Three project experts from Tallinn visit Uganda April-May 2019

The foundation Tallinn Development and Training Centre (TDTC) organized a visit to Uganda from 29.04.2019 – 07.05.2019 during the course of a developmental co-operation project “The founding of Uganda’s one-stop-shop public service delivery centres and building their capacities on the example of Tallinn” for three project experts from Tallinn. The study visit was in accordance with the approved action plan of the extended developmental co-operation project. As experts from Estonia/Tallinn Elle Veltmann, Jana Viital and Member of the Board of TDTC and project manager for the Ugandan developmental co-operation Kalle Sepp attended the study visit.

In the framework of the developmental co-operation project, the Estonian/Tallinn experts first met with the Deputy Chancellor of the Ministry of Public Services of Uganda (MoPS), Mrs. Sharifah Buzek, MoPS’s project Team and leaders of the Ugandan Civil Service College (CSCU). The meeting addressed questions related to the implementation of the objectives and project activities of the ongoing developmental co-operation project, as well as of the activities agreed on for the ongoing training visit’s program. MoPS’s project coordinators introduced the developments of service centres during the interim period of the two visits and the development of the „Service Uganda“service centre of MoPS. The representatives of MoPS’s IT services introduced the developments in launching document management (DMS) and electronical document management system (EDMS). They also introduced developments in taking into use a single and official e-mail address for MoPS and launching a single calendar system. The MoPS service centre is visited by 1,500-1,800 people/clients a week. All the documents submitted are registered and scanned in the centre, all MoPS visitors are registered and statistics are collected. Every week there a work meeting takes place, co-operation between the different departments of the MoPS is increasing. All service centre staff members wear uniforms with „Service Uganda“ logos.

At a meeting with more than 20 participants, the leaders of MoPS IT- departments introduced changes, based on the advice and suggestions made by the Tallinn experts, made to the document management and information exchange systems of the MoPS, as well as developments of the electronical document management system launched as a pilot project. This was followed by a long analysis and discussion under the leadership of Estonian/Tallinn experts. As a result of the meeting, the main goals for reorganizing MoPS information management and internal communication were mapped.

A training and exchange of experiences was organized for 20 employees of MoPS „Service Uganda“ service delivery centre. Ugandan colleagues shared their initial positive and negative experiences with customer services/care and other everyday issues of the service centre. Estonian project experts advised their colleagues and shared their experiences and tips on solving similar problems.

In the course of the training visit, Estonian project experts met officially for the first time with representatives of Kampala Capital City Authority with the aim of discussing possible future co-operation between the cities of Kampala and Tallinn. The meeting was chaired by Peter Kaujju, Head of Public Relations Department of the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA). Also Ronald Mubiru, Head of Sports, Culture and Tourism Department of the KCCA, attended the meeting. The ongoing developmental co-operation project, activities of the two cities and possible co-operation areas were introduced at the meeting. At the invitation and financing of the City of Tallinn, Ronald Mubiru will visit Tallinn and the 27th Song Celebration and 20th Dance Celebration in July. He will bring along concrete proposals from the City of Kampala for possible future co-operation.

To a training held in Kasese, the Team of MoPS invited representatives from all of the Municipalities participating in the service centres’ pilot project – MoPS, Kasese, Mbale, Jinja, Entebbe and Gulu. The representative of each service centre made a presentation about the development of their service centre, problems and ways of solving them, training needs, etc. Estonian/Tallinn´s project experts carried out a 1-day training and additionally advised the staff of the centres individually. The Mayor of Kasese, as well as Heads of all the service centres that were involved in the project are in favour of the continuation of the developmental co-operation project in the future. Training and advice on developing customer services, updating order of business, re-organizing document management system and automating information flow are subject on which they expect to receive more expertise from the Estonian project experts. All pilot service centres are very positive about future developments, use uniforms with „Service Uganda“ symbols and hope to ensure the sustainability of the centres with the help of continuous training from the Estonian/Tallinn project experts in the future.

At concluding meetings held in MoPS, it was stated that the so-called “Cabinet Paper”, which is the basis for the establishment of Nationwide Regional Service Centres, has finally been adopted by the Government of Uganda. Instead of the initially planned 16 service centres, the task is now to establish 19 service centres. The government has given an order and permission to use the buildings belonging to the Uganda Post to establish the centres. In addition to the centres that have already been launched as a pilot project, the MoPS and local authorities are keen to launch new pilot centres in Municipalities of Arua, Lira, Hoima and Rukungiri in the near future.

Regarding the development of electronic document management system (EDMS), the parties agreed on the following activities to complete general objectives, carried out on the basis of the advice given by MoPS IT specialists and the Estonian experts: continuous testing of the MoPS EDMS user view, creating user guidelines, launching user support, to automatize document circulation existing processes and principles for processing information are described; upgrading of EDMS functionality and synchronizing with manual document management processes; synchronizing manual document registration with EDMS document counters; creating a unique registration number in EDMS according to the current document numbering;

ensuring user convenience, EDMS will become the official environment for document circulation; appointing so-called supervisors/responsible personnel by the MoPS and supporting/verifying document circulation; describing the process of digitization (which documents are sent for execution in digital form, which on paper, assigning responsibilities); interfacing EDMS with official e-mail address to harmonize work processes; reducing informal communication and increasing the exchange of information in official information channels (e-mail, synchronized calendars); creating and developing MoPS Intranet to enhance internal communication.

It was agreed that the experts from Estonia/Tallinn would once again forward to MoPS team the legislation and standards for organizing Estonian information management, as well as examples of administrative procedures.

At the meetings, it was also agreed that the last training visit of the Ugandan delegation in the framework of the ongoing developmental co-operation project to Estonia would take place from 23.06.2019 – 30.06.2019. By the time of the planned training visit, MoPS will prepare a request in the name of the Hon. Minister of MoPS with a proposal of continuing co-operation after the end of the ongoing developmental co-operation project (31.07.2019).

Collaborative project funded by the Estonian Foreign Ministry’s Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Aid funds.