Assessing Non-Governmental Organisations’ Compliance to Quality Assurance Mechanism in Uganda.A Case of Human Rights Network
Author: Mugyisha Joseph Byamugisha
Supervisor: Taddeo Kyaligonza
This research was conducted to assess Non-Governmental Organisationsí compliance to Quality Assurance Mechanism (QuAM) in Uganda, taking Human Rights Network (HURINET) as a case. The study was guided by three specific objectives concerning examination of Quality Standards of QuAM; evaluation of QuAM certification process; and to establish strategies for effective QuAM implementation.
A qualitative approach was used whilstexploratory research and case study design were employed; and the design was preferred due to its flexibility in relation to handling a research problem where there are few or no earlier studies for reference, with a focus on gaining insights and familiarity for later investigation. The population for that matter comprised multiple stakeholders given the information expected from technical persons such that respondents were representative of national regulatory body, self-regulatory mechanism, government MDAs, NGOs that are certified and not certified, Media, Research and Academia.
Tools for data collection included Interview Guides, Self-Administered Questionnaires, and documentary reviews; qualitative methods were applied during analysis of data. Findings revealed that QuAMís establishment in 2006 was largely triggered by the existence of lacunas in NGO Act of 1989 (accounting for 100% responses) and its subsequent amendment of 2006 whose NGO Bill was passed on 7th April 2006 at a hasty parliamentary session without any meaningful consideration of NGOs proposals for inclusion. Through advocacy for self-regulation, NGOs were largely involved in regional and national legislation consultations represented by 75% which involvement gave rise to progressive and accommodative lawshencethe inclusion of self-regulation in the NGO Policy 2010 and NGO Act 2016 that repealed CAP 113 which have greatly improved operational space for NGOs.
Relating to compliance of NGOs to QuAM in Uganda, findings revealed that rigorous assessments and vetting exercises by the secretariat have improved credibility, transparency, governance and accountability systems within certified NGOs and opens up individual NGOs for self-scrutiny. Reponses accounting to 90% attested to the continued improvement in their organisationís day-to-day operations exhibited through development of comprehensive monitoring and evaluation systems, documenting their success stories, reflection meetings, networking and sharing information with all stakeholders and the general public.
Several recommendations were made based on the study findings but most important was the urgent need for QuAM council to intensify synergies with the NGO Bureau in respect to established DNMCs and SNMCs in every district of Uganda for buy-in amid implementing a government-driven policing regimeenvisaged as a breeding ground for a hybrid self-regulation model due to its inclusion in the NGO Policy and NGO Act 2016 eyed as the most cost-effective means of fostering discipline and compliance in QuAM implementation.