Uganda Peoples Congress

Strategic Planning Retreat


REPORT Submitted By

  1. Table of Contents
  2. Executive Summary
  3. Brief Background on UPC
  4. The Process
  5. The Program Steps
  6. X&Y Game of Choice
  7. Exercise on Political Parties
  8. SWOT Analysis
  9. Proposed Strategies
  10. Proposed Activities and Responsible Persons
  11. Evaluation of the Retreat
  12. Conclusion
  13. List of Participants

Executive Summary

The three day strategic Planning Retreat for the party took place from December 1st - 4th, 2005 at the Buziga country resort.

The Purpose of the retreat was to assess UPC's current situation and strategize on the way forward for party and the plan of action. This involved reviewing the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of the party and coming up with wining strategies that will improve the image of the UPC and lead the party to victory in the 2006 coming elections.

The three-day Uganda Peoples Congress Party (UPC) Strategic Planning Retreat involved reviewing of the performance of the party by analyzing the Strengths, Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats. The outcomes from the meeting are to help the party compete favorably against other political parties. The retreat was attended by 13 members consisting of Party officials, members of the executive committee and volunteers including the key party officials headed by the newly elected Vice Party President Mr. Okello Okello.

The members participating in the retreat identified seven strategies. The proposed strategies included strategic areas on how to improve the party's image. The following were the identified strategies:

  • Strategy 1: Capacities of UPC to carryout its activities/functions at grassroots and national levels strengthened.
  • Strategy 2: Rules regulations code of conduct for the different organs and members of the party developed and empowered.
  • Strategy 3: Strategies for mobilization and management of resources designed and implemented.
  • Strategy 4: Public Relations, Political Marketing and sensitization strategies developed and operationalised.
  • Strategy 5: Campaign strategy to increase support for the party programmes designed and implemented.
  • Strategy 6: Gender mainstreaming and gender responsiveness in UPC strengthened.
  • Strategy 7: Youth participation at all party levels enhanced.

The members also proposed responsible people to carry out the implementation of the strategies. The method used was the participatory planning where all the members present were given equal chance to contribute towards determining the possible strategic areas that will help the party achieve it's set goals and objectives over the next five years.

Brief background on UPC

UPC stands for peace, unity and justice, nationalism, and democracy. The UPC played an important role in the preparations that led to Uganda's independence on 9 October, 1962. UPC molded the destiny of Uganda until it was overthrown in 1971.

UPC's Aims & Objectives include the following

  • To build the Republic of Uganda as one country with one people, one Parliament and one Government.
  • To defend the Independence and Sovereignty of Uganda and maintain peace and tranquility, and to preserve the Republican Constitution of Uganda.
  • To organize the Party to enable the people to participate in framing the destiny of our Country.
  • To fight relentlessly against Poverty, Ignorance, Disease, Colonialism, Neo-Colonialism, Imperialism and Apartheid.
  • To plan Uganda's Economic Development in such a way that the Government, through Parastatal Bodies, the Co-operative Movements, Private Companies, Individuals in Industry, commerce and Agriculture, will effectively contribute to increased production to raise the standard of living in the Country.
  • To protect without discrimination based on race, color, sex or religion every person lawfully living in Uganda and enable him to enjoy the fundamental rights and freedom of the individual, that is to say:
  • The political space for political parties in Uganda is becoming highly competitive and the Uganda Peoples Congress is one of the registered parties that will be running in 2006. This has therefore prompted the party to undergo a strategic planning process so as to be able to compete favorably against the current government.

The Process

The Facilitator V. Walter opened the retreat and welcomed participants on behalf of IRI and the facilitating team. After a short recall of the purpose and objectives of the retreat, i.e. assessing UPC's current situation, developing strategies to enable UPC to address major critical areas of work and drafting a work plan, everybody introduced him/herself, stating names and functions. The time schedule and the program outline was presented and agreed upon.

