The project supports the Government of Uganda in integrating food security and nutrition concerns into district and sub-county development plans. By the end of the project it is expected that district authorities will have the capacity to formulate, manage and monitor district development plans with priorities that strongly feature food security and nutrition. Its focus is on the greater northern Uganda region but most of the expected outputs will be of relevance to all districts of Uganda.
Seven pilot districts have been selected, namely-Nebbi, Yumbe and Zombo (West Nile), Gulu (Acholi/Lango) and Soroti, Serere and Abim (Teso/Karamoja).
The selection is based on how disadvantaged these areas are-in terms of poverty, food security and nutrition indicators - compared to the rest of the country. In these selected districts, the project will assess to which extent food security and nutrition are integrated into sub-national plans, identify major constraints and suggest remedies. Simultaneously, guidelines for integrating FSN into the plans will be drafted, used and subsequently refined.
The project will offer technical assistance and capacity development to enable the local government to collect and analyze food security data; translate the food security information into concrete action that will be costed and included in the plans; and define indicators, targets and goals in order to monitor whether the activities lead to the expected outcome (reduction in malnutrition and vulnerability). The project will furthermore empower civil society members to become actively involved in the priority-setting, formulation of the plan, implementation and monitoring of activities and the budget. Many district councils are amending their legal basis for giving more weight to food security by drafting by-laws (ordinances).
This appreciation of the role of the legal framework and the importance of food security ordinances presents a unique opportunity for promoting recourse and accountability mechanisms at sub-national level. The Food Security and Nutrition Council, to be formally established by the Food and Nutrition Law, can support district level activities by creating an enabling national policy environment. Activities will comprise dissemination of information and material, advocacy for budget increase, capacity development and organization of lessons learned events.