National Association of Women Organizations in Uganda (NAWOU) was among organisations facilitated by FEMNET to participate at the 3rd High Level Form on Aid Effectiveness which was held in Accra – Ghana from 30th August to 3rd September, 2008. Immaculate Agedo represented NAWOU at the meeting. After the meeting she shared her experience with FEMNET

By Immaculate Agedo-Uganda

My experience 3rd High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness held in Accra Ghana from 30th August – 3rd September, 2008

The African Women’s Development and Communication (FEMNET) invited and funded the National Association of Women Organizations in Uganda (NAWOU) to participate in the HLF3 parallel events namely the International Women’s Forum and CSO Forum on Aid Effectiveness which FEMNET co-hosted with other women organisations,. It was an opportunity to learn, network and reflect.

While at the HLF3, FEMNET organized a media roundtable meeting which I was also privileged to attend. The media round table was a well thought idea. It was enriching in that the press was made to understand the background of New Aid Modalities (NAMS) and its gender implications. During the media round table Kenya and Nigeria shared with the local and international journalists on how new aid modalities impact on women. I liked the experience sharing from the two countries as it made me realize that the NAMs impact more negatively on Women.

I also attended the networking workshop hosted by FEMNET for its focal points organisations in Africa. The meeting was good especially when participants were put in groups to make suggestions on what they think needs to be done to make FEMNET stronger. One thing I learnt and believe can make FEMENT to go to higher levels in it’s work is the need to continue using umbrella organizations and networks as well as build their capacity to perform better.

Participating in the Accra International Women’s Forum was a beautiful experience for me, hearing voices from women of all corners of the world. The forum methodology was good and interactive. It helped participants to input on the CSOs Statement on Aid Effectiveness, for example, almost all participants agreed that gender equality should be used in all statements rather than just saying gender is mainstreamed which has often left women’s specific issues unaddressed.

The call for government and donors to use gender indicators in reporting on aid effectiveness was critical at this forum. I learnt that there’s need for us also as CSOs to adopt these indicators in reporting progress of our programmes and projects.

I was also privileged to attend three round tables discussions organized by civil society looking at the Paris Declaration Principles on Ownership, Mutual accountability and Conflict and fragile states. I learnt that ownership can only happen when grassroots men and women are equally involved in setting their development priorities. In the Mutual accountability discussion I learnt that there is need for donors to support community initiatives aimed at empowering communities to track and monitor resources at all levels.

During the Conflict and fragile states discussion, the need to increase funding for both government and CSOs working in Fragile States came out very strongly in this session. Civil society observed that in post conflict countries, aid should be channeled to both emergency and reconstruction programmes. An example of northern Uganda was given were IDPs are returning to the homes without food and water.
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