Monday, April 5, 2010
WHAT DID WILLIAM KITUUKA KIWANUKA WANT TO BRING TO TASO?
• The Uganda Human Development Report (UHDR) published by UNDP says, “Uganda which constitutes 0.4% of the World’s population, accounts for 2.4% of the World’s HIV/AIDS cases, six times its proportionate share.”
• “There is no cure, and yet no vaccine for AIDS, so emphasis has to be on prevention, and improving and extending the lives of those infected. Communication, information, and sharing experience is vital,” Pascoal Mocumbi (a Prime Minister of Mozambique) speaking about the importance of talking about sex and changing behaviour.
• Given the gravity of the statistics on HIV/AIDS in Uganda, and in light of Pascoal Mocumbi's vision, I wish to put to light what I have in stock and would wish to be debated for eventual implementation if I am given the opportunity to take up the position of Executive Director at TASO.
1) Get into place or re-emphasise zero tolerance to corruption within the system through among other methods internal audits to ensure value for money services as a pre-requisite of confidence and support by potential and existing partners of the organization.
2) Re-examine or work on a SWOT Analysis of the organisation to determine its (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). This should be among others be the basis for the new Strategic Plan for the Organisation when the current one expires in 2007.
3) Ensure an efficient Intranet network for the Organisation to enhance timely communication with staff and feedback.
4) Re-designing the Organisation’s website so that it is compatible with the new Strategic Plan. Secondly, that it is accessible in a number of international languages and advertised to enhance its potential usefulness. The features to be incorporated:
i. A Discussion Board – the aim here is to solicit ideas or engage in debates that are crucial to enhancing the organisation’s objectives in light of the challenges.
ii. Contact us/Feed back – an online form for visitors to contact the organisation through the site directly. This should have a form with fields for users to provide their name, email address, message/feedback.
iii. Calendar of Events – to display planned activities by the organisation on a web-based calendar.
iv. Summary of partners – to include partners’ names, description/area of partnership and their logos and links to their websites (where applicable).
v. Donations online and acknowledgement of donations – to offer potential donors opportunity to donate to boost activities of the organisation and as a thank you/publicity to those that may have donated.
vi. Programs, structure of organisation, challenges, achievements all to be linked on the site.
vii. Success stories of the TASO Uganda network. Look at staff motivation; see how staff can be inspired to be more committed to deliver services for a common good with tangible outputs to enhance the set objectives.
5) Ensure weekly reports from all departments are received and a weekly management meeting to among other things review the reports and get away forward.
6) Utilise facilities of FM radios and Television (where Airtime may be offered free of charge) to get the organisation’s programmes to the recipient population. This would serve also the purpose of intensively advertising the services on offer at no cost to the organisation.
7) Use the People Living with AIDS in programs and the training so that more and more people may get to appreciate the roles the organisation plays/can play to enhance their better livelihood. This may be through filmed videos of personal experiences among other methods.
8) Focus on mobilisation of resources locally to boost the programs of the organisation. In this line, reach out to Local Councils, religious establishments at various levels for donations of land resources to which projects to better the lives of People Living with HIV/AIDS and the orphans, through the Opening of Communal gardens, the helping in the growing of food for the affected and infected.
9) To design programs by the organisation that may fit the programs drawn up by various Ministries to be able to get a slice of the Ministry budgets to help finance the work plans for some of the designed programs of TASO Uganda.
10) Focus on the organisation getting directly involved in creation of value. This among other methods may be through getting involved in agro-processing. Today, for example, a lot of Moringa is of no value to farmers, yet leaves can have Moringa concentrate extracted which can be mixed with say passion fruit to make a very nutritious beverage. The same goes for Moringa seeds out of which very healthy oil can be extracted. This when mixed with honey can be very good in the promotion of good health of People Living with HIV/AIDS and other population. The focus here is to reduce on external hand-outs, when it is possible to make a break through in generating own operation resources.
11) Getting to enhance further the training in skills of People Living with HIV/AIDS. This is against th big problem AIDS patients have which is having income to support good nutrition among other basics of life. The empowerment in skill can go a long way in helping these people get employed hence earn income.
12) Mobilise equipment to assist the training in skills. The organisation can set up a number of training centres with equipment got through donations (local and international), say used computers (Computer Aid International www.computeraid.org) offers good lessons to learn from. Tailoring equipment is another case among others where People Living with AIDS can be assisted to learn skills within easy reach of where they are located, at the same time, interested public may get trained at same centres as a means of having them economically viable.
13) To enhance micro finance programs for the People Living with HIV/AIDS. This can go a long way in ensuring that these people don’t wait for hand-outs, but they can productively work on, support their families when assisted to fund their income generating activities.
14) Reach out to schools to solicit bursaries for children who are orphaned. This campaign when done nation-wide is likely to bail-out many children who are orphaned due to the HIV/AIDS related deaths of their parents.
15) Advocacy work with the other players so that Government can lower the cost of living. The high tax rates in the economy are greatly responsible for poor living conditions of people more so those Living with HIV/AIDS hence the need for reduction, a task which calls for advocacy and lobbying Government.
16) Despatch bi-monthly Electronic Newsletters to various partners and potential partners to update them of the developments at the organisation, at the same time maintain copies on the organisation website.
