The criterion for the selection of beneficiaries under the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) program in Kayonza Sub-County, Kayunga district was not transparent and discriminated against various groups. This, in part, resulted from the absence of an organized community with capacity to actively participate in governance and demand for accountability from Sub-County leaders.
FHRI in partnership with the Citizens Elections Watch – IT (CEW-IT) initiated two interventions. The first was to create an organized pressure group known as a ‘neighbourhood assembly’ at the village level. A neighbourhood assembly is an ‘open membership’ group which regularly meets to debate local problems relating to governance, human rights, service delivery, development and explore solutions. The second intervention was to empower the neighbourhood assembly through capacity building.
The neighborhood assembly members acquired skills in program monitoring and identified issues and gaps in service delivery. Local leaders including the Community Development Officer, area district councilors and Local Council I chairpersons were invited to respond to emerging issues during the meetings. Members of the meetings persistently raised concern over the unclear manner in which beneficiaries under the NAADS program were selected. The complaint was eventually forwarded to Mr. Joseph Ouma, the district Vice Chairperson, who then announced a decision to co-opt the neighborhood assembly in the vetting process. The announcement was made on 17th July 2014 at Kawolokota Primary School. There has since been transparency and improvement in the distribution of clonal coffee seedlings in the new phase of NAADS program in the Sub-County.