with the intent of empowering marginalized people living in rural communities in Uganda.
Since 1987, URDT has evolved, applied and tested a rural development methodology based on the principles of the creative process and systems thinking.
Rural development requires a resource base of people who are catalysts, subject matter specialists and energizers to work alongside marginalized communities to make change happen. To that effect, URDT:
Read more about URDT Mission and Methodology
URDT'S SOCIETAL VISION
URDT holds a societal vision for Uganda as captured in the values of peace, prosperity, health, freedom and happiness based on :
Uganda is a social and economic giant. It needs to use its intelligent, resilient, and change-oriented people to harness, and distribute fairly, the products of the country’s abundant natural resources; including precious minerals, water, forest products, genetic resources, hydrocarbon fuels, and the potential for solar energy.
Uganda is a country of hope, social revival, and creativity in developing a new world order. Uganda needs to leverage the existing rich creativity of the nation - poetry, drama, music, dance, philosophy, food, dress, and the traditional hospitality of the extended family.
People with the same language, separated by arbitrarily set national borders, can share much. Time-tested methods of conflict resolution, societal management, social cohesiveness, spirituality, and respect for Mother Nature, can all be applied for the advancement of society.
Uganda has enlightened, active people who aspire to participate as equal partners in global events, and to offer equal opportunities for all, including access to education, health services, justice and security, peace, freedom (including movement), choice of by whom and how to be governed, prosperity and comradeship across the continent.
Lasting change can come only if people shift from reacting or adapting to events and circumstances to being the creators of events and circumstances. Therefore, URDT facilitates a process of learning to create what is truly wanted, rather than focus on solving problems. We do this using a proven course, Technologies for Creating that is tailored for village use. Villagers, working with URDT staff, URDT schools, Institute students and ARU interns, participate in a course on creating and producing results. By creating results in areas of their own choice, villagers build experience, skills and confidence to continue their development long after the training is over. The benefits include:
People who share a common vision can transcend traditional barriers and prejudices caused by tribal, religious, political and gender differences and work together to achieve that which is truly important to them all The benefits include:
People have innate power and wisdom, which they can tap, to transform the quality of their lives and that of their communities. Hence, the emphasis that the URDT programme places on self discovery based on appreciative inquiry, increasing awareness of their foundation of wisdom and weather beaten knowledge so that they build on that as they get new skills and knowledge.
Training, education and information sharing and key and strategic components of the rural transformation programme.
It is one thing to have a vision and another thing to put food on the table. Vision alone is not enough. Commitment will not lead to effective action.
Therefore, training in relevant skills (personal mastery) follows as people learn new knowledge and relate differently to themselves, others and tasks at hand. Once all these are mastered, community learning takes place and sustainable change happens:-the secret of rural transformation.
URDT has developed path ways through:
Through ARU, the URDT methodology is now taught at University level. This way, we can create more visionary leaders and systems thinkers to enable others to be creators of the live they truly desire.
URDT’S PROGRAMME DOMAINS
Below more details.
EDUCATION FOR SOCIAL-ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION
1. Income, employability and well-being of youth and dependents improved
1. Systems change in the education sector (primary, secondary and tertiary sectors)
This is done through:
1. Management of innovative education institutions that apply the 2 generation approach and promote the URDT methodology to personal, home and community development:
COMMUNITY COOPERATION AND PEACE PROGRAMME
HERITAGE AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY
1. Rural communities have improved capacity to participate in the conservation and development of their cultural assets and natural endowments;
1. Disadvantaged and marginalized people, including women, youth and the disabled, increasingly advocate for their rights and work collectively to improve their governance system
This is done through:
1. Enhance digital inclusion of communities so that they participate meaningfully in the development processes with full involvement form informed/enlightened positions;
PARTNERSHIPS AND NETWORKS
1. Understanding and synergy amongst actors in district development planning improved;
This is done through:
Networks for accomplishment and knowledge sharing, peer learning networks, creating learning infrastructure and scaling up for large scale change.
URDT functions as true learning organization structured and resourced to encourage innovation and creativity in rural transformation. URDT as the vehcile for rural transformation, needs to be in good shape. Therefore URDT continues on improved on their understanding of the theory and practises of the learning organisation. It has the following characteristics: shared values and vision, personal mastery, mental models, team learning and systems thinking. This is done through:
 Learning to expand our personal capacity (skills, knowledge, attitude, including self-understanding, ability to apply the principles of the creative process, authentic leadership) to consistently create the results (vision) of what we most care bout in our lives, in the organization and the people we serve.
 Continually reflecting upon, clarifying and improving our understanding of the world; the images, stories, beliefs, assumptions we hold about ourselves, other and the organisation and how they shape our actions and decisions.
 System Thinking is a way of thinking about life, work, and the world based on the importance of relationships (understanding the interconnections of the various parts of whole). It is a way of thinking structurally and a language for describing and understanding the forces and relationships that shape behaviour of a system.
URDT is ready for scaling up both vertically and horizontally. It now has sufficent human capital thanks to its African Rural University that produced its first researcher graduates in September 2011.
Early 2012, URDT deployed the ARU researcher graduates as Managers to establish 16 community driven development centres in Kibaale, Kakumero and Kagadi Districts; the so called ‘Epicentres’. The Epicentre Managers work in a Public Private Partnership arrangment with local government in 16 sub-counties.
In the coming 5 years, URDT aims to enable the people of the Bunyoro Region to build their capacity and developing practical knowledge of creating space for change through consciousness and conscienceness raising, education, trainings, information sharing, mentoring and peer networks in both and methodological and programme domains
URDT plans to expand its education , rural livelihood and social justice programmes to the entire Bunyoro region.
It will continue to focus on youth employability, women empowerment, sustainble livelihood development and systems change in the education and rual development sectors.
The plans require a substantial new flow of resources. Please contact us to discuss how you or your organisation can support URDT.