RICNET @ a Glance

RIC-NET genesis was at an open space forums for Rwenzori region CSOs in 2002/2003, which identified need for effective and reliable information sharing among different shake holders as the most important element that would unlock the region potentials.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RwN9d5SeiU

RIC-NET is a community owned and initiated network of information centres from rural villages to the regional level. RIC-NET is a founding member of Rwenzori Consortium for Civic Competence (RWECO). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APnuwJ67wl0http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RwN9d5SeiU

Organisation Name Rwenzori Information Centres Network
Acronym RIC-NET
Office location Address Butangwa- Buteebe (on Butangwa road after Hill side Secondary School); P.O. Box 916, Fort Portal.Uganda
Telephone Office: +256 382 277994  Mobile: +256 772 607149
Email info@ricnet.co.ug or ricnet.ricnet@gmail.com
Website www.ricnet.co.ug
Legal status  A community Based Organisation (CD/CBO/078 ),local NGO (S.5914/11258)Company by Guarantee( Reg. 85565 ).

RIC-NET operates the following information centres:

  • District-level e-Society Centres (7)
  • County-level Information Centres (8)
  • Sub-county and parish level Rural Information Centres (35)

RIC-NET operates primarily in the Rwenzori Region districts of Kasese, Kabarole, Bundibugyo, Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, Kamwenge and Ntoroko Districts.We have further extended our services to 20 more districts from the four regions of Uganda; West Nile region, Eastern (TESO) region, Northern (Acholi) region and Central (Buganda) Region through partnership with RWECO, DENIVA, PAC-U, CEFORD, ACCORD, FHRI, Citizens Watch IT Uganda (CEW-IT), Uganda Community Library Association (UGCLA), Plantwise Uganda and Agro Profocus Uganda.

Vision

Informed and Active Citizens in a Democratic Society

Mission

Empowering citizens to access and use information for Civic engagement and wealth creation

 Core Values

Respect- Recognize the innate worth of all people, the value of diversity and enabling everyone to exercise full potential.

Integrity-Accountable at all levels for our actions, open in our judgments and communication.

Commitment-Taking due care in doing work, foster innovation, creativity and ensure community custodianship for achieving a greater positive and lasting change.

RIC-NET Objectives

  • To foster civic engagement, critical debate and dialogue on key development issues among citizens and leaders in Uganda.
  • To build capacity of our members; the youth, women, rural farmers and people with disability in using appropriate knowledge and skills to achieve social, economic, educational and development opportunities.
  • To generate innovative ways of applying ICT by socially excluded communities to demand for their rights and entitlements.
  • To strengthen civil society partnership with public and private sectors, in building the information society in Uganda.
  • Undertaking action research and pilot projects to develop methodologies for improving processes of innovation, learning, capacity development and institutional change.
  • To source, repackage, document and disseminate indigenous knowledge & skills for posterity.

 

OUR THEORY of Change

We assert that the structural causes of poverty, social exclusion and their manifestations require responses that go beyond economic and material deprivation to include a change in attitudes, behaviors, values, practices, policies and processes.

We envisage that Poverty, Social exclusion and bad governance can be eradicated when people living in poverty or those socially excluded are supported to access information, discover and use their power and knowledge individually or collectively to confront power relations that perpetuate margnilisation, injustice, vulnerability, and expand space for civic engagement in decisions that affect them.

Timely accessing and sharing of relevant information enhances citizens’ civic competence, mobilisation, rights awareness and exposes injustices thus generating pressure on leaders to be duty-bound, shift attitudes and behaviors, become more inclusive, open minded and committed to active citizens’ participation, gender equality, respect for human rights, better service delivery, poverty reduction and improved livelihood.

Networking with partners

RIC-NET has been able to network with several organizations and institutions, such as Plant wise (CABI-UK), Mountains of the Moon University, I-NETWORK (Information Network), FIT  Uganda, WOUGNET (Women of Uganda network),SNV Rwenzori Portfolio, Sustainable Agriculture Network (SATNET), and Kabarole Research and Resource Centre( KRC), EACOSS (East African centre of open source software),  UIRI (Uganda industrial research institute),  ALIN Eastern Africa (Arid land Information Network), where information sharing on issues such as Health, Sustainable Agriculture, Cultural, Plant Disease Control, Market Information, Citizens and Governance among  others are shared.

Online platforms

www.rwenzoripeoplesvoice.org

http://ric-netnews.blogspot.com

http://kasesenews.blogspot.com

http://rweconews.blogspot.com

www.citizensvoice.ug

http://pamojamedia.com/2010/07/knowledge-sharing-in-rural-africa/

The Voices from Evaluators

“All visited county and sub-county information centers do source a certain amount of information themselves. Farmers and member organizations were mentioned as the main information source. All centres visited reported that they get information from their members. Model farmers of Kibito and Bukuku sub-county centers do source e.g. information on the banana bacteria wilt themselves. Besides, radio stations and newspapers are main information sources used by the centers. Village meetings, worship places and local leaders were mentioned repeatedly as adequate information sources.  On the level of organizational content providers, in general, RIC-NET was mentioned first, SATNET as second and KRC as third.”By Petra Stammen and Moses Kisembo –pg 25. Preliminary DRAFT Report_ Evaluation of the KRC Information Project (2008-2010).

Summaryof output/ impact 2014

RIC-NET received 02 Awards in recognition for its work from QUAM and U-report Uganda and 17 lettersof appreciation from local community leaders/CBOs and Local Government  and 37 invitation to different events by other NGOs, Government Institutions and community citizens led structures, 05 invitation to participate in international conferences and symposiums.

RIC-NET runs its own online and offline sharing of information; 03 new platforms where built to serve farmers and OVCs . Our presence became more prominent and robust.

12,382 persons accessed information on the RIC-NET blogs; 2,262 on the educational and 14,035 on people’s voice  blogs. 35,900 visited our website, twitter, facebook and Agric platforms. Produced two local Newsletter (2,000 copies).

Dignified 57 conflict affected girls (with their babies) out school and 225 conflicted, vulnerable children in Schools; soothed 957 victims of  the floods disaster, the bloody rebel attack and  ethnic conflict in the Rwenzori region.

Our ICT structures, community based information centres, capacitating teachers, provision of required equipment, educational methodology and content, grassroots moblisation of citizens or parents supported better services to 31,200 Children & youth in or out of school.

12,833 people (7715 male and 5118 female) have accessed information at the 6 e-society centers attended trainings and done research.

589,619 Unique visitors had visited the online platforms country wide by 16th December 2014

About 57, (39 male,18 female) District leaders were met during the consultative meetings for the sustainability of the E-society centers and 25 during the evaluation trip to west Nile, Acholi, Central and Teso regions.Over 35 computers have been availed for repair and 20 fully repaired and functional both from schools, Information Centers and RIC-NET office.

The results attained in 2014 was by the effort of  team of 09 committed and active Board members,  12   technical and support staffs, 07 student Interns,  21 Volunteers-Community Information Facilitators and the Director africaoffline  from Lake Forest, USA ; the  enabling support from 07 District Local government  in Rwenzori Region , and  peaceful environment  guaranteed by the Government of Uganda.