All participants have to do is to present their idea of how they would like or intend to create positive social impact with their work, and how a course from MDF can help them to achieve this impact. The idea can be presented in a form of an article, a video clip, a graphic illustration or infographic. Monthly winners will be announced.
The first winner
Prisca Nasikali is the first winner from Africa. Prisca impressed the judging panel by the content of her entry and her desire to help reform the water and environment sector in Uganda, where she lives. Here is her story.
Reforming the Water & Environment Sector in Uganda
"I am joining this competition simply because I am frustrated, but also believe I can contribute to the solution if given an opportunity to attain these skills. My dilemma is that I have been working for a number of years in the water and Environment-sector, specifically in the Water and Environment Sector Liaison Department, Uganda which coordinates all the sector's activities, implementing cross-cutting issues like gender/HIV mainstreaming, but due to a number of challenges, there have been more challenges than successes of late.
Now, unlike hardware activities, cross-cutting issues have to do a lot with attitude change and this can only develop with a sense of ownership. I believe personally, that we can cause better service delivery as a sector and personally as an individual by integrating a number of approaches. Currently as a sector, we have been concentrating on the Community Based Management System to ensure communities are involved in the operation and maintenance of water facilities. I believe with the onset of the effects of climate change and many other changes in the environment and economy, it is important for our communities to rely less on environmental resources and diversify their activities, for example, our institutions can facilitate capacity building of local governments and communities in financial management, and through public private partnerships provide set up capital.
In regard to this, our focus may be both men and women as economic empowerment of women has not yielded a lot of change since we are still a patriarchal society where most resources are controlled by men. So for holistic, inclusive development to take place, it is very important to include them.
As a sector, we are also facing a challenge of lack of funding due to varying priorities. Currently, the Government of Uganda's development priority is infrastructure development. Given the fact that a number of development partners who used to fund cross-cutting issues in the sector have withdrawn, it is important for us to start mobilizing resources. This comes with the need to develop skills in proposal writing which is currently lacking in the sector. I strongly believe if each one of us can play our part in this regard, we can ensure that all the activities that are currently not being implemented can be catered for. This skills can also be passed on to the local Governments who are our main implementers of sector activities since they often come across possible funders through mobilization by their political representatives and Ugandans in the diaspora but miss out due to lack of skills in proposal writing.
Finally, as a sector, we have not really capitalized on citizen engagement in our interventions, which has really had negative impacts on sustainability of our services as a sector. Inclusive service delivery not only creates a sense of ownership but also attracts individual interest in being change agents. I believe that if we as a sector can come up with ways to ensure that these are addressed, we will be closer to achieving the SDGs in 2030 and may be addressing my current frustration."
Join the challenge
The challenge is open until 30 April 2020 so there is still time to submit your entry. MDF Training & Consultancy will continue to select and announce winners between now and the first week of May. We particularly encourage our clients from Europe to submit entries. Apply today!