To bring out some of the pertinent issues in any group or organization, the group played the X/Y game, which is an exercise in decision making. Participants were confronted with decision-making in an environment which they interpreted as competitive. Main learning points from the game were:

  • Competition and mistrust occur whether we like it or not
  • Dialogue, compromising and collaboration are crucial if a group wants to move together
  • Decision making has to be a guided process with all members sharing responsibility for the outcomes of the decision.
  • Conflict is normal and a natural group process, as people have different interests and thus conflict is part of our lives, therefore methods of conflict management are required in any group/organization; handling conflict part of the leadership management responsibility
  • Interpersonal Trust is important among members sharing a common goal

The game prepared participants to look at their own organization during the SWOT analysis. Participants discussed what measures could be taken to build trust, among them getting to know each other, sharing experiences and values, transparency, debating issues and programs of the party.

To maintain a good the working climate the group established some ground rules, discussing the importance of mutual respect and active listening.

To further prepare the SWOT analysis, participants split into three groups, one group discussing the major functions, group no 2 thinking through the main characteristics of a party and another group outlining what an ideal party should look like. The results were shared in plenary, and a lively discussion brought out that many of these important issues had not been discussed before. One major point of the discussion was that a party is aggregating the interests of its supporters and at the same time needs to take care of the interests of its members and the interests of the party itself.

The card method was introduced as it was to be used during the upcoming analysis. Participants then entered into the SWOT analysis, looking at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of UPC in its current set-up and environment.

After two rounds of collecting the main strengths, weaknesses and opportunities as well as threats participants clustered the findings in each area to prepare the strategy development step. From the clusters strategies were identified and then 2 groups were formed to identify the necessary activities which would have to be undertaken to implement the strategies.

Each group was assigned with 3 and 4 strategies respectively to elaborate the necessary activities as well as the responsible organs or persons to take charge for the activities. The group work was perceived as very fruitful and groups came up with relevant activities. The groups worked well together which can be seen as a further step in teambuilding.

The final steps were to summarize the work completed and to receive participant's comments on the three-day retreat as well as a discussion on recommendations which the group wanted to pass on to the respective party organs.

Participants thanked IRI and the facilitators for the support given and the overall impression was that the retreat had brought out the expected outcome in a draft work-plan, which can serve as guideline for UPC's further steps.

The Program Steps


The X/Y game led the group into experiencing the various human behavior that we are facing in life, particularly in groups or organizations, among them competition, deceit, dishonesty, trust and mistrust. The X&Y game is about decision-making, thus setting the minds of the participants towards the coming task of strategic planning for their party, but allowing trying out the various advantages of cooperation, competition and collaboration in a playful way. The game also reveals intra-organizational issues and helps participants to understand more about the existing relationships within a group. The members were divided into 3 groups, the game consisted of 10 rounds, in each round members had to choose either X or Y and depending on the payoff schedule they would either score a point or loose, the choice was a group decision, no communication was allowed between the different groups at the beginning of the game. However, all the groups lost by the third round, before round four started communication between different groups was allowed. Each group sent a message to the rest of groups to discuss how they could cooperate and score at least a point from the game.

Messages before Round Four

Choice by groups G 1 to G 1 & 2 G 2 to G1 & 3 G 3 to G 1 & 2 *1* *2* *3*
From Group 1 to 2: Please choose y, best wishes
From Group 1 to 3: Please choose x best wishes
From Group 2 to 1: Please lets all put y so that we get one point unity is strength.
From Group 2 to 3: Please lets all put y so that we get one point unity is strength. From Group 3 to 1: Please let's write y. we are asking all of us to do so that we can get 3y's and each gets one point.
From Group 3 to 2: Please let's write y. we are asking all of us to do so that we can get 3y's and each gets one point. x y x
Conclusion: Group 1 and 3 did not stick to the communication made so mistrust set in and competition continued till the last round where all the groups lost in the XY GAME.

While processing the game, the participants were asked how they felt and experienced the group, thereafter a discussion revealed some learning lessons from the game:

Perceptions of participants

  • Excellent, Interesting
  • Full of tricks, betrayal and tricks
  • Game is about strategic planning
  • The game encouraged proper networking
  • Dishonesty among the members
  • Drawing a winning strategy
  • Exercise in shrewdness
  • No networking
  • Input in strategic planning
  • Gambling

Lessons of the game

  • Interpersonal trust & Trust-building is key for an organization that wants to move forward, particularly in a competitive environment, it needs team- and trust-building measures
  • Results of cooperation, competition and betrayal have an immediate effect on the way teams and organizations work,
  • Conflict management and conflict resolution is paramount for a functioning and well-performing group or organization

1. Exercise on Political Parties

As a preparation to set the minds of participants towards analyzing their party an exercise was conducted in which three groups with different tasks were working at basic definitions and their understanding of functions, major characteristics of a political party as well as to create their image of an ideal party.

