LO-Norway - NOTU Final Evaluation Report 2015-2017
Background Project evaluation undertaken on behalf of LO-Norway and its co-operating partner in Uganda, the National Organization of Trade Unions (NOTU), covering the period 2015 to 2018. Purpose/objective The evaluation was undertaken to assess if the project had led to building a strong and financially viable trade union movement in Uganda, leveraging membership growth and organisational development; collective bargaining and external impact; membership subscriptions and financial viability, and; women representation. The evaluation was undertaken to explore modalities of cooperation that could enhance results and reduce donor dependency. Methodology Analysis of documents and reports. Personal interviews in Uganda. Key findings - Membership growth and organisational development NOTU had membership growth of 400 percent in the period 2015-2017 (quadrupled from 224.662 in 2014 to 929.799 in December 2017) although membership subscriptions have taken a generally downward trend, thereby raising troubling questions about the sustainability of the current level of activities beyond LO-Norway support. Also, efforts at uploading membership figures onto an online database have stalled since 2016, raising concerns about the effectiveness and efficiency of implementation of this aspect of the project. NOTU has improved its' strength in the fight for workers’ rights in Uganda. - Collective bargaining and external impact Progress on the number of collective agreements has been impressive with a total number of signed and improved CBAs reported at 282 at the end of December 2017 against a total end-project target of 75 by December 2018, representing over 350 percent achievement rate. There is also evidence of improved engagement with government and employers and collaboration with like-minded civil society organisations. This has raised the visibility of NOTU and heightened its political influence in the Ugandan society. -Membership subscriptions and financial viability On average, only 40 percent (specifically, 38.2 percent in December 2017) of the total membership are currently paying subscriptions, against an end-project target of 60 percent by December 2018. Thus, the project target of achieving on average 60 percent of the rank-and-file members paying dues is unlikely to be met by December 2018. While evidence suggests that the system of dues collection from affiliates is in place and is supported by an Act of Parliament, the efficiency of dues collection by NOTU has been elusive. -Women representation in leadership Spaces have opened up for increased women participation in NOTU leadership structures largely due to constitutional amendments that have been made during the project cooperation period. For instance, following the 2017 amendments to the NOTU constitution, the proportion of women on the interim executive board stands at eight out of twenty-seven positions, representing about 30 percent against a project target of 33 percent by December 2018. In addition, the proportion of women on the interim General Council is twenty-five out of sixty, representing 42 percent against a project target of 33 percent. Evidence suggests that LO-Norway supported activities have increased women participation in NOTU leadership structures. Recommendations Further strengthen the implementation of results-based reporting so that due attention is given to all levels of the causality chain Aggressively explore and establish a system of dues check off on a national scale i.e. paying from source whereby NOTU will directly receive its proportion of membership subscriptions at source, and not allowing the affiliate to collect and then remit to the federation. Adopt a pro-active agenda towards improving women and youth participation at all levels of the unions. Improve on the membership database management and complete the process of having an online database. Continued training and themed capacity building activities for leaders, women and youths, educators, negotiators, organizers and shop stewards remains of the essence. Strengthen the internal cohesion within the national leadership of NOTU. NOTU and affiliates should adopt and implement resource mobilisation and financial sustainability frameworks that include: (i) continued membership recruitment and viable subscriptions options for union members from the informal sector, (ii) financial management strengthening at Secretariat; and (iii) diversifying sources of income etc.