The increase in constant unexpected changes within Uganda’s legal framework along with the internal struggles especially in areas of funding and resource mobilization are problems that have widely hampered the solid existence and smooth operations of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the recent past.
On this account, Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) hosted key stakeholders to a capacity building training workshop on Legal Frameworks and Advocacy Strategies for CSOs and media organizations in Kampala on Friday 21st July 2023 under the #LocalVoices project, a nationwide initiative during the month of July with support from Internews to promote civic awareness, widen reach to structurally silenced groups to enable them utilize the available advocacy approaches and encourage positive reforms within the legal framework which will contribute to a strong and resilient CSO enabling environment.
The Facilitator, Mr Anthony Masake (acting Executive Director at Chapter Four Uganda) emphasized during a session on steering successfully in this ever-changing legal framework that compliance with national regulatory legislation notably; the Company Act (2012), NGO Act (2016), Anti Money Laundering Act (2013) and Data Protection and Privacy Act (2019) will broadly prevent the potential disruptions in operations and shutdowns.
Discussions further examined the several alternative approaches that can be put to use through different Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs), expertise and knowledge to foster advocacy efforts both online and offline. “Harnessing the potential of effective advocacy requires a recognition of its potency. It is crucial to adopt innovative approaches to realize the desired goals and vital to articulate the precise details of the activities to be undertaken in the process,” Mr Anthony Masake noted in his presentation on The Power of Advocacy.
The workshop also encompassed more hybrid presentations by experts from the Machine Learning for Peace (https://mlpeace.org/) on the application, benefits and challenges of machine learning, as well as the use of data to boost civic awareness. Jeremy Springman, an Expert from Machine Learning for Peace cautioned that most governments across the world are enhancing all new technologies to limit political competition and enhance oppression, which calls for big data to enable planning through predictive analytics for strategic decision making, documentation and tracking of events and early warning signs to give a better understanding of the operating environment for CSOs.