CORRUPTION | PDM | ANYUK
KAMPAL- The Inspectorate of Government (IG) has advised the government to use Community Monitoring Groups (CMGs) to effectively monitor the implementation of the Parish Development Model (PDM).
According to Charles Anyuk, Director of Project Risk, Monitoring and Control (PRM&C) at the Inspectorate, community CMGs can easily help detect and prevent corruption before it happens.
The CMGs are part of the strategies of the Transparency Accountability and Anti-Corruption (TAAC) approach used by the IG to prevent corruption.
“The conventional method we use to fight corruption is repression through investigation. But the IG innovated and developed the TAAC to prevent it before things went wrong. So we used TAAC as a preventative approach,” Anyuk explained.
The method works through four approaches, including sensitization and sensitization of all stakeholders; citizen and stakeholder engagement; monitoring and inspection of projects and service delivery processes; and investigations to punish perpetrators or recover misappropriated assets.
While talking about how to protect against corruption while implementing PDM, at Africana Hotel, Anyuk noted that community monitors are selected from their villages by their own people.
This was during the 2022 National Dialogue on the State of Accountability and Service Delivery organized by ActionAid International Uganda (AAIU), in collaboration with Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU), Ford Foundation, Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD), and Education Advocacy Network (EAN).
“We elect these people and place them in groups called community watch groups. This group is made up of village people (local people) within the community. They elect from among themselves those they think have some integrity,” he explained.
Under this arrangement, those selected are trained and given terms of reference in which to work.
“We give them training and tools, and attach them to civil society organizations (CSOs) that hold them accountable in various ways. Our job is to select them, train them and give them tools, and then we create channels and platforms to receive reports from them,” Anyuk noted.
He pointed out that these groups also help resolve grievances locally in their villages.
“Where corruption is heavily involved, they know how to elevate the respective institutions like the IG and the police. But there are other administrative issues that they can refer to Chief Accountants (CAOs) using government structures,” he added.
Anyuk is confident that this approach can easily help with monitoring during PDM implementation, noting that she has worked in some government projects like the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF II & III) among others, where she recorded success.
He observed that due to its success, the government has mainstreamed it into the National Development Plan (NDP III) to be implemented in all government programs in terms of planning, budgeting and implementation.
“This is what we think can be useful in the implementation of PDM, especially on the detection of corruption. You know, one of the challenges we have is detecting corruption before it is about to happen or when it has just happened,” he said.
Adding that: “If we make sure that the communities are able to detect, then there will be a faster response from the institutions concerned because you will get real-time information and you can get real-time interventions”.
Anyuk noted that the program simply needs to be integrated into government systems.
He noted that being a community intervention, it is important that communities are properly prepared “so that at the end of the day they take ownership of the program and take away the mentality that this money has been brought to us to use it the way we want.
During the dialogue, several participants from various parts of the country expressed their confusion, saying they were not yet aware of the dynamics involved in the PDM.
During his presentation, Robert Sendegeya from the PDM Secretariat, highlighted the challenge of some Ministry Departments and Agencies (MDAs) who still want to operate independently while the PDM is supposed to be a whole-of-government approach.
Other challenges include the mindset of Ugandans generally towards any initiative, poor internet connectivity to facilitate data collection and uploading, poor communication on the PDM and late disbursement of funds to implement the PDM .
“Some politicians confuse people on the whole project,” he noted.
AAIU National Director Xavier Ejoyi said corruption continues to create gaps in the delivery of public services, leading to worsening levels of poverty in different parts of the country.
“This has serious implications for citizens’ access to public services. We are interested in the structural barriers that limit women, young people, people with disabilities and those living in extreme poverty. This also has implications for the country’s development trajectory,” he noted. .
Adding that: “Schools without enough structures for children to learn comfortably, health centers that are out of stock of medicines and without enough staff. These are the questions to ask. insufficient or not fully taken into account. »
Ejoyi stressed that stakeholders must renew their commitments to the fight against corruption.
“We must renew our commitment as stakeholders, including duty bearers, to reflect on the state of the public service and see what more can be done to improve it,” he added. .