Data collectors interfacing with one of the locals in Kitagatta Parish (PHOTO /Courtesy)
KAMPALA — Parish Development Model (PDM) Baseline data collectors have been frustrated by poor internet connection, limited facilitation and while in some areas, data collectors were suspected to be agents of land grabbers.
The government through Ministry of ICT and National Guidance working Uganda National Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) deployed data collectors to collect basic information countrywide about households under the Parish Based Management Information System ahead of the implementation of the PDM programme.
However, reports from Programme coordinators indicate that the data collectors were struggling to meet deadlines—citing challenges such as poor internet connection, a lack of interest from locals and while others asked for money to before availing information about their households.
Deogratius B. Tibenda, the planner Kagadi district local government in Bunyoro Sub region says that although the exercise is supposed to be conducted within two weeks, several data collectors aren’t likely hit targets that were assigned to them.
Tibenda says that some residents fear sharing information with data collectors on grounds that it may be used to introduce taxes against them or steal their land.
“We have tried our level best much as thee exercise has had several issues. We have had issue for example, our area here has very poor network. When you engage these data collectors, the complaints are very many. Sometimes they don’t have internet, they couldn’t generate the geo points (GPS) and sending the collected data has also been an issue,” Tibenda told a team of reporters.
He added: “We have had issues with the system it self. It has been on and off most of the time. It has serious gaps, today its on, another whole day it’s off and therefore people couldn’t work. And with such gaps, we couldn’t complete the exercise as planned.”
Gloria Ainembabazi, the Parish Chief, Kitagatta Parish in Bushenyi District, Ankole Sub Region listed poor gadgets and lack of interest from locals among others.
“The time was limited and they wanted us to complete the data within 14 days yet we have families in hard to reach to reach areas.”
Ainembabazi told reporters that some weren’t interested in the exercise at all.
“You could reach at a place and they simply tell you, me I have other things to do,” she said, noting that those who showed no interest in PDM were mostly older people.
A data collector whowho preferred anonymity in Hoima City said that residents told them that they lost trust in government programmes because data is shared but they don’t help to get out of poverty.
Kagadi Deputy Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Benjamin Tumusiime noted that in areas where people refuse to divulge information, LC1 leaders can help because some already possess registers about their residents.
Ms. Prisca Nakawuki, Mubende District planner in Buganda region says that apart from hostile reception, coordinators reported a lack of internet connectivity in selected villages which is needed to upload data to the website.
Nakawuki says that however, the data collectors have been advised to capture that as a challenge and upload data while in other areas where they can access the internet.
She also explained that data collection is intended for gathering information on enterprises and implementation of the programme but is not related to determining taxes or stealing land.
Rosemary Byabashaija, the Mubende District RDC appealed to residents to volunteer information about their households because it’s beneficial to them.
Byabashaija also appealed to leaders to sensitise residents to volunteer data for the smooth implementation of the programme.
The Parish Development Model is an extension of the approach to development as envisaged under the National Developement Plan III, with the Parish as the lowest administrative and operational hub for delivering services closer to the people and hence fostering local economic development.