Inclusive Urban Development and Mobility in Koboko
The project in brief
The project is implemented by European Commission - Directorate General for International Partnerships in Uganda. It began in January 2020 and will end in October 2023.
The Inclusive Urban Development and Mobility in the Municipality of Koboko’ action supported under the EU Trust Fund for Africa aims to pilot an approach of direct support to municipalities with low coverage of basic services and a high concentration of refugees. It is piloted through two components implemented by the Koboko Municipal Council (KMC) and by Associazione Centro Aiuti Volontari (ACAV). The projects target 83000 host communities and refugees in Koboko municipality, eight local organisations and the KMC staff produce a different product on the market so the beneficiaries can have different options and reduce waste.
The main goal of the project is to increase the safety and wellbeing of refugees and host communities in Koboko municipality and reduce inequalities between these groups.
Elements that facilitated the implementation of the project included:
- The direct grant to Koboko Municipal Council (KMC) and the capacity building of the local authority and other service providers by Associazione Centro Aiuti Volontari (ACAV). ACAV provided training on project and financial management, as well as on protection and human rights in the context of urban planning and service delivery. According to the project’s narrative report, these trainings significantly increased local authorities ‘capacities, for example, the KMC finance department can now capture financial data and produce yearly financial reports.
- Ownership by local authorities and collaboration with national and local stakeholders: The action is one of the few in the EUTF portfolio which directly provided funds to a municipality to implement activities (over 70% of the total budget for the pilot action was directly implemented by KMC). Through the project, ACAV supports strategic coordination at national and local levels. Regular meetings (such as through the municipal development forum and the sector coordination structures established by the projects) involving KMC, government line ministries and community-based organisations (CBOs) are reported to have increased political buy-in and ownership of the project activities. Additionally, contracting of local CBOs, local vocational training institutions and local contractors are mentioned as one of the success factors of the project.
- Inclusive and participatory development planning: Through support from ACAV, KMC included refugees and host communities in the identification of the priorities for sectoral plans such as for education, health, infrastructure and water.
Main activities of the Good Practice
Activities include construction of a total of 38 social infrastructures, among which five Classroom blocks, two Libraries with an ICT equipment, and 30 Public toilets. The project also managed the renovation of 14 classroom blocks, and the equipment of one Municipal multi-purpose halls. In total two health center were constructed and equipped under this programme as well as two Mental, trauma and counselling centres. Finally the programme also included capacity building activities for the KMC staff and the local organisations and service providers, and also managed the drafting of municipal development plans.
What challenges were encountered in delivering the project and how were they overcome?
The improvements in education and health services have attracted individuals beyond the target refugee and host communities – people coming from the neighbouring areas also seeking these services. Although it is a positive impact, it has resulted in overcrowding in education and health facilities.
Results of the Good Practice
- 92% of the population in Koboko rate access to services as inclusive, non-discriminatory and efficient at midterm (against 15% at baseline).
- Antenatal care for expectant mothers increased by 97% at midterm while child births attended in health facilities registered a 113% increase.
- For education, the pupil-to-classroom ratio in the targeted schools reduced from 128:1 to 114:1, the school dropout rate reduced from 8.1% to 5.8%, and the teacher attendance ratio has increased by 7 percentage points.
- The project contributed to the development of inclusive urban planning and development policies.
In what way does the good practice meet one or more of the four objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees?
Objective 1: Ease the pressures on host countries
This programme meets objective 1: Ease the pressures on host countries through effective arrangements for burden- and responsibility-sharing by building the capacities of local authorities, and supporting the construction and equipping of social infrastructures.
Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance
The specific programme also aims at enhancing refugee self-reliance by supporting local organisations and service providers, many of whom are refugees.
- Coordination between KMC and other stakeholders is expected to continue beyond the project life through the established forums, which are likely to facilitate the implementation of the development plans.
- The success of the projects inspired the EU to design a follow-up regional programme which expands the approach of direct support to municipalities to other cities across the Horn of Africa (currently being selected). This programme will be called ‘Sustainable Urban Integration of Displacement-Affected Communities’ (SUIDAC). It will continue to target Koboko municipality, among others.
Anna ROPERS BERGEOT, Team Leader Forced displacement, DG INTPA G6 unit Migration and Forced displacement, European Commission