DRT embarks on developing its Strategic plan (2016-2020)

Development Research and Training (DRT) has embarked on developing its new five year Strategic Plan (2016 – 2020).  The new strategy will coordinate and consolidate DRT’s contribution to the fight against poverty through action research, training and policy analysis at local, national and regional levels.The strategy will be a referencing document that aims at:

  • Reinforce research and training in pro-poor policy development and implementation at all levels across the county.
  • Strengthen partnership development between DRT and other partners, particularly, funding partners, government, NGOs and Citizens.

The strategic plan will be built on DRT’s past experiences and lessons, places chronic poverty response at the heart of Uganda’s development agenda. DRT recognizes that economic growth alone is not enough to tackle poverty and particularly severe and chronic poverty.

Experiences from DRT’s 19 years chronic poverty research and policy analysis indicate that tackling chronic poverty requires:

  1. Putting in place deliberate national social protection programs and systems to improve the economic and social security of the poorest, and support their efforts to create human capital and assets
  2. A significant investment in extending social services and redressing social exclusion
  3. Ensuring that economic growth is re distributive and
  4. Creating enabling systems, opportunities and structures to facilitate poor peoples’ participation in influencing decisions at local and national level.

DRT`s Work strategy 2012- 2016

Under this strategic plan, DRT will endeavour to address its concerns including but not limited to;
i) Government policy shift focus from poverty eradication to a development approach which promotes economic growth and poverty eradication with the private sector seen as the engine of growth and development. This is in spite of evidence showing widening income inequality in across the country and within different geographical regions. In such a situation, there is limited participation of poor people in social, economic and political development processes. The chronically poor persons and communities have nothing much to show for the benefits generated by a free market and private-led economy. Un-employment and under-employment of youths is another area of concern for DRT.

ii) Existing anti-poverty strategies/interventions remain exclusionary for the poorest segments of the Ugandan population. On the one hand, there are policy weakness in the design and implementation of development policies and programmes; and llimited evidence of improved wellbeing in most vulnerable regions where huge resource flows have been directed, on the other.
iii) Absence of a comprehensive social protection policy framework is to deal with increasing risks and vulnerabilities.
iv) CSOs limited capacity to analyse & engage on external, national and local government resource planning and allocation processes for pro-poor prioritisation;
v) Governance failures – which have resulted in poor service delivery; poor accountability of leaders; rising levels of corruption and above all ccitizen apathy

It is within this context that DRT developed this strategic plan. The plan states DRT’s continued commitment to “contribute to poverty reduction through research, policy analysis, evidence based policy engagement, capacity building and institutional learning”. Chronic poverty will still remain a principal component of DRT’s work around which the four (4) thematic areas develop and implement programmatic intervention.

Thematic Areas in the 2012 – 2016 period

For the period 2012- 2016, DRT will undertake a more focused research approach along its new broad Thematic Research Areas namely:
1. Governance and transparency theme
2. Social policy and human rights theme
3. Economic policy and livelihoods theme
4. Institutional development and capacity building

As a critical subject throughout DRT’s work, we will under our new strategic plan, endeavour to further understand, analyse and report on chronic poverty. Based on this, DRT’s strategic undertaking will be to influence the formulation and implementation of evidence based pro-poor development interventions that contribute to reduction of people living in chronic poverty evidenced along our interlinked and strategic thematic areas.

Strategic outcomes

1. Putting the Poorest and most vulnerable people in Uganda and East African region at the centre of development strategies.
2. Active and meaningful participation of the poorest and vulnerable in governance processes
3. Increased transparency and accountability in economic processes and resource flows for inclusive growth.
4. Enhance technical and institutional capacity of organisations for responsive development interventions.
5. A significant reduction in the percentage of chronically poor people in Uganda and in the East African region
6. Increased voices of the poorest in the decision-making process
7. Improved Government(s) political will reflected in policies, legislation, programmes and financial commitments in responding to risks and vulnerabilities that drive people into extreme and chronic poverty.
8. Increased utilization of DRT’s generated evidence by various stakeholders (NGOs, private sector, media, Government, development partners and citizens) at regional, national and local levels.