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HABITAT DEBATE. 1996 Mar; 2(1):20.Zambian communities in 21 settlements have developed partnerships with District Councils and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) with the aid of the Community Development Programme. A Training Programme for Community Participation in Settlements Improvement was implemented by the government from 1984 to 1994 with the support of the UN Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS) (Habitat). Although seed money for physical settlement improvements was not included, integrating training with the actual process of upgrading enabled the participating communities to make the improvements. The selected communities, with the support of District Council staff, produced project documents to solicit the support of NGOs. The partnerships consisted of three groups; 1) Resident Development Committees, which represented the communities; 2) NGOs; and 3) District Councils. The first group mobilized the communities in the identification of priority needs and in action planning. The second group supplied equipment and funds. The third group provided technical services and created a legal framework in the form of a memorandum of understanding, which was signed by all partners. Sustainability, maintenance, and management of services after the phasing out of NGO support were defined in the memorandum. Schools, clinics, storm-water drainage, and road improvements were some of the benefits obtained from this tripartite partnership.
AIDS ILLUSTRATED. 1996 Oct; 2(1):9.War and AIDS-related mortality in Uganda have created an estimated 1.2 million orphans in the country. Child welfare advocates and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have therefore been working together for the past 4 years under an umbrella organization to coordinate efforts for vulnerable children. The Uganda Community-Based Association for Child Welfare (UCOBAC), links people and organizations involved in child advocacy, facilitates relations between the government and NGOs, and helps to strengthen the capacity of NGOs to identify and implement projects. UCOBAC emphasizes community-based initiatives which allow children to remain in their own communities instead of being institutionalized. One example of such an approach is a vocational skills training program in Rakai district established to help young orphans trying to make it on their own. More than 300 youths had benefitted from the program as of December 1994 and plans are underway to expand the program to 10 more districts. UCOBAC is also training communities and NGOs to identify and implement viable projects, and helps child welfare organizations by serving as a network for sharing information. UCOBAC came into existence in October 1990 with 93 members, including 57 local NGOs, 17 international NGOs, and 19 individual members. The organization has since established local offices in 35 of Uganda's 39 districts. UNICEF has thus far provided about US$130,000 for UCOBAC activities and will continue to fund local NGO initiatives through UCOBAC. UCOBAC, however, is giving priority to becoming financially independent of UNICEF within a couple of years. Future projects include an inventory of NGO child welfare projects, a child welfare resource library, and networking workshops with NGOs and government policymakers.