After exactly one year and one month of extensive work that started at the end of April 2016, our 5th Strategy Paper - ‘Strengthening Struggles for Social Justice’ was unanimously approved by the AA Uganda’s General Assembly at its 11th Convening in Kampala on 27th of May 2017.
It was a befitting end to a very challenging and equally exciting year of consultations, arguments, critiques, doubts, consensus building where this was required and sheer dedication by staff to deliver. Our 5th Strategy Paper which for purposes of this article, I will call SSSJ (Strengthening Struggles for Social Justice) is an affirmation of some of the themes we have worked on in the past but also a bold leap, in some cases to unchartered territory.
In this fourth and final theme-based examination of the new strategy that started 3 weeks ago seeing us cover key concepts such as social justice and extreme poverty as well as critical changes in the local, national, regional and global context that shaped our focus (read the past three blogs here), I present highlights of our intentions (objectives) and the next steps following the approval by the General Assembly.
SSSJ has nine strategic objectives as opposed to thirteen that its predecessor, Country Strategy Paper Four (CSPV) had. This reflects both our cautious attempt to focus but also ensure we separate strategic actions from support functions. Out of the nine strategic objectives, four are programme and five institutional priorities.
The programme priorities cover our renewed attention to advance girl’s and women’s realisation of social and economic justice; ambition to enhance livelihoods and resilience of people living in extreme poverty to climate change; determination to strengthen citizen actions to deepen democracy and hold the State, corporations and political leaders accountable for social justice; and finally, commitment to expand opportunities for young people to realise their right to better livelihood. All the programme objectives are accompanied with clear outcomes that will inform more specific operational planning.
The five strategic institutional priorities cover: people, culture and structure; communications; learning and knowledge management; internal governance; and finally fundraising. We articulate critical institutional shifts necessary for us as an organisation to be in a better positon to deliver our ambitious new strategy starting in January 2018.
In the second half of 2017, we shall be working towards a transition from CSPV to SSSJ in a way that we hope will be least disruptive to our ongoing commitments and work. We have developed a ‘10-Point Transition Agenda’ starting off with a reflection and learning session from the one-year process by the Drafting Team, preparing for the launch of the strategy, developing an operational plan and conducting baselines to set a solid foundation to assess our progress in the years to come.
We look forward to an exciting new direction in which we shall test our resolve to innovate, our resilience to withstand a tough environment, our desire to be more agile and adaptive and capacity to connect from local to global as we strengthen struggles for social justice in Uganda and beyond. As we take forward the bold ideas in SSSJ, we should be reminded about the proverb that ‘a talkative bird will not build a nest’. In other words, time is now for action! Like I stated last week, our actions must be BUSINESS UNUSUAL for the ‘music has changed and so must the dance’.
Written by Arthur LAROK, Country Director - AA Uganda