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Young Professionals step up to contribute to Public Policy in Uganda

by Verena Kasirye

Kicking off the second Y4P Fellowship

From the 25th to the 28th of April, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) in partnership with the Centre for Development Alternatives (CDA) and the Public Policy Institute (PPI) hosted the inaugural workshop for the second cohort of fellows of the Youth4Policy programme. Through the training workshop, the fellows were able to discuss and refine their policy research topics, which will be further developed throughout the upcoming months.

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The Youth4Policy Fellowship supports young professionals to meaningfully engage in public policy research and analysis as well as to contribute to contemporary public debates addressing policy changes in Uganda. Moreover, the programme aims to create a platform from which our fellows can advocate their policy suggestions among stakeholders involved in the policy-making processes in the country.

In his opening statement, Mathias Kamp, Country Representative of KAS argued that young people could significantly contribute to political processes and emphasised that "it is our responsibility to make sure that young people have an impact on mainstream policy-making and political decisions." The fellows were introduced to the practical side of public policy by Emmanuel Kitamirike, Executive Director of PPI, and by Yusuf Kiranda, Director of CDA, who stressed the necessity of evidence and the centrality of civil society in the public policy-making processes. In this regard, the proposed framework and essential guide for the fellows' upcoming assignments, the Problem Driven Policy Analysis Framework (PDPAF), was presented. It entails advice on the process of developing evidence-based policy alternatives and thematises the definition and diagnosis of societal issues, the analysis of existing policies and the development of policies.

Throughout the workshop, the acquired knowledge was further contextualised in expert-led sessions, for instance, by Professor Julius Kiiza, researcher and lecturer on public policy at Makerere University and by Dr. Moki Mohammed from the Department of Public Policy Development. Topics of discussion circled around the political economy of public policy-making and review in Uganda and, moreover, the architecture of Uganda´s public policies and potential entry points to leverage structured and practical engagement. Mr. Moki Mohammed particularly stressed the critical role of partnerships and collaborations in public policy dialogues which reflects one of the core values represented by the Youth4Policy fellowship programme.

Besides broadening their understanding of the theoretical and contextual basis for future policy research, the fellows had the opportunity to clarify and define proposed research topics in further group sessions. Topics discussed included development funding, decentralisation, government accountability, migration, radicalisation as well as youth economic empowerment.

At the end of the workshop, the fellows successfully presented their proposed policy topics. Research questions, proposed methods and intended outputs, which had been prepared by the fellows, were presented in plenary. Presentations were followed by vital discussions to enrich the fellows’ research projects and to identify potential trouble zones. The presented policy topics covered a variety of matters, for instance, improvements to the existing recruitment processes in Local Governments to strengthen accountability, as proposed by Zakeria Tiberindwa.

Through joining a networking dinner, the fellows were additionally able to interact with Hon. Dan Kidega, former Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly, and Youth4Policy alumni.

The workshop provided an excellent platform for the fellows to present and discuss the current stage of their policy research and to receive constructive feedback from their mentors.


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