UGANDA DISTRICT CITIZEN HEARINGS
LIRA & KABALE DISTRICTS
6th March 2015
Lira and Kabale districts both held District Citizens Hearings bringing together over 400 citizens at each Hearing to share their views on accountability for women’s, children’s and adolescent’s health.
Members of Parliament and district leaders were present at both hearings, where citizens spoke of their recommendations to improve delivery of government commitments and include citizens in tracking progress made. Citizens discussed the impact of recent citizen led accountability that has had quick results with the Government accelerating the delivery of its commitment made to the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health to provide emergency care for pregnant women nearer their homes in health centres.
Citizens made clear recommendations on immediate priorities and called on the leaders to ensure citizens are engaged in priority setting in the future, as well as budget tracking and monitoring of the services. These recommendations were taken to the Prime Minister on International Women’s Day (8th March 2015):
“Its good to hear from the citizens asking for health centres III and IV to be prioritised. The Government has made a decision to review Primary Health Care (PHC) funds that are being disbursed to HC IIIs and IVs. What they are getting is inadequate. Discussions are going on to ensure PHC funds are increased in the budget for FY 2015/16”
Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Ruganda
“Leaders promise many things ranging from water, roads to provision of health
services but do not deliver. We need to continue demanding from them so that
they realize our demands are important.”
Mr. Muhumuza – Kabale Citizen
Key recommendations made by the Citizens:
1. Integrate social accountability in the new health goal framework so that citizens are empowered to monitor implementation and progress on health service delivery.
2. Improve and increase availability of Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care Services, especially at health center IIIs and IVs.
3. Prioritize training, recruitment, equitable deployment, motivation and retention of health workers to enable provision of quality health care.
4. Integrate a rights-centered approach to health service delivery. Rights of both clients and health care providers should be upheld and Respectful Maternity Care should also be upheld.
5. Strengthen information sharing and a feedback mechanism for citizens to know what is available at the health facilities and what their entitlements are.
6. Improve access to health services for adolescents with specic focus on youth-friendly services at all health facilities.
7. Ensure universal access to family planning.
8. Review the procurement system of goods and services for health infrastructure development
to facilitate faster procurement and delivery of services.
9. Promote and strengthen male involvement in the new health goal.
Politicians spoke out to commend citizen recommendations
Hon. Ronah Ninsiima, MP for Kabale District
“People have exercised their rights, and this means that by them
giving us their demands, Government can no longer take them for
granted. I believe in these interactions. Citizens have said what they
want. The only option for Government is to deliver”
Speaker of Kabale District
“The methodology of citizens hearing is very effective. Giving citizens
an opportunity to speak should spread across the country and other
counties to ensure citizens speak out on their priorities to be included
in SDGs, and later demand fulfilment from their leaders.”
Ms. Betty Akullu, Deputy Speaker of Lira District
“We need to involve citizens in our work. We are going to sit together
as a committee and prioritize the issues raised by citizens…
I encourage reporting from the community. I will ensure we have
dialogue meetings and talk shows to get the citizen’s views”