Gender reviews Post Graduate Diploma in Local Economic Dev't

The School of Women and Gender Studies is in the process of reviewing its Post Graduate Diploma in Gender and Local Economic Development (GLED) to align it to the National Developmentgoals. The review process has been on since December 2014. Yesterday, 15th June, 2015, members of staff from the School and stakeholders from Local Government met at Metropole Hotel in Kololo to discuss the progress of the programme and devise mechanisms for improving its relevance.

The programme started in 2010 following a request from the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and the Ministry of Local Government to Makerere University to introduce a course on Gender and Local Economic Development. It is coordinated by Dr May Ssengendo, a Lecturer at the School of Women and Gender Studies. The programme is aimed at providing a clear understanding of gender focused concepts and tools that can be applied to planning, implementation and monitoring of policies and programmes in central and local government institutions as well as the private sector. It is also aimed at enabling participants to learn and apply gender analytical tools in Local Economic development that support strengthening of local governance.  

During the workshop, Dr Ssengendo briefed participants on the achievements so far realised. Since its inception, 61 participants have graduated and a number of them are contributing to the creation of jobs in their communities. The programme has enhanced participants’ agricultural and industrial skills leading to better production and increased revenue. It has also increased partnerships for the School of Women and Gender Studies. (for details, see attached Dr Ssengendo’s presentation)

In her presentation titled “Harnessing capacity for GLED course delivery”, Dr Tabitha Mulyampiti, Senior Lecturer at the School of Women and Gender Studies, underscored the need to bring on board additional skill and expertise from practitioners in both government and the private sector.  To further strengthen the programme, she said the School would build on models & theories that best inform local practice, develop a research agenda and strike a balance between the two deeply inter-rated concepts of gender and Local Economic Development.

Prof. Grace Bantebya emphasised the need to review the programme in line with the new development plan (2015/2020) that seeks to drive Uganda to middle-income status by 2020. The recently launched National Development Plan is the second in a series of five-year plans tailored to achieving Uganda Vision 2040, whose goal is to transform Uganda into an upper middle income country.  Prof. Bantebya argued that strengthening partnerships would bring in resource persons to further improve the programme.

Commenting on the resource mobilization strategy for GLED, Ms. Margret Kakande, ‎Head, Budget Monitoring and Accountability Unit at the Ministry of Finance advised that the programme should be tailored to suit interests of a wider community. “You should introduce different types of targeted training that will cater for everyone’s interests  and subsequently generate a lot of resources for the programme.  An eight-week course would be attractive to people who are not interested in academic training,” she explained.

To increase visibility and attractiveness of GLED, Ms Assumpta Tibamwenda from the Ministry of Local Government urged the coordinators to develop an instrument that can be used to market the programme.

Participants resolved to conduct refresher courses for trainers (academic staff on the programme), source more reading materials, increase visibility and introduce an M.A programme in Gender and Local Economic Development.

The Principal of CHUSS, Prof. Edward K. Kirumira, reiterated the importance of strengthening partnerships and working with local communities in the implementation of the programme.

 The Dean of the School, Assoc. Prof. Josephine Ahikire, acknowledged the support rendered by the Ministry of Local Government and coordinators towards the successful implementation of the programme.

The workshop was moderated by the Head of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Dr Suzie Nansozi Muwanga, who called for more research in the implementation of the programme.

About the programme

The 9 month programme introduces participants to theory and practice in gender and local economic development; imparts skills for gender sensitive planning, monitoring and evaluation as well as gender analysis in local economic development. The course units include activities for attachment and research, which enable students to practice how to apply skills and knowledge in Gender and Local Economic Development within local communities, institutions, projects and programmes of their choice. The School of Women and Gender Studies works with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and the Ministry of Local Government in the implementation of the programme. Financial support was provided by UNCDF and the UN Joint Programme on Gender Equality.

See attached presentations  on GLED