The groups came up with the following results. During the presentation discussions around the results showed that many of the basic understandings had not been debated in this group before, however, on most of the results all participants came to a consensus.

The Groups came up with the following definitions:

An Ideal Party
Main functions of a political Party
Major characteristics of a political party
  • Clear leadership i.e. Bottom-top Approach
  • Set up party structures to strive for political power
  • Bringing people together
  • Nationalistic
  • Harmonize interests of members
  • To win state power
  • Cross cutting ideas i.e. gender, intergenerational balance and has a global perspective
  • Mobilize recruit people to subscribe to specific ideologies and sustain membership.
  • To manage public resources for public goods
  • Financially viable
  • Develop social political and economic programs for the betterment of society
  • Got sets of ideologies of governance distinct from other priorities
  • A sound track record
  • Implement development programs once in power
  • To influence society based on their ideologies
  • Broad support Provide for a government in waiting as opposition
  • Membership is extinct and voluntary Disciplined and committed membership
  • To provide effective checks and balances in the governance of the country

2.3 SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis of UPC was carried out to find out the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of the party. The methodology used in conducting the SWOT analysis was the participatory method where every member was given a chance to contribute, each participant was given a card to write down his/her view and the views were discussed as a group thus representing the opinion of all the members participating in the strategic planning retreat. The facilitator explained the SWOT analysis and together with the group each part of the analysis was defined, so that a common understanding was reached what was meant when talking about strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

2.3.1 Strengths

  • Countrywide grassroots support, Membership cuts across the entire country, National coverage, Nationalism in its former and present approaches to issues
  • Track record and nationalism, Has got a national character, Has been in existence before thus knowledgeable, Good development record, House hold name, Historical achievements, UPC has a good track record of public service and national unity, Planned excellent development programs
  • Committed membership, Members have a stake in decision making and pan Africanists
  • Non discriminatory
  • Management of public resources for common good
  • UPC the party that fights for the interests of the people, Good mobilization strategy
  • Has a well established headquarters
  • Good leadership, UPC has a new-popular leadership in Miria .K. Obote, The first party in Uganda to be led by a woman

2.3.2 Weaknesses

  • Political History of the UPC
  • The two coups, Negative image created by the failure to sustain government twice
  • No clear checks and balances while in government
  • Handling of the security and military
  • Internal Party Differences
  • Promotion of individual interest rather than party interest, Disunity, Internal wrangles, Internal conflicts, Internal Bickering
  • Poor conflict management mechanism, Conflicts of internal nature
  • Weak Secretariat and Management
  • Over dependence on volunteers to do work, Lack of manpower at the party secretariat, Inefficient secretariat, Decisions are not acted upon /implemented, Inability to act quickly and decisively to forestall problems
  • Grass root structures are weak
  • In disciplined members, Lack of respect of the constitution of the party
  • Tendency of UPC members to take matters for granted
  • Poor marketing of UPC
  • Lack of political marketing Strategy i.e. media
  • UPC's values are not clear to the members (Debate and Dissemination), Civic education and sensitization is weak
  • Lack of financial resources
  • Lack of funds, Weak financial base at the moment

2.3.3 Opportunities

  • More opened political space, More politically sensitive media, Restoration of Multi-party politics, Better opportunity for mobilization, More literate society
  • Previous friendly contacts, Expected financial support
  • Good will that exists within the membership of UPC, Committed membership
  • NRM's inability to groom top leadership, Failure of NRM to respect the rule of law and constitutionalism, High level of Corruption in the existing government, Un equitable distribution of wealth under the current government
  • Initiative by the party to open up positions of leadership ( Youth and Women) in UPC, Progress of Gender mainstreaming in UPC
  • New party leadership, 1st female party president in Uganda
  • G6 Cooperation ( opposition with one voice- common message)
  • UPC's organizational strength to compete, Re-structuring of party organs with review of constitution, Ability to organize and prepare for competitive multi-party elections
  • The changing international community opinion on Uganda, Donor involvement in the politics of Uganda
  • Charisma and visible positive legacy of the late Obote

