FOWODE has done and is still implementing activities centred towards promoting gender equality through capacity development, community empowerment, policy engagement and strategic partnerships. She introduced gender sensitive concepts and advocacy in the local government planning and budgeting processes and this was done in her operational districts.
A number of activities have been implemented but one activity that stands out in budgeting and gender responsive budgeting is the formation of Village Budget Clubs VBCs, training of VBCs in Gender, SDGs and Responsive Budgeting.
The VBC model has opened way for rural women and men to raise their voices on the public domain and demand for effective service delivery in public institutions in the district and in the process working with communities and collaborations created within the district spectrum.
Participation of VBCs in the Budget Conferences at District and Sub county level where they were able to present key service delivery and gender gaps hence influencing district budget allocations towards the education and health sectors has shown a great improvement and continuous follow up is being made upon the issues in the budgets to be implemented. This is attributed to the engagement meeting with the stake holders in the interface meeting, Budget conferences, social services meeting, joint follow up monitoring, meetings with the District Women Councillors Caucus and the Pre and post budget District dialogue.
VBCs spearheaded fundraising that raised 2.5 million that was used to buy a solar system for Mpumudde health centre maternity ward which has increased on the number of deliveries from 15 to 47 per month. Previously, health workers at lower health units were not working during weekends and afternoon hours but now the leaders were urged to follow them up and the situation changed positively. Today, health workers work during weekends hence improved services.
In Lyantonde, the schools have adopted the VBC recommendation of having a quarterly budget for buying sanitary materials for girls and to ensure there is continuous support rendered to girls in terms of guidance on their hygiene to avoid being attacked by infectious diseases caused by poor hygiene. The district continues to accept our work by budgeting for some of our proposals as presented to them during different engagements where we demand for accountability and service delivery.
This time round FOWODE Masindi has had more influence in the Sub county and District Budgets that is 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20 Financial years to the extent that we have realised improvement in gender responsive service delivery in the health and education sector, and continuous follow up is being made upon the issues in the budgets to be implemented. This is also attributed to the engagement meeting with the stake holders in the interface meeting, Budget conferences ,social services meeting, joint follow up monitoring meetings with the District Women Councillors Caucus and the Pre and post budget District dialogues.
FOWODE’s engagements, have indicated that empowering the community impacts on members with a sense of ownership of the development of their communities. Capacity building of local government technocrats and legislators in Gender and Equity Budgeting has eased their work in the planning and budgeting process, changes in policies and programs has influenced various changes in service delivery in both education and the health sector at sub-county and district levels.