UCRN’s activities are anchored around four mutually supportive programmes and these are to be achieved through the five pillars that describe how the different program areas are to be implemented.
Research and knowledge management are a fundamental basis for effective advocacy work. Aware that there have been many research studies undertaken both by government and non-governmental agencies on the situation of children; UCRNN envisions creating an information hub on child rights issues in the country. In this regard UCRNN is generating up to date information on child rights issues and in addition establish a platform for information on child rights issues and emergent developments in the area of children’s rights both locally and globally that is accessible by different stakeholders. In order to be a credible advocacy organization at national and regional level, UCRNN is building capacity to be a leader in child rights research, knowledge management and data generation and dissemination. This involves but not be limited to; coordinate member’s research activities and with the emphasis on learning, sharing available information relevant to children’s rights and wellbeing, publishing and availing regular information to members and other stakeholders for advocacy.
For UCRNN to effectively realize her set strategic objectives, a lot depends on the success of the advocacy work. Promoting a common voice and collective action is therefore a key strategy for the network in the coming five years. The network leading in coordinating and voicing out concerns on child rights violations and mobilizing members and partners to do the same, UCRNN strengthens the operationalization of thematic groups to harmonize advocacy coalitions and partnerships within the advocacy agenda. UCRNN also is in the process of developing and operationalizing a comprehensive advocacy strategy that will be implemented alongside her 2014-18 strategic plan.
Alliance building has been identified as a main strategy mainly because of the need to strengthen coordination among child focused CSO. UCRNN strengthens existing alliances and networks as well as tap on to non-traditional child actors in influencing child rights activities in the country. Deliberate effort to establish and maintain contacts with various partners has been given priority including building and consolidating partnerships with the private sector, donor agencies and other thematic networks. This serves as a platform to facilitate effective engagement and collaboration among child actors in the country, expand and strengthen strategic alliance through partnership and building networks between and among interested parties beyond the traditionally recognized stakeholders and likeminded organizations to advance the cause for children. These will include organizations and networks national, regional and international levels whose agenda may not be child rights but are able and willing to advance the cause of children within their broad mandate.
Above all, UCRNN aims at building an alliance through dialogue and consultation in order to create a transnational advocacy network that will contribute to the institutionalization, branding and profiling of UCRNN as a credible and influential voice for children in Uganda, regionally and globally.
In a bid to strengthen organizational capacity, UCRNN is institutionalising: strong governance, management and leadership (policies, systems and procedures review for internal controls and systems of continuous learning); human resource planning (development and retention for increased efficiency and effectiveness); Monitoring and Evaluation (developing a comprehensive M&E system to document impacts of strategy as well as lessons and best practices); promote information technology and communication, and fostering fundraising efforts (through strategic partnerships and alliances increasing funding portfolio and diversify funding bases as well as building reserves.
The country ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its two optional protocols on children and armed conflict; sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; Penal Code Act, Children’s Act, Domestic Violence Act, and Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act).
Despite this, 38.8% of children experience physical violence; 32.2% of children experience sexual violence; 35% of children living and/or working on the street; the police record an average of 9,461 defilement cases annually (Police report 2008 – 11); and 15% of women in Uganda are married by the age of 15.
The National Child Helpline (CHL) has been instituted in partnership between MGLSD and UCRNN and is been managed and implemented under the framework of a three (3) year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The Child Helpline management plan has been designed to ensure efficient and effective implementation of all the planned activities within the stipulated time frame with the hope to mitigate and/or prevent violence against children.