The Uganda Public Rescue Foundation (UPRF) is non-government organization that was conceived on the idea of Promoting human rights and providing legal aid to the poor i.e Disabled, women, men, elders and children in Uganda. Since 2006 when the foundation was conceived, UPRF has been for its association with the work of promoting Universal Respect for human rights, offer legal Aid services in Higher Courts and the Chief Magistrate’s Courts. UPRF works alongside the Judiciary, the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), police and prisons in the dispensation of criminal justice and right for human right for the less privileged (the poor) to bridge the gap of civil society on the demand side of justice delivery.
The Purpose of UPRF is centered on the immediate goals of promoting human rights, sensitize people on HIV/AIDS and offering professional and standardized criminal defence services to disadvantaged people charged with offences that carry a sentence of 10 years imprisonment or more. Over the year and fight for human rights, UPRF has made some significance achievements such as the significant increase in the number of cases handled in comparison to the total registered.
UPRF has been supported by the WACODA since October 2006. The support given has been short term and was understood by both parties to be a bridging fund by stakeholders to facilitate UPRF efforts in conforming to the criteria of accessing the WACODA for the future funding. It’s in light of this background that stakeholders consultancy to evaluate UPRF’s performance towards the agreed undertakings. The evaluation of the organization was completed in September 2008 and recommend, among others that UPRF goes through a comprehensive organizational systems and structural audit to lay a good foundation for the integration of recommendations made in this study. Following the recommendations arising from this evaluation, UPRF submitted a two year strategic plan that required longer term support would be given to UPRF for six months basing on activities in the two Years
Strategic Plan. The focus was to monitor performance of set benchmarks under the agreement which included the following;
a) A criminal defence model developed, costed and ready for implementation by 1 November 2009
b) Programme manager recruited by 1 October 2009.
c) Accounting officer skills tested and action plan made by 1 November 2009
The organization was also tasked to carry out the activities agreed to in its contract with WACODA as outlined below:-
a. Legal representation and advice for a minimum of 540 new cases (target);b. Baseline desk survey of criminal cases;c. Development of Internal handling systems;d. Design M&E strategy;e. Advocacy; andf. Networking and collaboration.
1.2 Scope of WorkFollowing the evaluation of the organization that was completed in September 2006 and the recommendations from that, the organization identified the recruitment of a programme manager as one of the ways to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of its activities. However, before this recruitment could be undertaken, a need to realign all jobs in the organization to ensure that they are effectively contributing to the UPRF strategic objectives was identified. It was also believed that CPA’s intervention as agreed by Board members, will position the organization to implement the previously agreed benchmarks.
The Uganda Public Rescue Foundation this sought services of CPA to carry out a review of its financial management systems particularly in areas of accountability and reporting to help identify gaps in the internal control procedures and processes, and make recommendations on how to improve financial management at UPRF. The assignment was intended to realign the financial and human resources of UPRF to enhance its effectiveness and efficiency in meeting UPRF strategic goals. Under the human resources we were to specifically review the job descriptions of all the staff, the organization structure and participate in the recruitment of the programme manager. Specifically the assignment has involved the following activities:
o Review the current organizational structure of UPRF and make recommendation in view of accommodating the proposed position of the programme manager.
o Assess the capacity of the staff in the finance function in addition to development of appropriate job descriptions for the officers.
o Review the job descriptions for other staff in the organization, including but not limited to the executive director, programme manager and lawyers and design new job descriptions in line with the new strategic direction.
o Identify gaps with respect to number, qualifications and requisite skills of the finance staff and accordingly make recommendations that will address such gaps (if any)
o Review the efficiency and accuracy of the existing financial management policies and procedures for completeness and relevance to the current and future needs of the UPRF and make recommendations.
o Comment on the efficiency, accuracy and reliability of the existing financial management system at UPRF.
o Discuss with the management of UPRF on the current shortcoming of the financial management system and make recommendations to improve the system.
o Design and implement a capacity –building and training plan in collaboration with WACODA and UPRF.
o Participate in the recruitment of the programme manager.
My Challenges:lack of enough funds to meet our aims and objectives
My Vision for the Future:to become a leadind provider of legal aid services
My Areas of Expertise:legal aid and human rights