GlobalGiving workshop – Kampala, Thursday March 3rd, 2011

28 02 2011

When: March 3rd, 2011 –  from 9:30am to 1:30pm.
Where: Calendar Hotel Makindye (in Kampala)-

Please Call Kizito Malumba (of Youth Aid Uganda, our hosting partner)to confirm participation and regarding the venue 0782323191, or 0704323191.
In summary, the four parts of the workshop will be:
1. About GlobalGiving (what is it, how to join)
2. Fundraising strategies (both online and local tips)
3. How social media is part of your fundraising
4. Introducing the Storytelling project — helps with evaluation and raising awareness about issues.

The following will be:

#1Expanding your FUNDRAISING. We will cover both local and international online strategies. (Note: You’ve already heard this part of the workshop, sorry for the redundancy as this will be new to most attendees. Part #2 and #3 are NEW to you.)

#2 – GlobalGiving tools for:

  • donor management,
  • corporate relations,
  • volunteer recruiting,
  • recurring donors,
  • integrating with social media,
  • beneficiary feedback as part of your evaluation strategy, and
  • how we can make your a stronger candidate for external grants

#3 – Introducing our Storytelling project. We’ll explain how thousands of brief narratives from East Africa can transform your understanding of your work and improve your monitoring and evaluation.

Please respond to reserve a spot. You are encouraged to invite members from other organizations your work with. Please have them email me to reserve a spot as well.

Please alert any of your partners that are not already on GlobalGiving that the deadline to self-nominate and submit Due Diligence for the next (April) open challenge is March 1st, 2011. Refer them to for what is required.

Note that we will provide drinks and a lunch, but we will NOT REIMBURSE your travel or lodging expenses. This training is free and open to any organization that wishes to attend, as long as they RSVP in advance.
About Storytelling: GlobalGiving has launched a storytelling effort that should provide you (and all organizations in your community) with timely information about the complex issues, needs, and efforts that affect your work.

Results of our 2010 storytelling pilot  project are online:

Looking forward to meeting you in person!

internet Vs mobile phone: rural farmers to judge!

18 04 2010

Talking about social media and ICT. Today I am helping my friend Cissy to create a Facebook page for her organization. She works with Ntulume Village Women’s Development Association (NVIWODA). In a humble setting lies the story of the Ntulume Village Women’s Development Association (NVIWODA). In June 1987 a group of women residing in Ntulume Village founded, Ntulume Village Women Development Association. NVIWODA operates in ten districts of Uganda, the organization equips women with skills, networks and shares knowledge and information with twenty seven women community based groups.

Apparently NVIWODA does not have an independent website, however they are hosted on a subdomain – powered by Kabissa and also profiled on the women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) website –

NVIWODA is one of the 99 or so women organizations profiled on the WOUGNET website.

As we chat she sparks a question, “So, how has the internet benefited the rural farmers in marketing their produce?”

Nice question – I think to myself. But the internet has not benefited the rural farmers that much when it comes to marketing their produce. The rural farmers have more or less benefited from the internet indirectly. As a matter of fact, access in rural areas remains a big challenge.

But this doesn’t mean that rural farmers have not used ICTs to commodity prices. The mobile phone has proved to be a

Women farmers testing use of Mobile Phones to access commodity prices..

very handy tool due to its flexibility in functionality and yet doesn’t require special skills to operate.

I telling her a living example on how Kubere Information Centre –  a project formed by Women of Uganda Network under the Information Sharing and Networking program has helped many rural farmers over the years on how to use ICTs to access agricultural information. Kubere Information Centre works with rural farmers from Lira, Oyam and Apac. These farmers are also trained on how to use the mobile phone to access commodity prices.

She was so excited to hear this; that the mobile phone can be used to access commodity prices. “I would love to share this knowledge with the rural farmers we work with.” I demonstrated to her how to access the commodity prices on her phone which is on the MTN service/ network. We request for the market prices for matooke – the sms charge is UGX220 (approximately USD 0.10). In just a few seconds she has the commodity prices for matooke in various districts around Uganda – “Interesting now I know how to use my phone better! I will be using my phone to send market prices to my colleagues in rural areas.”

Apparently she is working on an idea which involves the use of a notice board. On this notice board the farmers write their market prices prior to the communal markets in their rural areas. She says once implemented this idea would help reduce on exploitation of rural farmers. She says that this idea will first be implemented in Kabarole and then to other districts. She will also use her cell phone to access the commodity prices which she will then pass on to rural farmers to write on their notice boards prior to the market day.

“Many farmers in rural areas sell off their produce not for profit but to get necessities like kerosene to fuel lamps in homes.”

Become a Fan of NVIWODA on Facebook!!

African Women and ICTS: Investigating Technology, Gender and Empowerment.

12 02 2010

Prof. Grace Bantebya, Hon. Alintuma NSambu (Minister of State for ICT - Uganda), Susan Bakesha and Prof. Lillian Ekirikubinza (Deputy Vice Chancellor - Makerere University)

I took the pleasure to attend the GRACE book launch yesterday afternoon.

