanitarian crises, non-traditional partners to harness the power of informal social movements, and academic institutions, among others.

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