PROTECTION
U-Reporters fostering positive change on FGM
June 6, 2016
BY MARIANNA GAROFALO
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The U-Report system is supporting the GOU and UNICEF/UNFPA Joint programme on accelerating abandonment of FGM/C to, among others, triangulate information and data on the progress made in the achievements of the results.

In February 2015, a set of polls where sent out to the six FGM practicing districts in Sebei and Karamoja sub-regions to engage with them on the issues of FGM, on the reasons why the practice is still persistent and on the progress made at community level to abandon it. One of the questions asked to the U-Report was: 

"Dear U-Reporter, can you name of or more villages that have declared the abandonment of FGM/C in your districts/sub-county in the last 12 months?"

The system received a total of 143 responses to this question, and 218 villages were named, out of which:

·      153 in Kapchowra;

·      22 in Amudat;

·      6 in Nakapiripirit;

·      42 in Kween;

·      37 in Moroto;

·      21 in Bukwo.

The villages named by the U-Reporters in the districts of Moroto, Nakapiripirit and Amudat were compiled into separate lists and shared with UNICEF Moroto Zonal office for follow up. UNICEF therefore shared these with the districts (department of community services), and the DCDO and CDO (district development officers and community development officers) used them to:

·      Use the lists to make follow up visits to the villages mentioned by the U-Reporters so to verify whether a declaration/initiative on abandonment of FGM/C has actually taken place or not. During the follow up visits, the district development officers and community development officers and it was found that all the villages named by the U-Reporters in the 3 districts of Moroto, Amudat and Nakapirpiriti had actually performed abandonment declarations within the last 12 months or more.

·      Once the validity of the information given by the U-Reporters was verified, the districts updated their new list of villages that have abandoned the practice as result of the initiatives implemented through the joint programme.

 

The advantages of using the U-Report system in this context were:

·      Quickly collect baseline information on the progress made by the programme as far as the abandonment is concerned;

·      Assess the knowledge of people on the initiatives and interventions undertaken at community level to stop FGM/C abandonment;

·      Triangulate the information collected through official means of verifications (i.e. monitoring visits, reports).

 

On a more general perspective, the use of U-Report in this programme has shown that the system can be used to facilitate the districts to follow up on any initiative in which funds have been invested, for purpose of social accountability and transparency and establish a dialogue with young people on sensitive issues such as FGM/C and child marriage.

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