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With particular focus on Northern Uganda, The Uganda Local Governments Association (ULGA) considers access to suitable financial services a major step towards motivating, thereby increasing the efficiency of local government employees in the post-conflict North. A study carried out recommended the establishment and operation of Local Government Employees Savings and Credit Schemes in Gulu and Lira districts. In this regard, ULGA has received support from the United Kingdom (UK) Department for International Development (DFID), to facilitate the establishment and operationalisation of District Local Government Employees’ Cooperative Savings and Credit Societies (SACCOs) for Gulu and Lira Districts.

To undertake the assignment, ULGA engaged a team of Ugandan consultants who are carrying out various activities aimed at achieving the project’s objectives.

Major Tasks in the Assignment
Under the assignment, the Consultants are required to accomplish the following major tasks:
1)Mobilisation and sensitisation of all government employees in the two districts towards formation of Employees’ Savings and Credit Cooperatives.
2)Formation of SACCOs that will respond to the much-needed access to affordable financial services, hence economically empowering staff during service and after retirement.
Operationalising the SACCOs, by designing and establishing systems including operational manuals.
4)Setting up governance and management structures, including assisting the Board to recruit staff.
Providing technical assistance towards efficient performance monitoring and reporting.

Two years ago, Lira District was privileged to receive guests from ULGA and DFID who came for Capacity Building project where they came to identify the gaps as far as capacity building is concerned.

Aims of the Projects
•Improve financial management of staff
•Reduce negative attitude towards work
•Need for hands on support to District Staff

Came up with District Resource Pool which was given hands on support by consultants from ULGA. The District Resource pool then went and did mentoring in the Sub Counties.

Challenges faced by Sub Counties
•Could not produce final Accounts
•Budgeting Problems
•They had gaps on planning
•Performance management gaps(Poor at disciplining staff,appraisals)
•Poor report writing skills( Trained them on how to write different reports on monitoring,supervision and monthly reports of different activities that take place in the sub county and prepare annual reports of what transpired in different sectors

Formation of Sacco
One of the performance gaps realised was that staff were getting too many loans at high interest rates from different Banks which left many of them with Low incomes. This led to the formation of Saccos which consists of 400 members and 5 million shillings which has been got from membership,shares and savings.

The Saccos is well equipped with Computers,furniture,books of accounts and a full banking hall.The first batch of loans has been given to staff with low interest rates which will improve their welfare.

Radio Talk Show
One of the gaps realised was that communication between the District, Sub County and the community was poor. This led to the initiation of a radio talk show that takes place every Friday on Voice of Lango