FOR IDPS

        Kampala-Uganda, April 2005
                  (OPM TA 01 Draft)


Table of Contents

                                                             Page Number
Introduction                                                      1

1. Establishing an Institutional Framework                        2

2. Upholding Human Rights                                         2

3. Developing Sectoral Programmes                                 3

4. Advocacy and Public Information                                4

5. Publicising the National Policy for IDPs                       4

6. Preparing National, Regional, District and Sector Plans        5

7. Mines and Unexploded Ordinances                                6

8. Resource Mobilisation                                          6

9. Monitoring and Coordination                                    7

10. Establishing Database                                         7

11.Miscellaneous                                                  7

Uganda is one of the first few countries in the world to institute a National Policy
specifically targeted at Internally Displaced Persons. It is an integral tool in efforts to
tackle the varied and devastating effects of displacement. It seeks to establish principles
which will serve as a guide to Government institutions, humanitarian and development
agencies while providing assistance and protection to IDPs in Uganda. This will then
ensure that the various needs of the internally displaced are addressed in a significant and
effective manner and that IDPs shall enjoy the same rights and freedoms under the
Constitution and all other laws, as do all other persons in Uganda.

However while the formulation of the National Policy is a significant step forward, its
benefits will only be achieved by its successful implementation and its ability to make a
real and meaningful impact on the many men, women and children who are currently

A major benefit of this current policy is that it provides a clear structure and
operationalising process for implementing its objectives and achieving its aims. Rather
then constructing alternate mechanisms, the National Policy seeks to draw on existing
agencies and resources and coordinate and integrate their efforts. It establishes an
institutional framework that draws together the various relevant actors at all levels of
government and promotes cooperation and a concerted approach. The Policy also both
clearly and comprehensively, details and delineates the responsibilities and obligations
charged to relevant stakeholders.

This framework, therefore, provides a very firm basis for operationalising the National
Policy. It both establishes the rights and entitlements of the internally displaced, as well
as the mechanisms and the means for ensuring them.

This document seeks to distil from the National Policy the main threads and processes for
operationalising the policy, and to present them in a comprehensible and comprehensive
manner. In a separate supplementary document an annual work plan and budget have
been proposed.

   1. Establishing an Institutional Framework

The National Policy sets forward a clearly structured and coordinated institutional
framework. It does not manufacture a new alternative and largely superfluous system, but
rather seeks to use existing mechanisms and engage and involve appropriate institutions
and stakeholders. It therefore seeks to bring together in committees the relevant actors
concerned with internal displacement at all the various levels of government.

   a) The Inter-Ministerial Policy Committee (IMPC) comprises the Ministers of
      appropriate line Ministries. However, the UN Resident/Humanitarian
      Coordinator, Heads of relevant humanitarian and development agencies and
      representatives of the donors may be invited to participate
   b) The Inter-Agency Technical Committee (IATC) consists of senior officials from
      the appropriate ministries, as well as representatives from the UHRC, the AC, the
      UN, NGOs, donors and the Head of OCHA.
   c) The District Disaster Management Committees (DDMCs) are constituted by all
      relevant heads of Government Departments, humanitarian and development
      agencies and the private sector resident in the district. It will also include one
      male and one female IDP resident in one of the district camps. The CAO shall
      head the DDMC
   d) The Sub-County Disaster Management Committees (SC-DMCs) will include all
      relevant heads of Government Departments at the sub-county level, humanitarian
      and development agencies and the private sector representative resident in the
      sub-county. It will also include one male and one female IDP, resident in one of
      the sub-county camps.

These committees provide an arena for integrated discussion and a coordinated response
to address the effects of internal displacement. This co-operation between relevant
Government institutions and development and humanitarian agencies, and at all levels of
government, provides a strong and flexible basis and mechanism for operationalising the
National Policy.

For as well as improving coordination and cooperation between the different
stakeholders, these committees are also charged with specific responsibilities and must
perform many of the key functions set out in the National Policy.

