Year of participation: 2010
Age: 32
Job description: Physical Planner
Local Government: Kalongo
Country: Uganda
Talent programme: Local Service Delivery & MDG’s
Internship municipality: Province of Drenthe

My work for Kalongo municipality
As a physical planner I enjoy seeing development taking place in my town. In a nutshell my work entails preparation of different project proposals, budgeting, implementation, supervision and project monitoring. The main projects include service delivery such as roads, provision of water, sewerage facilities and the construction of schools. The project I am most proud of is the actual implementation of a development plan I helped to produce 3 years ago.

Experiences in the Netherlands
“The possibility given by Talent for Governance to participate in the training course on ‘Local Service Delivery & MDGs’ came at the right time. Most developing countries, like Uganda, have woken up to address critical issues that are stipulated in the MDGs. The issues are global and therefore need to be addressed globally. Each country has its own way of addressing the issues. A useful platform for exchanging ideas and experiences is the Talent for Governance online network. During the programme, I was happy to participate in the yearly Network Event. It was great to share ideas, opinions, challenges and innovations with young Dutch colleagues.”

“Although the Netherlands is a developed country and municipal governance differs a lot from Uganda, I learned a lot during the one week internship. I found out about the challenges and developmental problems the country faced in the past, but also at the present time. During my internship at the province of Drenthe, I learned that Dutch municipalities focus a lot upon citizen satisfaction. The most important feature of this approach is digitization. Back home this would be a very long project that may take decades and a lot of resources. Nevertheless, it gave me insights for the future. Another project which intrigued me very much was the work of the water department. Water is also a very important topic in Kalongo, where we have a dry and a wet season. The creation of storm dams or artificial lakes, based on the water management I have seen in the Netherlands, are projects that I believe I can pursue for our town.”

Back Home Action Plan
Since August 2011, Irene has been transfered to Kitgum District working in the Urban Centre of Kitgum Town Council as a Physicial Planner. Before Irene left Kalongo Town Council, she had time to share experience and knowledge gained with her colleagues and some of the ideas produced proposals that have been implemented.

“I have organised a couple of workshops to share my knowledge with the others and I have an opportunity to share my ideas with the Mayor on how to improve service delivery.”