5. Policy Makers and Networks
Relationship with Policy Makers
The Civic Engagement Alliance built on the capacity of implementing CSOs to mobilize smallholder farmers to dialogue with duty bearers at the sub-county, district and national levels. As a result of this, smallholder farmers are able to dialogue with the different stakeholders and follow up on agreed actions. They participate meaningfully in sub-county budget conferences. In Soroti, Lira and Abim some of the concerns of smallholder farmers - such as facilitation for extension workers - have been included in the Sub County Development Plans. In Soroti facilitation of agriculture extension services has been included in the Sub-county and District Budget.
Through the dialogue forums, farmers were able to engage different stakeholders and articulate their issues. In order to achieve a constructive dialogue with different stakeholders, the Civic Engagement Alliance set out to do the following (mostly choosing the sub-county level as entry point):
- Working with the traditional and family decision-making structures on land to promote participation of women and youth.
- Working with small-scale enterprises to sell quality seeds on the market.
- Working with the District Commercial Officers and sub-county chiefs to support the provision of extension services to smallholder farmers.
- Engaging the district and sub-county NGO monitoring committees to provide a conducive environment for NGOs to operate.
- Continuous dialogue with various stakeholders including local government, political and technical leaders within the districts and at the national level.
- Engaging committees of Parliament at the regional and national level.
Civic Engagement Alliance links the Ugandan partners to national level coalitions to strengthen the link between local and national level advocacy. The Alliance has been working with various national platforms and actors like the National Food Rights Alliance, Agri-Profocus, Uganda National NGO Forum.