This report presents the findings from the Refugee and Host Population Empowerment (ReHoPE) stocktake exercise undertaken in refugee hosting districts in Uganda. The specific objectives of the stocktake were to: (i) map existing funding flows, programmes and projects; (ii) identify priority gaps that need to be addressed within a joint programme framework; (iii) assess existing coordination and planning processes and the alignment of stakeholders with government priorities, plans and ReHoPE guiding principles. The purpose of the stocktake exercise is to inform the identification, design and scale up of effective programmes and interventions, aligned with ReHoPE principles and contributing to the achievement of ReHoPE objectives.
The stocktake will need to become an on-going process integrated into existing government coordination and planning processes at district and national levels with the quantity and quality of data improved over time. Consequently, the team conducting the stocktake has worked under the guidance of relevant Government officials, notably from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and the National Planning Authority (NPA), and worked through existing coordination and planning structures in order to facilitate an on-going and sustainable process, whilst attempting to identify priority areas of intervention for scale up starting in 2018.
Primary and secondary data was collected from government, donors, United Nations (UN) agencies and implementing organisations. The stocktake has generated a lot of valuable information that can be built upon. Gaps in the quantity and quality of data mean that the analysis provides a general overview of indicative priorities. The environment, energy, water, sanitation and roads are found to be emerging priority sectors. Current funding for environmental protection appears to be particularly low in comparison to the needs articulated by key informants. Also, there is a need to scale up investment in capacity development for coordination, planning and implementation.
There is major ambition amongst the Government, donors, UN agencies and Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) to scale up support for both refugees and Ugandans to enable them to increase their resilience and self-reliance. This is being manifested, to some extent, in increased funding, programming and support to strengthen local government capacities.
However, interventions are often fragmented, short-term and the comparative advantages of different actors are not being adequately leveraged. Most projects have their own parallel implementation structures rather than aiming to strengthen local government services and capacities. Actors appear to be spreading themselves too thinly geographically and sectorally.
Efforts to ensure a more effective and sustainable longer-term response are hindered by a lack of clarity on how district level coordination and planning should be happening, the delays in establishing government-led national coordination mechanisms and the availability of resources lagging way behind needs and ambitions. Incentive and accountability mechanisms to ensure timely, efficient and effective actions are very weak for all actors. The lack of joint fora and programme frameworks at district and national levels are fundamental constraints to a scaled up, coherent and comprehensive response.
The stocktake exercise reinforces the rationale and need for ReHoPE. The activities of different stakeholders are not well coordinated and data on funding is insufficient leading to high risk of gaps, duplications, missed opportunities to leverage comparative advantages, and inefficiencies as actors overstretch their capacities to try to fill gaps beyond their areas of core expertise.
The recommendations of the exercise are as follows:
The Government of Uganda could communicate one, government led strategic framework with which all actors would align,
The Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) Platform could involve a political dimension,
The OPM could provide a high-level steer on how district level, joint coordination and planning can be improved,
The CRRF Steering Group could identify the lead entity for an on-going stocktake process,
NPA could provide harmonized guidance to local governments to coordinate the planning process and oversee the strengthening of capacity,
District Chairs and Chief Administrative Officers could oversee on-going ReHoPE stocktake and prioritization processes leading to comprehensive district plans for resilience and self-reliance and inform sector prioritization outside their mandate,
NPA could coordinate the development of a national, joint ReHoPE programme framework and common results framework,
External donors could inform Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) of their funding commitments and criteria for the next 3 years in support of the CRRF, including the specific commitments relating to ReHoPE, and
The forthcoming National Partnership Forum could provide an immediate opportunity to reach agreement on key decisions.