JRP Hosts First Annual Documentation Dissemination Forum

Vicky Esquivel-Korsiak

On November 15, 2012 JRP hosted its first annual Dissemination Forum to showcase five publications produced in the past calendar year. The Forum drew 65 participants from across northern Uganda and Kampala representing victims groups, religious leaders, advocates and other stakeholders. Through the Forum, JRP was able to highlight issues and recommendations arising from its research, including how these recommendations can be carried forward by activists and communities. The Forum also provided an opportunity to elicit feedback on the reports and how JRP can continue to improve its work.

The reports disseminated included:

The Day They Came: Recounting the LRA’s Invasion of Teso Sub-Region through Obalanga Sub-County in 2003. This field note explores the impacts of the LRA incursion into Teso sub-region using case studies and victims’ testimonies from the sub-county of Obalanga in Amuria District.

When a Gunman Speaks, You Listen: Victims’ Experiences and Memories of Conflict in Palabek Sub-County, Lamwo District. This field note focuses on Palabek’s history from 1986 to the present based on victims’ testimonies and information provided by interviewees.

Paying Back What Belongs to Us: Victims’ Groups in Northern Uganda and their Quests for Reparation. This report serves to illuminate the current state, emergence and development of different victims’ groups and associations throughout the Greater North of Uganda and to highlight their activities and demands.

Gender and Generation in Acholi Traditional Justice Mechanisms. This report seeks to understand how traditional ceremonies are helpful to women and youth, and whether such ceremonies are relevant to the unique concerns women and youth face in post-conflict recovery.

The Uganda Reconciliation Barometer 2012. This report measures the attitudes and perceptions of northern Ugandans on critical justice and reconciliation issues since the end of the LRA conflict in Acholi sub-region.

 The reports were well received by all stakeholders and JRP was encouraged to continue improving its research through the use of new methodologies such as that employed in the UG Barometer report.  Across the various discussions participants continually returned to the plight of victims and survivors. Across the North, reparations and compensation are seen as key to communities rebuilding and moving forward. Participants discussed whether a national or regional compensation policy would be more appropriate, and whether the government, who comes up with the policy, should also be in charge of its implementation given the alarming rise of corruption in Uganda. Participants agreed that future meetings should try to bring more government representatives to the table not only to learn about JRP’s research, but to engage in a true dialogue about possible solutions to the plight of victims and survivors.

JRP plans to repeat the forum in late 2013 where it will present four new field notes and the next phase of the UG Reconciliation Barometer focusing on Lango sub-region.