ADJUMANI. The Adjumani district chairman Mr Ben Anyama has urged non-governmental organizations operating in the district to stick to the standard operation procedures that have been put in place by the NGO Act.

The chairman noted that many NGOs are not complying with the guiding principles of NGO operations. Among the procedures are the need to share annual work plans and budgets with the district, signing of memorandum of understanding and lack of monitoring and evaluation of activities of the NGOs.

“I think somewhere, you NGOs were misguided, and the Memorandum of Understanding is a very important document for the government. Without signing a MoU means that you are operating illegally. I have learnt that once you sign an operation license with the Office of the prime minister you think that is all”, Anyama explained.

Anyama insisted that the reason they need the annual work plans and annual budget is for purposes of streamlining all the development activities of the NGOs into the district development plan III.

There are only six refugee UN refugee agencies that are immune but the rest of the NGOs must comply with the operation procedures.

“It will be absurd to one day wake up and say, NGO x, must quit the district for noncompliance to standard operating procedures, I don’t want to operate like that, let's cooperate”, Anyama stated.

Mr Ramandan Mawadri, the district development officer Adjumani which is the key department that works closely with implementing patterns observed that they do not know some of the activities undertaken by the partners as they do not share their reports with the district.

Mawadri said there is need for the partners to have a file and produce all the legal documents like MoU, periodic reports that will help them see if their activities are in line with district development plan III.

He also revealed that some NGOs concentrate in the same area hence leading to duplication of services with the district and other partners.

Mr Richard Kaijuka, the district vice chairperson Adjumani expressed concern that for over 20 years, it has been very difficult to compel the NGOs to share annual work plans and budget because they have been misguided by OPM to think that OPM is not a government that can only regulate their activities.

Kaijuka also said, many NGOs have failed to equitably distribute their resources in the 70:30 for refugees and host communities.

While presenting the NDPIII, Mr. Fred Moini, the district planner said, the NDPIII is anchored on the progress made, challenges encountered and lessons learnt from previous planning and implementation of NDPI and NDPII noting that It is also cognisant of the Uganda Vision 2040, EAC Vision 2050 and Africa Agenda 2063 as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to the National NGO policy 2010 (Section 5.3) requires the “CAO to provide the NGO community in the district with guidelines to enable the NGOs to participate effectively and in a coordinated manner in the district planning and program implementation.

Similarly, the National NGO policy 2010 (Section 5.3) requires that “all NGOs and CBOs engaged in development activities within a district shall share their program activity plans and budgets with the Local Government Authority for purposes of harmonization of such program activities into the broader sectoral or area development plans and resource estimates.

Andeoye Robert, the settlement commandant who sat for the refugee desk officer stated that as far as MoU is concerned, they are not rubbing shoulders with the district but their mandates are very clear as stipulated in the constitution of the republic of Uganda to coordinate refugee activities.

“Ours as OPM is the refugee operations while the district is an overall overseer of all the MoUs and we coordinate with all the relevant authorities”, Andeoye said.

Ms Felicitas Nebril, the head of UNHCR Adjumani acknowledged that the efforts to serve the host communities are different but geared towards achieving the same results.