Awareness creation and community sensitization to resist, expose and cause action against corruption is one of RAC’s core functions. In fulfillment of this function, the following activities were carried out:
RAC’s media campaign for the past years has mostly been made up of talk shows, jingles and announcements on radio stations across the Rwenzori region. All these were done in the name of civic empowerment to resist and fight against corruption. In 2012 however, a different strategy was adopted not to substitute but rather; to supplement the ordinary radio programs. Short drama skits were introduced and played daily on local FM stations. These skits were not only entertaining but also educative – something that was widely appreciated by our target audience – the local community. The responses received at the end of every episode were a clear indicator that the public had not only enjoyed the drama but most importantly, they had grasped the simplified message passed disseminated. In fact, many people have since demanded for more of these skits and better still, the rate at which corruption tendencies are addressed (through reporting the culprits or denouncing the corrupt) within the community has greatly improved. This can be evidenced in our data base that showed an increment of cases reported to RAC from a total of 301 in 2011 to 404 in 2012.
Community outreach programs
In another development, RAC initiated a new approach of reaching out to the community – Community Outreach programs. These outreaches were premised on the supposition that “if they won’t come for it, you take it to them… This initiative was adopted in a bid to enhance wider information sharing and face-to-face encounters with the target community. The outreaches were carried out in busy places like trading centers and markets. They were widely attended by the local community members and leaders. This provided a platform for interface between the grassroots and their leaders, as well as the RAC staff/monitors. .
Various issues were raised by the participants, demanding for response and action from the respective stakeholders. Issues reported ranged from misappropriation of funds by some leaders, delayed justice in the courts of law, bribery within various public institutions like police, poor service delivery in the health and education sector among others. All the issues reported were recorded and are being followed up by RAC for action.
The outreaches have further led to improved relationships/confidence building between the communities and the RAC monitors/secretariat. Because of the trust built, many people can now run to RAC for advice/intervention in corruption tendencies encountered within their communities.
Forum theatre, with special focus on women as a way of increasing their participation in the anti-corruption work is yet another mode through which RAC reaches out to the community. In 2012, various art and theatre performances were undertaken to sensitize the masses. Because the largest part of our target group is semi-literate, sensitization messages have to be packaged in a manner that suits their level of understanding and at the same time not only entertains but leaves an everlasting imprint on the mind of the person. These performances were usually tagged to dialogues, conferences or even other community outreach programs. At such events, the platform provided an opportunity to the locals to understand service delivery, leadership, governance and democratization issues. The performances helped to simplify the issues affecting the day-to-day lifestyle of a common man
The “TRACK” is a quarterly newsletter that is published by RAC. This newsletter serves the purpose of sharing information with our partners. Through the TRACK, stakeholders are kept abreast with ongoing activities, cases under follow up and success stories realized through RAC’s interventions. The TRACK newsletter is also an advocacy tool for through it, attention from respective actors is drawn to act/address key issues of concern.
This year, various copies of the newsletter as well as 2012 calendars were published and widely shared within the region and beyond. By publishing their success stories and recognizing their contribution to the anti-corruption drive, our monitors are inspired and encouraged to keep the struggle on and as a result, many are inspired to join.