2.3.4 Threats

  • Militarization of politics, Elimination of political opponents by NRM through torture and other means, Disrespect of the rule of law and constitutionalism, Biased electoral commission of Uganda, Constitutional amendments made in favor of Museveni, Elections rigging by NRM
  • Previous Inability to retain power
  • Time frame in which to re-organize and compete with incumbent is limited
  • The G6 cooperation. i.e. insincerity and lack of trust.
  • Absolute poverty undermining sustainability of the party members
  • Inadequate finances for party activities and operations
  • Defection of members to other parties, Danger of people having financial interests instead of good policies and leadership, commercialized politics
  • Individual merit a hindrance to multi-party politics causing indiscipline, An entrenched propaganda and demonization of UPC by NRM Government
  • Continuous disgruntlement within the party, Lack of respect for party principles by some party members, Viewing leadership aspirations as alternative employment

2.4 Proposed Strategies according to priority of implementation

The main purpose of the retreat was to come up with strategies for UPC. The strategies resulted from the SWOT Analysis whereby members looked for solutions on how to overcome their weaknesses and exploit the opportunities available in order to improve the image and competitiveness of UPC. Members were divided into groups to identify the necessary activities that have to be carried out under the identified strategies. They later convened for the final session to agree on the final activities necessary and sufficient to realize the agreed upon strategies.

  • Strategy 1:
  • Capacities of UPC to carry out its activities/functions at grassroots and national levels strengthened.
  • Strategy 2:
  • Rules, regulations and code of conduct for the different organs and members of the party developed and enforced.
  • Strategy 3:
  • Strategies for mobilization and management of resources designed and implemented.
  • Strategy 4:
  • Public Relations, Political Marketing and sensitization strategies developed and operationalised.
  • Strategy 5:
  • Campaign strategy to increase support for the party programmes designed and implemented.
  • Strategy 6:
  • Gender mainstreaming and gender responsiveness in UPC strengthened.
  • Strategy 7:
  • Youth participation at all party levels enhanced.

2.5. Proposed Activities and Responsible people

Discussions were held amongst all participants in the retreat to recommend necessary activities to achieve the proposed strategies and the responsible individuals/organs to ensure their implementation. However it was agreed that the sub-activities of the major activities would be identified at a later stage when the party develops the final work plan. Two groups developed the activities and shared their outcomes with the each other.

Strategy 1

Capacities of UPC to carryout its activities/functions at grassroots and national levels strengthened.
Activities Responsibility
Recruit and remunerate competent staff at the branch, constituency, district and national levels. National Council
Train and appraise the staff continuously. Chief Administrative Secretary
Set up and equip party offices at, constituency and district levels, encourage the same at branch level Central Executive
Expand, refurbish and equip a fully fledged national secretariat National Council and Central Executive
Engage professionals into the party Central Executive
Setup a system of volunteerism for doing party work. Chief Administrative Secretary
Create promotional ladder to encourage competent staff to remain in the party. National Council, Chief Administrative Secretary, Secretary General.
Set up the mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the staff at all levels Chief Administrative Secretary
Setup a human resource management and evaluation unit Chief Administrative Secretary
Setup an organizational learning mechanism Chief Administrative Secretary
Review the Constitution in respect of youth and gender. Annual Delegates Conference

Strategy 2

Rules, regulations and code of conduct for the different organs and members of the party developed and enforced.
Activities Responsibility
Put in place the code of conduct for all members of the party National Council
Put in place rules/regulations to govern the operations of different party organs and party officials National Council
Setup conflict management committee with in the party National Council
Strengthen and equip the Disciplinary Committee provided in the constitution. National Council
Amend the constitution to make it more comprehensive to spell out the duties of the different party officials. Annual Delegates Conference

