Learning Event Highlights Strength of Partnerships in Uganda Country Programme

Strong partnerships have been established at the national, local and community level through the Transforming the Settlements of the Urban Poor in Uganda (TSUPU) programme.
The Government of Uganda has been implementing the Transforming the Settlements of the Urban Poor in Uganda (TSUPU) programme in Uganda for nearly a year, with the support of partners including Cities Alliance, the World Bank, and Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI).
The TSUPU programme aims to build the capacity of government – both national and local – and urban poor communities to form partnerships so that they can effectively manage urban growth, improve access to services and avoid the formation of large slums. It also promotes initiatives to develop inclusive, pro-poor urban development policies.
A number of activities have already been held as part of the programme, including the launch of the Uganda National Urban Forum in May 2010 and similar forums at the municipal level in the five secondary towns of Arua, Jinja, Kabale, Mbale, and Mbarara. In addition, local slum dweller federations are being established and mobilised in the participating towns.
Perhaps most importantly, strong partnerships have been established at, and between, all three levels (national, local and community). These levels are increasingly working together to implement the TSUPU programme.
Most recently, a workshop on municipal leadership was held in Kampala 24-25 March 2011 to mobilise local governments, which have been a part of the TSUPU programme since the beginning.
“Municipalities are one of the key partners in the TSUPU programme, and the success or failure of its objectives and approach depend on their capacity and skill to institutionalise,” said Cities Alliance Regional Adviser for East Africa Tewodros Alemu, who participated in the workshop.
The workshop was organised by two implementing partners of TSUPU: the International City Managers Association (ICMA) and the Urban Authorities Association of Uganda (UAAU).
All five TSUPU municipalities participated, as did stakeholders such as SDI, urban poor federations, the Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development, and Makerere University
At the workshop, the municipalities discussed how they can build the capacity to fully take part in the TSUPU programme and what is needed for them to take a leading role in the activities at the local level, such as the Municipal Urban Development Forums and the upcoming strategic planning process.   
As part of the programme the municipalities will formulate proposals for strategic planning that stress inclusivity. At the workshop, Makerere University – also a TSUPU partner – presented on past city planning experiences and explored how city development strategy methodology can work within the Ugandan context.
The workshop was the first of several learning events that will be organised by UAAU with support from ICMA in order to build the capacity of local governments.