17) Start an Estates Management Department. This should help ensure that in case of death of the parent/s, the children and other dependants are not left at the mercy of relatives, and that this management exercise is income generating, where assets left are capable of generating income.
18) Get more seriously into advice to the parents Living with HIV/AIDS so that they can better plan for their children prior to their death. The advantage is that such strategy can greatly reduce would be burden on the organisation helping AIDS orphans.
19) Get more interested in the Human rights issues of People Living with HIV/AIDS and children orphaned by AIDS. Hence also enhance relations with Human Rights Advocate Organisations for the purpose.
20) Encourage personal savings by all the working population/people with some income to a Special Fund created by TASO Uganda so that in event that they find themselves HIV/AIDS patients, they can access services cheaply or free of charge at TASO centres.
21) Expand networking with established clinics/health centres to reduce on operation costs of the organisation, so that TASO registered clients can get services from such centres/units near their home areas to reduce on crowding at the few TASO clinics, and also save on time as well as expenditure by the patients.
22) Start campaigns in schools with the Head teachers to request them to incorporate into their curriculum aspects of training that can empower children/students to be capable of creating jobs/ and also be employable. This is against the fact that vulnerability due to unemployment is positively contributing to increased spread of HIV.
23) Respect of staff members’ professionalism at work and abide by professional advice. Uganda has rich examples where some people in authority defy professional advice!
24) Use “Call for Proposals” to solicit innovative ideas from the public. The extremely good ones can be rewarded, and the organisation may use/apply them and or have a reserve bank for proposals in a cheaper manner.
25) Emphasis on motivation through rewards to staff as well as clients who may excel in various tasks. Instances where say some people may excel in recruiting members to the organisation need to be rewarded. I am of the opinion that any one who helps get a new member who ends up subscribing should be entitled to a percentage of the subscription paid. This is a positive incentive!
26) Make it a policy for well to do clients to have it as a practice to support the organisation as opposed to foreign donors all the time.
27) Given the fact that most HIV/AIDS patients cannot afford the ARVs on open market, there is need to promote Collaborative Research and working relations with National Chemotherapeutics Research Laboratory ay the Ministry of health – Wandegeya. This will further enhance use of approved and refined as well as relatively affordable herbal medicine by the patients.
28) Lobby Government to put in place an HIV/AIDS Insurance Scheme unto which it should be able to pool resources mobilised locally and internationally to finance HIV/AIDS interventions.
29) Help campaigns to see to increased delegation in the day to day patient management and adherence support tasks that can safely and effectively be delegated to appropriately trained community health workers so as to deliver care quickly despite shortages of physicians, laboratories and other facilities.
30) Promotion of “TASO Prestigious Service Centres”, but without a TASO tag – these ones may be comparable to high class clinics where the well to do attend. The Class of the service on offer and lack of crowds and Call on appointment should be able to induce a number of well to do clients for treatment, and these may be good income sources for the organisation.
31) Ensure decent and relatively well attended send off burials for members. The organisation should at least be able to offer a vehicle to help transport the remains of a member and a cover cloth on the coffin symbolising TASO Uganda membership. A staff member from the nearest TASO centre to the burial site should deliver condolence message.
32) Using local names as a substitute for TASO clinics. It is true that mere mentioning the word TASO puts off some people, hence time is ripe to for instance come up with names like: “Katwe Muwumuza Clinic”. The name Muwumuza as illustrated here for example could be used on all the clinics in Buganda region.
33) Look through TASO’s Mandate as per its registration and see whether it has limitations to take on new roles. This may call for amendment and at the same time, there may be need to register a sister organisation to oversee the business enterprises which have to pay tax, but can go along way in reducing on dependence on hand-outs from donors.
34) Maximum use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to not only disseminate information, but also to learn of the various success stories as well as help the adoption of innovations into the organisation for efficient service delivery and better satisfaction of the clients. The Video and Tele-conference sessions can be a good learning for organisation members vis a vis other players from different countries as well as social and economic conditions.
35) Train core staff in Lobbying skills for project fundraising and resource mobilisation as well as monitoring and evaluation.
36) Get involved in contests for “Call for proposals” where some project proposal could sail through and get funded. In this regard, a Proposal Bank can go along way in boosting capacity where a proposal to be submitted may be modified from an idea in the proposal data bank.
37) “TASO Open Days” – these should be countrywide, during which time TASO programs and work on ground may be clearly shown to the public. It may be opportune time for the partners to get to see what has been achieved by the organisation.
38) Boosting inter-competitions between TASO members in different localities through music and drama activities.
39) Intensifying TASO interventions at Higher Institutions of Learning. Dr Jane Bossa Director Makerere University Health Services and Dr Peter Matovu Director Guidance and Counselling at Makerere agree that, “there is general stigma among the students at the University, and as such many cannot get to expose what they are hence this leads to a number not getting necessary help and early deaths.
40) Scaling up services to prevent HIV infection in infants.
41) TASO Uganda promoting the norm of “Modern Senga’s” that is the equivalent of paternal aunts to counsel adolescent girls on marital and sexual matters. This type of Senga’s can be sampled from women in the local communities and then trained in TASO Workshops.