The Gender Research in Africa into ICTS for Empowerment book comprises of 17 Chapters divided into 4 main parts.

  1. ICT tools: Access and Use
  2. Female only ICT spaces: Perception and Practices
  3. Using ICTs: Making life better
  4. Creating new realities

The books also features authors from different countries across Africa (Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda)

“I was inspired by women who work as payphone vendors in Hoima District”, Prof. Grace Bantebya one of the authors narrated the experiences of these women in the use of ICTs to generate income. There are many success stories of these women where they have been used ICTs to improve their incomes and livelihoods. However, she also noted that there are gender issues involved in the use of ICTs. For example cases of failed marriages because men tend to feel insecure when the woman is earning more in the family.

The book brings to light the strength and resilience of the women who spoke to the authors.

“ICTs are definitely a vehicle of empowerment but it also depends on the situation.”

The book also covers sections that have not been covered before e.g. the intersection of ICT and Violence against Women Prof. Grace Bantebya said at the book launch. It also answers questions like the role of ICTs in promoting the empowerment of women and women groups in Africa.

The book was launched by the Minister of State for ICT – Hon. Alintuma Nsambu. In his speech, the minister commended

Minister of State for ICT launches the book titled "African Women and ICTs"

women advocates, the authors and non-profit organizations for their work on use of ICTS to empower the African woman. He bought ten (10) copies of the book which he will donate to a small telecentre located in Masaka district to enable rural women access the information in this book. He also gave 5 computers to the Department of Gender – Makerere University as a contribution to continue the effort of empowering women through the use of ICTs.

Download a free copy of African Women and ICTs from the IDRC website under the Books section.

Quotes from the book:

“My husband knows the value of my phone business and does not complain about my prolonged absence from home and exposure to the public. This alone gives me inner strength and confidence, and resilience to continue with such work despite my Islamic faith, which does not condone such work, especially for married women. The fact that I am working against such odds makes me feel empowered.”

I commend the authors for this valuable initiative. Above all I salute every single African woman, young and old, who is boldly navigating these troubled waters.
— Graça Machel

By providing a deeply researched investigation of the role of African women in the society and in the specific sphere of information technologies, the authors of this study have substantially enriched our understanding of development problems in general and African development in particular. We have reason to be grateful.
— Amartya Sen

Those interested in women’s empowerment and its relationship to technology will find this book a highly innovative approach to the subject, combining a unique perspective with case studies from a wide variety of African countries and settings.
— Nancy Hafkin

A detailed and absorbing account of how African women are using new technology to transform their lives…. This important book celebrates their remarkable achievements, and explores how technology both enriches and complicates African society.
— Margaret Walters

Entrepreneurship and ICT in Uganda.

4 06 2009

The issue of entrepreneurship and ICT for development in Uganda today still remains a big challenge.

In a country where infrastructure is still poor and not well distributed throughout to benefit the local people as well as the urban people.

I should also acknowledge the issue of immense poverty, unemployment and lack of skills.

Different development schemes have come and gone. Some have made an impact and others have done no good at all.

Issues of ICT for development and entrepreneurship trainings are not new in our ears, but what is entrepreneurship really?

Mrs. Omara a 45 year old resident of Apac district (Northern Uganda) is a small scale farmer. Asked what kind of job she does she replied, “I am a house wife, I have no job really!” I went ahead to ask her what she does with her small produce. She said, “I have 8 children, and since I have no job, I have to produce more food crops than we consume. This helps me to earn an extra income to support the family and to take my children to school. We have an open market every Monday where I can sell my produce.”

She does not think she is an entrepreneur though because she does not have capital. But she generates some income out of her small garden to support the family.

ICT4Development on the other had still remains a very big challenge. Many people still do not understand what the term “ICT” means. All they know is ICT stand for Information and Telecommunication Technology. And every time the term ICT is mentioned, people quickly interpret it as “Internet and Computers”. So when you say Entrepreneurship and ICT, one question keeps crossing people’s minds; “How can computers and internet  help to improve on our enterprises?” Simply because thats their interpretation of ICTs in a layman’s language.

In a recent five (5) day “Training in Entrepreneurship and ICT Skills “ conducted in Apac District of Northern Uganda, people were surprised to learn that Mobile phones, Newspapers and Radios are also ICT tools. Out of the 45 women participating in the training, 39 own mobile phones and only 6 do not own mobile phones.

The training was organized by Women of Uganda Network with support from the NEPAD Spanish fund for African women Economic empowerment to support a project on  “Enhancing Income Growth among small and micro women entrepreneurs through the use of ICTs”.

The project targets women entrepreneurs from the three districts of Ibanda (Western Uganda), Mukono (Central Uganda) and Apac (Northern Uganda).

The purpose of this project is to promote the economic empowerment among small and micro women entrepreneurs in the three districts of Uganda.