   2. Upholding Human Rights
The Policy also establishes an institutional framework which is specifically charged with
the protection of Human Rights and providing an enabling environment for upholding the
rights, security and entitlements of IDPs. Again these committees draw from relevant
stakeholders, and seek to provide an appropriate and integrated arena for tackling issues
concerned with human rights and security.

   a) The Human Rights Promotion and Protection Sub-Committee (HRPP-SC) will be
      composed of a cross section of actors from government ministries, local
      authorities and humanitarian and development agencies.
   b) The District Human Right Promotion and Protection Sub Committee (D-HRPP-
      SC) will be constituted by the following persons resident in a district: a
      representative of the religious institutions; a representative of the NGOs;
      representative of humanitarian and development agencies; a representative of the
      UHRC; the District Police Commander; a representative of the Amnesty
      Commission; the Secretary of the DDMC

These committees will fulfil certain functions at their appropriate levels. These will
include: monitoring the protection of the human rights of IDPs; acting as a focal point to
complaints and criticisms of the policy and its implementation; promoting and
protecting the IDPs human rights; supporting individuals whose human rights have
been violated; and reporting on the implementation of this policy.

The DDMC’s, along with the D-HRPP-SC, also have a significant role to play in
protecting the security and the rights of IDPs. These responsibilities include:

       Ensuring the security of IDPs and their property
       Ensuring freedom of movement in and out of camps
       Ensuring that there is no illegal forced displacement
       Ensuring that all returns and resettlements are voluntary and without any
       Ensuring that IDPs are issued with all necessary documents to enable them to
        exercise their rights
       Ensuring that IDPs are not deprived of property or any interest in or right over
        property except as provided for in Article 26(2) of the Constitution
       Ensuring that families which are separated by displacement are reunited as
        quickly as possible

   3. Developing Sectoral Programmes
One of the pivotal tasks is to develop sectoral programmes for the rehabilitation and
reconstruction of social and economic infrastructure and to support sustainable
livelihoods projects. These will address several of the major challenges that are
confronting IDPs at all the different phases of displacement, from the IDP camps
themselves to areas of return and resettlement. This will not only satisfy the needs of the
IDPs themselves, but also contribute to the general development and recovery of the
areas in which they live.

The key areas covered will be:

   a) Shelter
   b) Social Infrastructure (such as schools and health facilities)
   c) Water and Sanitation

   d) Transport Infrastructure
   e) Sustainable livelihoods

However these programmes will not be separately constructed and divorced from the
main course of national development. Instead the appropriate line ministry will articulate
its own programme towards IDPs and the North as part of its sectoral strategies. While
resource mobilization has initially to follow the budgetary process set by the
Government, there must be particular flexibility due to the unique challenges posed
within the Northern and North Eastern region. Due to the extent of disruption in some of
the districts, the ministries may require special short term funding and assistance in
tailoring the implementation mechanisms to the individual situation. In many cases PEAP
provides appropriate means of support, particularly under its third pillar on
‘Strengthening Security, Conflict Resolution and Disaster Management’.

In developing these sectoral plans, it will be important to involve as wide a number of
stakeholders as possible. While ultimate responsibility will rest with the relevant line
ministry, a useful part can be played by the humanitarian and development community.
UN agencies, such as UNDP, WFP, UNICEF and FAO, as well as large numbers of
NGOs already have programmes underway in the various sectors. It is important to
ensure that efforts are not replicated and that a level of coordination is attained, an
objective that will be facilitated by the highly integrated institutional framework.

As well as consulting with humanitarian and development agencies, these sectoral plans
will also involve a large degree of local participation. By involving IDPs in the
articulation and the satisfaction of their needs, programmes will be better suited and
better tailored to the situation on the ground. The needs of the different districts are not
identical, and they face particular challenges distinct from the rest of the northern region
and the country as a whole. There will also be significant efforts to engage and address
the needs of particularly vulnerable groups with the IDPs, such as orphans, the disabled,
those with HIV/AIDS and female headed households.

