Strengthening the Ugandan National Response for Implementation of Services for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children (SUNRISE-OVC) Project is a 5-year (June 2010-June 2015) USAID funded Project. The actual implementation of the SUNRISE-OVC project is delivered through the zonal Technical Services Organizations (TSOs).

To this effect, ACORD in Partnership with MMHF as Technical Service Organization (TSO) is contracted to implement activities of the project in South Western Uganda on behalf of the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development in 10 Districts and two

Project Goal

Overall goal is to improve access, coverage and quality of essential services for OVC and their households by strengthening Local Governments (LGs) and community systems.

Project Objectives:

i) Strengthen the child care and protection workforce. ii) Strengthen LG planning, management, and coordination mechanisms (HLGs, LLGs & Community). iii) Increase OVC data demand, use and information management system by LGs. iv) Strengthen the capacity of LGs and service providers to monitor and measure the quality of services to orphans and other Vulnerable Children and their households. v) Enhance the capacity of LGs and Service Providers

Project Coverage

The project is being implemented in 10 districts of Kisoro, Kabale, Ntungamo, Kanungu, Rukungiri, Mbarara, Bushenyi, Ibanda, Isingiro and Kiruhura, and 2 municipalities of Kabale and Mbarara. The project implementation coverage also includes all LLGs within the mentioned districts and municipalities.

Project Implementation Strategy

is implemented through the following strategic approaches:
a) Partnership – working in partnership with other OVC actors in order to give comprehensive package to the OVC.
b) Capacity Building – Focusing on capacity building efforts at district and sub-county levels in areas of planning, management, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the OVC program within the district.
c) Community Mobilization – Community structures such as PDCs, VHTs are the hub for mobilization and coordination of community systems for social protection of OVC.
d) Enhancing Access to OVC Information – Supporting LGs, CSOs, communities to access and utilize OVC MIS data.
e) Leadership development – Orienting key OVC stakeholders such as the LCs, VHTs and PDCs on OVC issues including increased resource allocation for OVC activities, management, accountability and transparency in the delivery of OVC services.
f) Joint Supportive Supervision (JSS) – Mentoring and coaching LG staff through conducting JSS visits to LLGs and community based service providers to avoid duplication of efforts and burdening of LGs and communities with multiple and fragmented requirements.

Planned project activities for October 2011- September 2012:

Result Area: Enhancing data demand, analysis and management information system for OVC
a) Facilitate and mentor LG staff at district level to operate, manage and sustain the OVC MIS
b) Conduct quarterly monitoring and evaluation visits to 10 districts, 2 Municipalities
c) Provide ongoing support to LGs for OVC MIS and Community Mapping data at parish and Sub county level
d) Support DLGs to finalize service provider mapping from the Community Mapping Exercise
e) Support and facilitate SI-TWG analyze and report OVC data at district and lower levels
f) Support Mbarara district to carry out Lot Quality Assurance Sampling Survey.

Result Area: Quality Assurance, monitoring and measurement of social protection services for OVC
• Orient & mentor district, sub-county staff on quality improvement, assessment and measurement tools.
• Provide TA to DOVCC Sub-committees to identify sites of exellence and undertake quality improvement measures.
• Facilitate local governments roll out the institutional assessment toolkit developed by the MGLSD
• Provide TA and facilitate LGs (CBSD) carry out quality assessment of institutions using the assessment toolkit

Result Area:

Enhancing data demand, analysis and management information system for OVC:
a) All the 10 districts in the region were supported and they were able to report on the OVC MIS.
b) A data collection mechanism to ensure that the CSOs provide information to CDOs so that reporting is done regularly was developed and was being piloted in Rukungiri district.
c) All the 10 districts in the region have been able to enter Community mapping data online though they are at different levels.
d) All the districts have used the data for the situation analysis towards the updating of the OVC Strategic Plans.
e) Mbarara district was supported to conduct a survey to assess the level of delivery of services for OVC, HIV/AIDS, TB, child health, reproductive health and malaria using LQAS methodology.
f) The LQAS data collected were electronically entered at M&E section by trained staff of the district and MMHF.

Result Area: Quality Assurance, monitoring and measurement of social protection services for OVC
a) 12 key social protection staff from the six districts of Ibanda, Kabale, Kanungu, Kisoro, Mbarara and Rukungiri were equipped with skills to apply the quality Assessment tool kit
b) 10 children’s homes in the three districts of Kabale, Kisoro and Rukungiri were assessed using the tool kit and recommendations on how to improve the quality of services made to the same institutions

Lessons learnt, innovations and best practices

a) All district leadership portrayed willingness and commitment to implement OVC activities as articulated in the NSPPI-2;
b) Participation of community representatives during OVC community mapping created ownership of community action plans developed.
c) Parish pilot community mapping strengthened capacity of district staff.
d) One of the assessed institutions – Potter’s Village in Kisoro
e) District – has used the report to apply for recognition as an Approved Children’s Home.

Challenges and adapted solutions
While implementing project activities during the reporting period a number of challenges were encountered:

a) Harmonization of the activities to be implemented by the TSO with what was proposed took longer than had been anticipated. Consequently, the implementation momentum was slowed down.
b) The SDS funding modalities for the district activities took long to be communicated to districts hence posing a challenge during budgetary processes.
c) A number of programmes that require the same participants would happen at the same time. This pre-occupied the district officials who offered divided attention to the two programmes.
d) Programme introduced pilot parish community mapping which hitherto was not envisaged. This resulted in preoccupying the staff, time and other activities planned were rescheduled
e) The staffing of Community Based Services was noted as a challenge in the region.
f) Internet connectivity is a challenge in some districts.
g) Districts supported by SDS although they had received the grant, modalities of IFMS (Integrated Financial Management System) are delaying releases of funds to the implementing departments.

Plans to address the challenges

a) Identifying and training paraprofessionals is paramount in addressing personnel gaps especially in the CBSD. In addition the TSO will work with the CBSD to advocate for increased number of personnel in the CBSD. b) Timely information and feedback from the relevant stakeholders is a prerequisite for planning and effective implementation. c) TSO will continue to strengthen capacity of HLGs, LLGs and CSOs to operate and manage the systems using user manual, tools and analysis of the data. The DOVCC OVC MIS technical working groups will be established, oriented on the system and followed up. d) In liaison with MGLSD the OVC-MIS data capture tool will be aligned to NSPPI-II to ease reporting.