Parliament of Uganda has revolutionalised the way it engages the general public – with increasing attention to meeting the information needs of the mobile community.
Over the past three years we have seen Parliament intensify its outreach efforts to connect with various sections of Ugandans both locally and internationally.
The legislature has adopted a more proactive policy towards providing information through social media platforms as well as through its main web portal www.parliament.go.ug
Thanks to its proactive stance of openness and transparency, the citizens and other parties interested in Uganda’s democratic process, are only a click away from accessing vital information such as proposed laws (bills), debates as well as recently concluded acts. It is a huge break from the past traditional system where individuals had to physically manoeuvre their way through tight security checks in order to access information.
The new approach also appears aimed at enhancing accountability of the entire institution and the individual members by publishing on regular basis the business transacted for the public to judge. More on these innovations are covered in greater detail inside.
And yet, Parliament’s drive towards leveraging the information super-highway, has not hampered the leadership from developing creative ideas of engaging with the general public.
Since its introduction three years ago, the Annual Parliament week has become a highly-anticipated new year’s refresher point for some members of the public, the staff of Parliament and some Members of Parliament.
This year’s Parliament Week held between January 13 to 19, attracted a record turn-out of participants who included school children, district leaders, ambassadors, farmers and ordinary members of the public.
This year’s Parliament Week ran under the theme: ‘Championing Accountability to Improve Service Delivery’
In the opening Charity walk, some UGX46 million was raised towards the establishment of a center for persons living with albinism.
The experience by many entering the coveted Parliamentary chambers, or rubbing shoulders with the Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, was simply overwhelming.
Still, these novel innovations to take parliament closer to the people, have not replaced the more traditional ways through which Parliament leaders have connected with the people.
The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga and her Deputy Jacob Oulanyah have not spared effort in lending support to calls for social causes in the areas of education, human rights, women empowerment, farming, tourism and other aspects of Uganda’s life.
We have seen the two principals engage more with the public both in the precincts of Parliament but also through attending and participating in events in different parts of the country.