ICA Uganda (ICAU) is a national non-profit organization which was registered in Uganda in 1998 as a company limited by guarantee and as an NGO in 2003. ICAU is a statutory member of ICA International (ICAI). Twenty years since it started in Uganda, ICA has come a long way. It has had its best moments and low times, experienced many successes and challenges along this journey. Much of this journey is not documented and very little of it is known outside ICAU. It is against this background that this evaluation exercise was conceived. It started in August 2017 when ICAU with assistance from ICA:UK commissioned a review of its activities over the period.
The main objective of this exercise was to capture and document the experiences and lessons learnt, with a purpose of identifying particular aspects of the project which have affected benefits either positively or negatively and making recommendations for the future course of the organization.
In carrying out this assignment, the Consultant visited 5 organisations and held focused group discussions and one-on-one interviews with key informants. The five organisations visited were: Eastern Archdiocesan Development Network (EADEN) in Iganga and Tororo districts, Banda Community Development Program in a Kampala slum, Nsinze Sub county HIV/AIDS Association (NSHAWA) in Namutumba district, Caritas Kotido in Kotido Karamoja region and Kawempe Youth Centre, in Kawempe Division of Kampala. In addition, the consultant conducted telephone interviews with beneficiaries from the following four projects: Bugade Community Development Initiative (BUCODI) in Mayuge district, Community Led Total Sanitation (WASH community training) among displaced persons in northern Uganda, Busaana Youth HIV/AIDS Project in Kayunga District, and Namalu town water and sanitation project, in Nakapiripirit district. The Consultant also held meetings with key ICAU senior management. A focused conversation/visioning exercise was held with ICAU board members to guide the future directions of ICAU based on the recommendations from the evaluation exercise. In all these areas, the Consultant reviewed, where available, records from the time that ICAU worked in these projects.
The findings of the report indicate that ICAU was generally successful in implementing the objective of maximising the participation of grass-roots people in taking responsibility for their own development by building the capacity of community-based organisations operating in those areas, although the degree of success varies in the different areas worked in. A key reason for this success lies in the way ICAU operates by placing itself within the organisation/community with which it partners and using the community members to implement their own activities, thus eliminating the need to have offices of its own and a full-time staff to implement the project activities. It maintains a list of trained
 facilitators, working in the different organisations that partner with ICAU, who can be called upon to facilitate in areas or organisations where ICAU works.
The evaluation found that in most of the areas visited or contacted by phone, the structures set up by ICAU still exist, although in some cases, the leadership has changed, and staff have moved on. Some organisations have dropped or modified the methods taught by ICAU as their partners have changed over time. Except in the case where one organisation collapsed altogether, like NSHAWA, findings show that there was a general improvement in the organisations ICAU worked with and, in turn, in the livelihoods of the communities served by these organisations. It was also noted that organisations with which ICAU maintained a long-term relationship and continued to give support to over time showed better success that those it had a short-term relationship with. Challenges were identified by the Consultant, and recommendations were made.
ICA Uganda Director Charles Wabwire writes:
“ICA Uganda is very grateful for the support we have received over the years from all partners and friends. We look forward to your continued support and partnership as we strive to make ICA Uganda more relevant to the development of our communities and ICA family internationally and in the East and Southern Africa region.”