   4. Advocacy and Public Information
A large number of people are intimately or indirectly concerned with the treatment of
IDPs. Policy makers in Kampala, as well as officials at district, sub-county and Camp
level, are involved in the situation of the IDPs and in the structures set out in the National
Policy. It is therefore highly important to educate these people in the measures that the
Policy advocates and enhance their understanding of the process. It is particularly
important that all appropriate stakeholders properly understand their own roles and
responsibilities towards protecting and upholding the rights of IDPs. For example the
actions of the UPDF has a very immediate and important effect on the situation of the
IDPs, and within the National Policy it has been charged with various tasks such as
protecting sites of IDP settlement and mapping mines and unexploded ordinances. It is
therefore important that all levels of the army, from central command to the individual
soldiers, are aware of the rights and entitlements of the IDPs, and the responsibility that
they owe them.

Therefore one of the functions of the OPM and of the DDMCs will be to implement an
effective sensitisation and awareness enhancement campaign. Seminars and workshops
will be held at different stages, ranging from the National level, down through the District
and Sub-County level to individual IDP Camps. The Launch of the National Policy in
Kampala, was one such opportunity to gather a wide number of stakeholders and seek to
inform and sensitise them to the measures included in the Policy. As the launch
illustrated, these events also provide an excellent opportunity for those present to share
their experience, information and concerns.

   5. Publicising the National Policy for IDPs
As well as sensitising and educating policy makers and implementers on the processes
involved in the National Policy, there is also a great need to publicise the policy to the
general public. This should encompass not just IDPs themselves, but also host
communities, as well as the wider districts, region and country as a whole. This will
involve the efforts of the OPM-DDPR, the DDMCs, as well as the Ministry of

An important step in this effort will be the translation of the IDP policy into a number of
local languages such as Luo, Runyakitara, Luganda, Swahili and Ateso. Copies of these
translations can then be widely distributed in the appropriate area.

There is also the opportunity to spread the contents of the National Policy through a wide
range of different media formats. These can include initiatives such as talk shows, radio
broadcasts, newspaper articles and supplements, as well as posters and pamphlets.

   6. Preparing National, Regional, District and Sector Plans
In addressing the needs arising from displacement it is important to recognise that there
are many different appropriate sites of activity – national, regional, district and sectoral.
The particular focus depends on the specific needs of the issue. Hence while there are
certain issues which are appropriate on a national level - such as establishing grain
reserves and constructing Early Warning Mechanisms, others are best handled on a more
local level.

In particular, while the North has often been a unit of analysis, it is important to recognise
that the needs of the various districts in the North are not identical and that they face
unique challenges and require specific help. This is why plans will be developed at the
district level for the emergency rehabilitation and reconstruction of social and economic
infrastructure damaged by conflict. This will enable programmes to be tailored to suit the
needs at a district level, enabling a greater degree of effectiveness and flexibility.

Plans will also be made to develop sustainable livelihoods for IDPs, Reporters and Host
communities. Again great care will be made to address the needs of the different districts
and of the particular needs of the different target groups. Also due to the nature of the

process a wide range of actors will be utilised with primary responsibility going to the
OPM, Line Ministries and Agencies, DDMCs and the Secretariat of the 3rd Pillar of

   7. Mines and Unexploded Ordinances
Mines and unexploded ordinances (UXOs) are a tragic and lasting remnant from
insecurity. They have the potential to cause loss of life and serious disability, and can
seriously impede agriculture and other economic production. During the process of return
and resettlement, mines and UXOs present a particular problem as IDPs return to areas
which have been mined.

The Framework provides for a broad selection of relevant Agencies to deal with different
parts of the issue. These include stakeholders such as the UPDF, the Police, The Ministry
of Health, The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, UNDP, NGOs and
other national Security Agencies. Aided by a Mine Action Technical Advisor, areas of
return will be mapped for mines and then cleared. Also Mine Risk Education (MRE) will
be undertaken to inform IDPs of the very real risk posed by mines and UXOs.

   8. Resource Mobilisation

The resources needed to operationalise the National Policy will be considerable. Funds
are needed for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of social and economic infrastructure,
support for sustainable livelihoods and capacity building at national and district level.
The first responsibility rests with government and initial efforts must be to integrate the
strategic framework into the sectoral strategies and specific government programmes, or
rather identify and implement inter-sectoral and cross-cutting issues. However it is
important to recognize that there may be gaps in implementation, which require
additional resources.

