At the closing ceremony of the second World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg, the Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) won the Democracy Innovation Award. The price recognizes efforts taken to involve citizens in democratic processes and in the general public life. Ms Goretti ZAVUGA AMURIA and Ms Otika Brenda AKITE were extremely thankful and happy when their initiative was called out as the winner.
Online tools for better services
WOUGNET is an initiative that follows the goal of creating awareness of the need of sound governance. Specific focus is laid on grassroot communities in Northern Uganda. The way they go about it is to train people on how to use Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in order for them to effectively address national and local problems of sustainable development. Thereby, their skills on collecting, packaging, and disseminating information are improved. Topics that are of specific interest when disseminating information are corruption and poor public service delivery.
Integrate new and old
WOUGNET puts a lot of emphasis on integrating traditional means of information exchange, such as radio, video, television and print media and new means such as internet technologies. Exchange, collaboration and information sharing are central features of the initiative. The mix of new and old increases the scope and success of the initiative.
Why focus on women?
There has been a tremendous growth in the ICT sector in Uganda over the past 20 years. Especially the use of telecommunication grew by a large extent. However, gender discrimination constitutes a substantial obstacle for women in the use of ICT’s. This is where WOUGNET comes in. Especially women living in rural areas of Uganda should enjoy the same benefits from ICT’s as men.
An initiative that focuses on empowerment, participation, and collaboration of all sectors of society definitely deserves the Democracy Innovation Award. Congratulations!