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‘Underfunding Hampering Government-Citizen Interaction’

Limited funding for communication activities has been cited as a key challenge hampering limited government-citizen interaction.

Communication experts say this leads to limited information being disseminated about the existing government programmes.

Duncan Abigaba, the Manager at Government Citizens’ Interaction Centre (GCIC)  says while the platform has facilitated interaction between citizens and government trough collecting information from different sectors and disseminating  to the public, there is need to strengthen capacity of government communication to enhance the overall government-citizen interaction which he adds, will in return improve the communication function of different sectors of government.

“GCIC is platform where citizens interact with Government through multiple channels including a toll free line, email, social media platforms, websites, online chat and SMS. The data generated through these interactions is analyzed to inform policy decisions, guide in the formulation of policy interventions. We need to strengthen capacity of government communication,” Abigaba said.

He added that though government has made a lot of transformation in different sectors, they are not adequately communicated to the citizens due to minimal investment in information dissemination activities.

“Government of Uganda’s presence online has improved. This has improved the image of the country and government services, but there is under funding of information dissemination activities. There is need to prioritize investment in all dissemination activities to improve awareness of existing services,” he added.

Abigaba made the remarks in an interview with Business Focus at the sidelines of the  Open government workshop organized by GCIC with support from Konrad Adenauer Stiftung at Mestil hotel on Thursday 26th Sept 2019.

Karoro Okurut, the Minister for General Duties under Office of the Prime Minister, applauded NITA-U for digitalizing government services, adding that e-service has transformed and improved access to service delivery. 

“248 government websites, 297 applications are in place. ICT has enabled government to accelerate the use of websites as tools for disseminating information and services provision,” she said.

The meeting attracted communication officers from government agencies, ministries, and departments among others to discuss on how to improve the communication function of different sectors.

GCIC was established in 2016 and is housed under Ministry of ICT and National guidance.

By Drake Nyamugabwa

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