Over the last 16 years, ULA has been working in various districts but mainly partnering with individuals and NGO members of the Alliance. However, the opportunity of utilising the advantages that accrue from allying with the wider NGO community in different districts has not been fully tapped into. ULA operates in the districts of: Pader, Amuru, Apac, Katakwi, Moroto, Kibaale, Mukono, Ntungamo, Luwero, and Mbale.
ULA is in the process of forming land alliances / Networks in the districts of operation in order to maximally utilize the opportunities that are embedded in mutual cooperation. This will be achieved through using several strategies which will include: conducting needs assessments with the different stakeholders in the districts related to land and other cross cutting issues, building the capacity of the stakeholders based on the gaps identified to create evidence base which can work as a reference for those who require the services, mobilise new members to subscribe to the ULA membership so as to increase on the knowledge base and strengthen the network, coordinate the implementation of joint planned activities in the districts with the new members and those already existing.
Since its inception, ULA has been operating with different stakeholders in the districts of operation including CSOs / NGOs operating in these districts, though not necessarily focusing on land. Given the nature of its composition and formation, ULA has provided services to several individuals, CSOs and NGOs operating in the targeted districts based on individual merit and qualification related to ULA membership. This has seen the alliance and members in these districts miss out on the comparative advantages that arise out of the district land alliances / networks. For example alliances involve sharing of knowledge and expertise between partners as well as reducing risks and costs involved in given operations (Margita 2009). In addition, Alliances can be an extremely effective way to embrace new strategic opportunities, pursue new sources of growth and contribute to the growth of any business.
Alliances /Networks are particularly useful in situations of high uncertainty and in markets with growth opportunities that for example an organisation either cannot or does not want to pursue on its own. ULA has for over the last 12 years of operation not benefited from such advantages and to make matters worse the alliances/ networks in most of the districts of operation are few and some are not operational. Lack of alliances and not joining those in place, has left the districts, members and ULA miss out on the benefits that the alliances have thus the need to formulate them and collaborate with the already existing ones in the districts of operation.
Alliances / Networks can be an extremely effective way to embrace new strategic opportunities, pursue new sources of growth and contribute to the growth of any business and organisations. Such alliances help in pursing set of agreed upon goals to meet a critical business need of a company or organisation while remaining independent. In this approach partners may provide the strategic alliance, project funding, capital equipment, knowledge and expertise.
ULA has been operating using several approaches that have sometimes lacked some of these factors which are quite important if alliances / networks are to grow and develop. With consultations it was then realised that for ULA to start benefiting from the advantages of operating in alliances /Networks there is need to formulate alliances / networks and or strengthen the already existing ones through the use of several approaches thus starting on the process in the districts of operation.
The major aim is to create and support stronger, vibrant, coordinated, evidence based alliances / networks in the ULA districts of operation
The process of formulating the Alliances / networks is being piloted in six districts which include Mukono, Kibaale, Ntungamo, Mbale, Apac and Pader, and it is hoped that all the ten districts where ULA operates will be covered to ensure that all the stakeholders benefit from the arrangement and participate in the ULA programmes.
It is hoped that the formulation of alliances in the districts will increase the legitimacy of CSOs / NGOs and the already existing alliances and it will lead to increased knowledge about land related issues which will give the stakeholders the opportunity of resolving any arising issues from the communities.
The formation of the alliances /networks in the districts will increase the CSOs’/NGOs’ participation in decision making at the district level. In addition it is hoped that this will lead to the citizens’ participation in the democratic governance of land in the districts and the country at large.
The formed alliances / networks will help in strengthening the CSOs’ / NGOs’ collaboration in making a difference regarding land governance and advocating for services from the districts and the responsible authorities.
The formed networks will provide platforms and forums for CSOs/ NGOs and government institutions to come together, share and discuss their progress on development issues. It is hoped that such an arrangement will provide structures that will facilitate discussion, permit sharing and understanding of development issues to emerge and encourage coordinating strategies for resolving those issues.
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