Special Projects

Food Security and Climate change: URDT though its community radio station (KKCR) aims to upscale Production and Consumption of Orange Flesh Sweet Potato and Quality Protein Maize. Food security is a crosscutting theme in various URDT programmes. 

Innovations in rural development: Internationally, URDT has collaborated with institutions in the USA including MT, MIT, Harvard University, Ashoka, Unity College in Maine and in the UK with Warwick University.
NGO Policy: Collaboration with the local partners enabled URDT to make substantive contributions to the formulation of the national NGO policy.
Exemplars: URDT is one of the 9 pioneer organizations in the Leadership Academy to cultivate leadership for Systemic Change and Social Wellbeing.
Agricultural research: URDT is involved in collaborative research with NARO, AFRFI and AGRO ECO in organic long staple cotton, disease resistant cassava varieties and legumes
Land rights: Rural Development Institute, now Landesa in collaboration with URDT and Charity for Rural Development (CHAFORD) are testing out the URDT methodology in securing land rights of women and girls in Northern Uganda; focusing on post conflict situations and cultural dimensions.
Training machine repairs: ETC Energy and DWW-Breda, the Netherlands in collaboration with URDT are working on piloting and testing a methodology for integrating repair and maintenance of sewing and knitting machines in vocational institutions.

Below a selection of special projects, research and international conferences in which URDT has participated.

Research

Research on women’s aspirations on land and land matters.

URDT carried out an action research project by using the Visionary Approach in finding “Women’s Aspirations on Land and Land Matters
This was done in collaboration with the International Development Research Center and International Land Coalition in 2010.

The recommendations influenced part of various policy advocacy strategies in the efforts for Women’s Land rights in Africa.
A similar strategy is now being piloted in post conflict situation of Northern Uganda in Securing Women’s’ rights to land in partnership with Rural Development Initiative (RDI) and CHAFORD.

Success of the PAR method of visioning was prestented to participants from Eastern & Southern Africa in the Learning Route organized by Procasur in 2011. Women researchers in the community shared their insights through an advocacy video.

 

Agro business development project

URDT was selected by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) to pilot together with the farmers in Kibaale District the concept of value addition in agriculture so as to transform subsistence farmers, especially women, to commercial farming.

This Public Private Partnership project has 2 components:

  1. 1)Establish farmer lead primary societies. The steps to attain this are:
  • farmer training-in agronomical practices with a view to be market oriented producers
  • the trained farmers create groups for ease of marketing to their primary societies
  • the primary societies dealing in similar farm products create higher level farmer associations for basic value addition

URDT in collaboration with NAADS and the Uganda Industrial Research Institute handle this segment of the project. Work is in progress.

 

So far 1.200 farmers trained; 40 farmer groups supported; 10 bulking centers established; 10 marketing committees established; 5 Higher Level Farmer Organizations established which markted collectively 92.8 tons of maize a good price

  • Agro-processing. Through the URDT investment company it will partner with the high level farmers groups to manage an agro-processing plant, the so called the “mini-estate”. The steps to attain this are:
  • Set up a shareholding system including the equipment donated by FAO through MAAIF
  • higher level farmer organization register at District level and later with Uganda Cooperative Alliance, UCA. These will buy shares as will be determined through a business plan.
  • In the first incidence, the famers can buy shares through farm products especially maize.
  • URDT is donating land, management services, security, technical staff and raise capital.
  • The capital raised through shares will be used to run the mini-estate.
  • Surplus income will be used for expansion of the estate to cover machinery and equipment to process other grains and fruits
  • In the long run, different groups (especially women, youth) will use processing facilities to add value to their produce. The mini estate will help in packaging, branding and distribution. In return the groups will pay a small fee for such service

 

International conferences

Earth Charter for sustainable development project

The URDT Girls' School took part in the Earth Charter learning project and its celebrations in the Peace Palace in The Hague, the Netherlands on the 29th of June 2010.

The project was an opportunity to enhance the students’ understanding of how sustainable development is practised from the environmental perspective.

The URDTGS felt honoured to represent the voice of children in Africa live in the EarthCharter conference through Skype.

HM Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands was the guest of honour. She has a keen interest in sustainable development and equal distribution of resources.

HM acknowledged the outstanding performance of the URDT girls through their live songs and live animation (see picture).

The project’ s success is attributed to a concerted effort of Earth Charter Representatives, NCDO, Elimu Foundation, Africa online Uganda, URDT’s documentation department, the fine art department of the URDTGS, supported by a URDT Board member.

The Comenius school from The Hague the Netherlands, was our sister school in the event.