Ugandan authorities and DENIVA train 12 CSOs in data management

A class on data capture, entry,
analysis, application, presentation
and dissemination at Ntinda Valley
Resort, Iganga. (Photo: DENIVA)

Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOs) and the Development Network of Indigenous Voluntary Associations (DENIVA, national focal point of Social Watch) have delivered a three-day training course on data management and report writing skills for several civil society organizations (CSOs).

Soroti Development Association and Non Governmental Organizations Network was one of the institutions from Eastern Uganda to participate in the training besides others from the Rwenzori, Mbarara, Buganda, Bunyoro, West Nile, and Acholi, Lango, and Bukedi sub-regions.

The training that attracted over 17 representatives of civil society organizations drawn from all regions of Uganda was held from September 26 to 28, at Ntinda Valley Resort in Iganga District.

The training equipped the organizations with skills of data generation, analysis, and management and report writing and dissemination in order to reflect their contributions to national development.

At the present days, contributions of civil society organizations to national development in areas of livelihood improvement, water and sanitation, conflict resolution and peace building, human rights and good governance among others, are not captured in hard data. This has left several people questioning the relevance of these groups and their contribution to the national development.

Thanks to DENIVA and UBOs, it will not be long before the statistical contribution of civil society organizations to national development are captured regularly and incorporated into the National Statistical System.

Currently, DENIVA is in the process of producing a statistical abstract of civil society organizatios. The abstract will enable these groups to capture their activities in statistical formats and provide accurate and immediate snapshot to a reader.

Based on this statistical foundation, non governmental institutions will be strengthened to provide evidence-based advocacy to challenge, propose and influence positive policy reforms at different levels and demonstrate the impact of their work.

At first the training seemed dull but as the facilitators went about demonstrating and explaining how to enter and analyze data, the application of formulas and the instant results derived from the application of such formulae – including instant recognition of data using formulae – created a magical turning point in the minds of participants, generating a lot of interest and effective participation, exploration and discovery. When break tea time clocked, participants did not want a recess but proposed to move on and have a working tea.

The training proved enthusiastic and exciting. As if to confirm a Chinese proverb that says “the person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it”, a participant exclaimed that “adults take long to grasp issues during trainings but once they catch up, they will move on at the speed of lightning and the sky will be the limit.”

There was a lot of excitement as the participants entered information on their own into excel, analyze it, and come up with different types of graphs and pie charts among others. It was at this moment that they appreciated the whole training.

The participants who eagerly pronounced themselves as ‘consultants;’ resolved to improve their reports to reflect both qualitative and quantifiable data and replicate the knowledge to civil society organizations’ networks under them. But they lamented lack of time to comprehensively handle all issues in data management and report writing.

Nevertheless, DENIVA informed participants that there will be other trainings on data management that would cover the gaps not provided in the First Phase.