Development Research and Training (DRT) has embarked on implementing her new strategic plan 2017-2021, after successful completion of her strategic plan of 2012-16.
Over the past 19 years, DRT focused efforts on building evidence and engagement around poverty and particularly chronic poverty. The focus on chronic poverty was inspired by the fact that often the vulnerable and marginalized categories of people miss out on all development processes which holds them into chronic poverty for decades. Such poverty is even passed on to their children thence the association of chronic poverty to intergenerational nature.
The 2017-21 strategy aims at contributing to the reduction of chronic poverty in Uganda by 2021. We hope to improve the livelihoods of the poor focusing particularly on youth unemployment, the welfare of the elderly, children and other vulnerable categories. We intend to research and influence pro-poor policies in the areas of education, water and sanitation. The rapid increase in urban population which is not matched with adequate physical planning for basic infrastructure, housing, and social amenities is another Challenge DRT hopes to address. This has resulted to emergency of the urban slum poor. DRT is also renewing focus on the links between poverty and climate change. We hope to explore ways for building resilience and preparedness among the poor and vulnerable communities to the effects of climate change.
DRT shall continue to influence policies and programmes that respond to the needs of the chronically poor through research, policy analysis and capacity building.
Unlike the previous years, DRT opts to step up standards, systems and processes for production of high quality and uptake of research products. Therefore this new strategy highlights performance systems for the board, management, staff and other resources to support quality programmes delivery. This strategy also stresses the need for monitoring and evaluation.
The new strategy fits the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Ugandan National Development Plan 2015-2025. The SDGs aim at ending poverty in all its forms everywhere. This has encouraged DRT to continue poverty eradication efforts. The strategy fits well with the National Development Plan (NDP II) goal of achieving middle income status by 2020 through strengthening the country’s competitiveness for sustainable wealth creation, employment and inclusive growth.
Our strategic objectives include:
- To increase access to and utilization of high quality poverty, evidence-based research by Government, MDAs and non-state development actors in the development and implementation of pro-policies by end of 2021
- Increased abilities of partners (CSOs, vibrant communities, and state actors) to influence and implement pro-poor policies and programmes by 2021
- To increase access and uptake of Uganda’s economic and livelihood development strategies to the chronically poor by 2021.
- To increase transparency and accountability practices in governance processes by state and non-state actors at National and Local Levels by 2021.
The strategy is clear on the implementation. DRT shall continue to build partnerships with like-minded actors, conduct institutional capacities, action research and hold dialogues.
DRT has lived through challenging financial and human resource environment mainly depending on aid resources. The new strategy hopes to systematically plan for a resource mobilisation strategy in a diversified way, heighten collaboration with government and non-state actors and continue enhancing the capacity of new actors.
The strategy is however calm on the political arena and the shrinking space for NGOs. This is a sensitive and no-go area for multiple Non-state actors avoiding confrontation for survival. DRT needs to step out of the comfort zone. Although the strategy fronts collaboration as a major approach, the PPP (Public Private Partnership) link and mechanisms for achieving this is not stressed strongly in the strategy. Similarly, fundraising diversification is not clear. It is only mentioned but the bulk of resources still remain aid flow.
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 The slogan for SDGs is “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” or popularly known as ‘The Future We Want”.