Among the Government of Uganda’s most prominent measures to support transition to lasting peace in northern Uganda is the creation of a comprehensive peace-building and development plan for the region. This plan, the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP) was launched in October 2007 and implemented in July 2008. It has four core objectives: (1) consolidation of state authority; (2) rebuilding and empowering communities; (3) revitalization of the northern economy; and (4) peace building and reconciliation. The PRDP calls for investment of up to $600 million over a period of three years in the region and all stakeholders, including government agencies and development partners, are expected to align their activities and programs to the PRDP. The plan, therefore, has the potential to shape significantly the recovery and development of northern Uganda, and address the priorities identified by the people.
For this reason, the survey sought to gauge the community’s awareness and understanding of the PRDP more than two years after it was launched. It found that roughly two out of five respondents had heard of the PRDP (42%). Respondents in Gulu district were more likely to know of it (54%) than those in the other districts (34% in Pader, 37% in Kitgum, 48% in Amuru). Among those who had heard of the plan, however, knowledge was limited. They were frequently unable to say who was responsible for it (44% don’t know), while 27 percent mentioned the Central Government, 14 percent mentioned various local levels of government, and 4 percent mentioned NGOs (national and international). Most (87%) felt insufficiently informed about the plan.
When further asked what had been accomplished under the PRDP, 45 percent either “did not know” or had no response (35%), or said that the PRDP had done nothing (11%). One in three respondents said it had built infrastructure such as roads, schools, health centers. Fewer said it had assisted with IDPs return and resettlement (10%) and/or provided resettlement packages (8%), improved education services (8%), supported the local government (8%), improved livelihoods (6%) and improved health services (6%). Considering the wide-ranging goals of the PRDP, the proportion of respondents that mentioned activities beyond building infrastructure was relatively low. It is also possible that respondents did not know that other projects had been carried out under the PRDP. However, few respondents (7%) said they or their household had directly benefited from development programs overall.