A new web based platform that enables Ugandans to monitor city projects launched

Nov 24, 2017

Kampala Minister, Hon. Beti Kamya cuts the ribbon to launch the USER portal. Looking on is UNDP deputy Country Director, Mr. Thomas Ole-Kuyan and KCCA deputy Executive Director, Mr. Sam Sserunkuma.

KAMPALA - Kampala residents are now able to hold city authorities accountable for infrastructure projects. This has been made possible by a new web-based platform that enables the citizens to monitor and give feedback on the execution of infrastructure projects.

On noticing shoddy works, corruption or any other form of abuse, a resident can log into www.user.ug and lodge his or her complaint for Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to take action. 

The platform, the Uganda System for Electronic open data Records (USER), provides information on the various infrastructure projects being implemented by KCCA; name, location, contractor, cost, funder and proposed duration of implementation.

“This system will empower citizens to take part in government’s infrastructure projects through monitoring and reporting on them,” Mr. Thomas Ole-Kuyan, the UNDP Uganda Deputy Country Director said during the launch of the system.

He added that a more active role for citizens in monitoring public works will not only promote accountability and ensure efficiency in service delivery but will also strengthen its fight against corruption.

The system was developed by KCCA and the Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU) with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Uganda. UNDP Seoul Policy Centre provided the funding and linked KCCA to Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) to learn about how the Clean Construction System works.

“This system is important for us as Government and adds to our efforts to promote transparency and accountability through all our operations,” Hon. Beti Kamya, the Minister for Kampala said during the event, adding that; “Government pledges its full support towards further enhancement of the web portal and to other initiatives that promote good governance for Uganda’s sustainable development.”

The system responds to both Uganda’s Vision 2040 and the second National Development Plan (NDP II) which identify transparency, accountability, effectiveness and efficiency in the management of public affairs and delivery of services to citizens as key for achieving good governance and institutional robustness. In addition, it responds to Agenda 2030’s 11th Sustainable Development Goal on Sustainable Cities and Communities.

“The ultimate measure of success of the USER system will not be in its development and launch per se, but in its usage,” Mr. Ole - Kuyan emphasised.  Responding to him, KCCA’s deputy Executive Director, Mr. Sam Sserunkuma committed to ensure that the issues raised on the platform are addressed within 48 hours.

According to the World Bank, Uganda loses about US$300 million of public resources through corruption annually. The ability of national accountability institutions to exercise effective control on corruption is handicapped by multiple factors including; weak public engagement in the demand for transparency and accountability, gaps in regulatory frameworks and ineffective policy implementation.

ACCU Executive Director, Ms. Cissy Kagaba, whose organisation took the lead in developing the system believes that the USER portal will help put the spotlight on wrongdoing and hence promote value for money.

“Corruption thrives where there’s secrecy. Governments that share information have developed faster than those that do not,” Ms. Kagaba observed.

The USER platform was developed as part of UNDP’s support to government through the Institutional Effectiveness (IE) Programme. One of the key components of the programme is to pilot an Open Data System for infrastructure investments in the country for enhanced transparency and accountability. This enables the citizens to enjoy their constitutionally guaranteed right-to-know and also get empowered to hold their government accountable.

About clean construction:

The clean construction system was designed by the South Korean Government  in 2011 as an anti-corruption innovation to enhance transparency, protect rights of contractors and construction workers, and promote citizens’ right-to-know what takes place in the public construction sector. 

 

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