The first step in establishing the resource situation will be the preparation of a Policy
Implementation Strategic Plan. This shall be undertaken by the OPM through the IATC
and in collaboration with UN and donor agencies, and will identify both needs and also
existing resources. It will draw on the full range of relevant stakeholders and ensure an
integrated and comprehensive understanding of what needs are not being met, and what
resources are potentially available to meet them. Alternative funds may be accessed

      Adjustment of existing Country Programmes of each agency
      Resources available under government programmes
      The United Nations Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP)
      Other Programmes

   9. Monitoring and Coordination
The situation of IDPs features heavily in the third pillar of Uganda’s Poverty Eradication
Action Plan (PEAP), ‘Strengthening Security, Conflict Resolution and Disaster
Management’. It recognises the very serious effect that displacement has on the poverty
levels of IDPs and of the areas which are affected by displacement. In order to monitor
and coordinate the efforts directed at IDPs and of disasters and conflict in general, a
Coordination mechanism for the 3rd Pillar has to be instituted, as well as sector working
groups on: The Security Sector; The Conflict Resolution and Peace Building Sector; The
Disaster Management and Special Poverty Reduction Programmes Sector.

The Coordination centre for Disaster Management and Conflict Resolution is to be
located within the OPM and will be intimately involved in coordinating and monitoring
activities relating to IDP, in both the immediate, medium and long term. They will also
strengthen disaster risk reduction efforts in order to mitigate the effects of natural and
human induced disasters, including any resulting displacement.

   10.Establishing Database
One of the key impediments to planning the response and coordinating the national
policy on IDPs is the lack of systematic and comprehensive information on IDPs and
their environment. This seriously impedes analysis of the needs and the challenges that
face IDPs and affects the ability to tailor appropriate responses. There is therefore a need
for an accurate and versatile database on IDPs, in order to ensure that their situation and
the challenges they face are significantly understand. Even more significantly,
establishing an accurate database will prove highly important in planning for the
voluntary return, resettlement and reintegration programme

Therefore the OPM assisted by the UNDP is to set up the database and carry out
appropriate field surveys together with other partners, namely the EU and USAID. This
will draw on a wide range of stakeholders and will include all the 18 districts of North
and North-Eastern Uganda.


Providing blankets, clothing, NFIs to IDPs

One of the immediate problems facing many IDPs is the lack of Non-food items such as
blankets, clothing and cooking utensils. The OPM and DDMCS, in cooperation with the
many humanitarian and development agencies, will provide appropriate supplies. These
will be undertaken at all stages of displacement, especially at the Camps, but also during
the return, resettlement and reintegration process.

Graduated Tax Exemption for IDPs

Under the National Policy IDPs are exempt from paying graduated tax, except where it is
proved after an assessment by a Tax Assessment Committee that an IDP has sufficient
means of income to pay graduated tax. This will require close cooperation between the
OPM-DDPR and relevant tax offices, and include the sensitisation of tax authorities and
IDPs on the National IDP policy in regard to tax exemption

Environmental Conservation

The displacement process has had a devastating effect on environmental conditions
around IDP Camps. IDP camp communities rely heavily on the surrounding forest and
vegetation cover for fuel wood, and on the land surrounding the camps to support their
livelihoods. This has led to land exhaustion, destruction of vegetation cover, pollution of
the environment with human wastes and contamination of surface waters. The situation
has been made worse by bush and forest clearing for security reasons.

There is therefore a need for IDPs and their hosts to be educated on environmental
conservation and natural resource management and use. This will require concerted
efforts from the Ministry of Lands, Water and Environment, the Ministry of Agricultural,
Animal Industries, Fisheries, local governments, UN Agencies, such as the UNDP, WFP,
FAO and NGOs. It will involve the implementation of various environmental projects on
areas such as forestry, soil and water conservation, environmental protection and Energy
Saving Devices.

Coordination, Monitoring and Supervising

The OPM-DDPR, has been charged with the general mandate of coordination,
monitoring and supervision of the operationalisation of the National Policy for IDPs. One
of its tasks will be to draw up Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) to be signed by all
NGOs wishing to provide humanitarian assistance to IDPs.

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