Forging partnership on Human Rights Approach to Data in Uganda

Four Ugandan national Institutions have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that seeks to strengthen cooperation on data collection, disaggregation, dissemination and analysis to help measure progress and ensure that no one is left behind.

Friday 28 June, (Kampala) – The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), the National Planning Authority (NPA) and the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) today concluded the MOU on a human rights approach to data at a ceremony in Kampala. The MoU process supported by OHCHR seeks to “Leave No One Behind” in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Uganda. Speaking at the signing ceremony, OHCHR Uganda Country Representative Robert Kotchani said, “the overarching vision of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind is a clarion call to apply a human rights approach to ensure that development efforts benefit those who need it most.” Robert Kotchani added that for this to happen, “we need to apply a human rights-based approach to the collection and use of statistical information, in order to develop, implement and access national policies and programs.” 

The Memorandum of Understanding outlines the scope and framework of the cooperation, which includes strengthening the collection, disaggregation, dissemination and analysis of data.

“OHCHR will continue supporting efforts and engaging with national institutions, policymakers, statistical and data specialists to extend technical and capacity building with a focus on “integrating human rights in sustainable development.” Robert Kotchani pledged. 

The Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission Med Kaggwa underscored the significance of the MoU saying, “it is a step in the right direction, particularly in enhancing cooperation in using statistical data in the promotion and protection of human rights.”

Speaking to OHCHR, Denis Ouma, representative of People with Disabilities expressed appreciation for the signing of the MoU. He noted that issues of disability are evolving in nature, and hence require an implementation strategy to track data from all sources, including hospitals, in order to know the number of persons with disabilities, assess their specific needs, and use this information for planning purposes to ensure that no one is left behind.

In a joint statement read by Dr Joseph Muvawala, Executive Director of the National Planning Authority, the four national institutions committed to “work cooperatively in applying a human rights-based approach to data collection, analysis and dissemination.” He added that “you cannot count what you cannot measure”, underscoring the need for a human rights-based approach to data collection in order to “help improve the quality of service delivery by relevant stakeholders for the benefit of the population.”