The Civic Education Coalition of Uganda (CECU)

Through a process of wide consultations and involvement of different stakeholders in the development of the civic education curriculum, the Uganda Project Implementation and Management Centre (UPIMAC) inspired the formation of a coalition of state agencies and Civil
Society Organisations (CSOs) engaged in civic education. This gave birth to a loose coalition called the Civic Education Coalition in Uganda (CECU). The purpose of the coalition is to support the harmonisation, coordination and sustainability of Civic Education efforts in Uganda. It now has a membership of 33 organizations including state and non-state entities including;

1. Abantu for Development Uganda(AFOD)
2. Agency for Cooperation in Research and Development(ACORD)
3. Amuria District Development Association ( ADDA)
4. Centre for Constitutional Governance (CCG)
5. Communication for Development Foundation Uganda
6. Community Development and Child Initiative
7. Democracy and Human Rights Foundations
8. Development Network of Indigenous Voluntary Association (DENIVA)
9. Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE)
10. Human Rights Network (HURINET)
11. Kabarole Research Centre (KRC)
12. Kapchorwa Civil Society Organizations Alliance (KACSOA)
13. Community Driven Network (CODNET(U))
14. Mbarara Development Agency
15. National NGO Forum
16. Pallisa Civil Society Organisations Network (PACONET)
17. Platform for Citizen Participation (PLACA)
18. Public Affairs Center (PAC) Uganda
19. Rukiga Development Agency
20. Uganda National Civic Education Consortium (UNACECO)
21. Uganda Project Implementation and Management Center (UPIMAC)
22. Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET)
23. Western Ankole Civil Society Forum(WACSOF)
24. Center for Women in Governance (CEWIGO)
25. Restless Development
26. WIZARTS Foundation
27. Rwizi Network
28. Office of the Prime Minister(OPM)
29. Ministry of Information and National Guidance
30. Electoral Commission(EC)
31. Uganda Human Rights Commission(UHRC)
32. Inspectorate of Government
33. Judicial Service Commission(JSC)

Through the Civic Education Resource Centre (CERC) which was established at UPIMAC, supported by DGF, we the civic education partners and other stakeholders develop and disseminate a standardized civic education curriculum and related IEC materials. The resource center provides a physical repository for civic education resource material and also runs an interactive online platform located at www.upimac.org/cerc/ for access to soft copies of the Civic Education materials.

Furthermore, we have partnered with 11 national libraries which are stocked with civic education information, provided with computers complete with internet connection and subscription for use by the general public. These include: Masaka Library, kabale, Mbarara,  Nakaseke, Soroti, Kabarole,Jinja, Moroto, Gulu, Arua.

We are very keen on research in the civic education sector and work with the Centre for Basic Research (CBR) to inform our civic education dissemination content, methodology and advocacy agenda. We continuously endeavor to improve the impact of civic education in Uganda through consultancy and training in related topics.

Why civic education?
Civic education is learning for effective participation in democratic and development processes at both local and national levels. It is a process that includes creating awareness and provision of information to equip citizens with the required awareness, knowledge and skills to be conscious and active participants in the governance processes of their community and as well as the wider society.

Civic education is an important principle of good governance because it enables citizens to get involved in decision making. A well-coordinated and institutionalized civic education will specifically increase knowledge and enhance capacity of the citizen to participate in governance
processes. An effective civic education programme can strengthen citizens’ analysis of issues affecting their rights; create greater confidence in claiming for such rights and exercising responsibilities.

CECU’s Concerns
In the absence of the National Civic Education Policy (NCEP), efforts to deliver civic education in Uganda have been uncoordinated both at national and community level which has affected the quality of civic education delivery.
In addition to the above problem, most state institutions mandated to carry out continuous civic education have limited resources to reach the populace and build consensus.

The scope and impact of civic education in Uganda is currently intermittent, inadequate as reflected in the low levels of citizen participation in democratic processes like limited demand for accountability from the state. According a baseline survey conducted by DGF4, 82% of Ugandans have heard of the Constitution and understand the basic premise but only 23% are able to explain
what the Constitution covers. Although citizens show a fairly good understanding of what democracy means as well as fair understanding of the elections, there is limited civic competence which leads to citizen’s lack of confidence to claim their civic rights and engage government to improve service delivery creates less engaged citizens.

The objectives of CECU include:
a) To advocate for the enactment and implementation of the National Civic Education Policy;
b) To build the civic competence of the citizens to exercise their constitutional mandate;
c) To promote the implementation of Civic Education in Uganda;
d) To promote cooperation and coordination among civic education actors;
e) To ensure standardization and harmonization of civic education activities and materials;
f) To enhance communication, and sharing of information and good practices on civic
education.