Strategy 3

Strategies for mobilization and management of resources designed and implemented.
Activities Responsibility
Re-establish links with party friends, sister parties and friendly governments. National Party officials (Party President)
Build relations and contracts with friendly business personalities. Secretary General
Contact and encourage wealthy party members to donate both cash and in kind. National Party Officials/ National council and District Executive Committee
Hold fundraising drives nationally and internationally. National Party Officials
Generate income from party materials, souvenirs and assets. Treasurer
Set up an appropriate financial management system. National Treasurer
Design and implement mechanisms for proper and strict accountability and transparency. National Treasurer and National Council

Strategy 4

Public Relations, Political Marketing and sensitization strategies developed and operationalised.
Activities Responsibility
  • Setting up a Public Relations Officer Desk
  • Hire external expertise to train UPC Staff
Secretary General
  • Design and establish internal and external PR communication systems.
  • Production Information for the members
  • Establish internal communication channels. (Meetings)
Secretary General
  • Develop/design and disseminate packaged correct information about the party.
  • Production of brochures and leaflets, Writing articles in print media, Write press releases, Engage in radio talk shows, Organize television programs, Engage in internet communication, Promote and organize video shows i.e. documentaries about the party, Organize telematic programs
  • Organizing workshops and seminars. i.e. internally for party members and externally.
  • Organizing music, dance and drama to promote the party.
  • Setting up a library accessible to members and the public.
  • Establishing links with foreign press
  • Setting up a monitoring network of both print and electronic media nationally and internationally.
  • Naming a memorial day that brings party members together.
Public Relations Officer
Establish relations with political parties having similar ideologies. Secretary General
Establish links with civil society organizations. Secretary General

Strategy 5

Campaign strategy to increase support for the party programmes designed and implemented.
Activities Responsibility
Establishing a campaign team. Party President
Develop a campaign budget Party President
Mobilize resources for the campaign programmes Party President
Print T/shirts, caps, badges flags and scarves. Campaign Team/PRO
Avail and distribute membership cards widely. Campaign Manager
Establish national regional and district campaign teams. Campaign Team
Design and distribute campaign manifesto Campaign Manager
Design slogans for party campaigns Campaign Team
Establish 24 hour telephone hotline Campaign Manager
Distribute UPC ring tones and songs Campaign Team/PRO
Acquire transport vehicles, motor vehicles and bicycles. Campaign Team
Facilitate campaign teams with communication facilities Campaign Manager

Strategy 6

Gender mainstreaming and gender responsiveness in UPC strengthened.
Activities Responsibility
Introduce a gender-mainstreaming objective in the constitutional framework of the party. EC/NC/ADC
Establish a mechanism for attitude change from grass root leadership to National leadership and members. EC
Provide gender responsiveness budget within the party budgetary provisions. Treasurer /NC
Design and implement a recruitment and retention system that is gender responsive. Organizations for advocacy and lobbying support for gender Unit Activities
Gender Unit/Directorate
Design and implement gender responsive programme that address cultural attitudes and values
Design and implement deliberate party programmes to ensure women participation in political parties.
Link up with relevant National and International Gender

Strategy 7

Youth participation at all party levels enhanced.
Activities Responsibility
Design and implement training programmes at various levels of leadership within the party for the youth. EC/Youth leadership
Provide budgetary provisions for youth activities. EC
Facilitate the youth to develop international contacts and relations. EC

4.0 Conclusion

The concept of the retreat was unique and appreciated by all the participants. Participants expressed the need to make this kind of retreat an ongoing event, since it avails an opportunity to all the party members to come together and exchange ideas on what areas to improve and discuss on the way forward.

The participants were very committed to come up with strategies that would make their party win the March, 2006 elections. They were able to address major critical issues in UPC. In attendance were party leaders and a cross section of the UPC members.

For the next retreat, prior communication should be sent out to all the prospective participants and pre - briefing meetings should be organized to prepare the participants for the strategic planning.

In conclusion, the workshop succeeded in enabling participants share experience, assess progress and chart a way forward for the party. It provided the members an opportunity to get a better understanding of the nature of the internal differences that had an effect on the progress of the party.

The Party Vice President, Mr. Okello Okello thanked IRI for the support given and the participants for their contributions and open mindedness during the workshop. He also thanked the facilitators for their professionalism.

A last step in this exercise would now be to schedule the activities according to priorities. We suggest that a committee of 2-3 persons is put together to work out a time-schedule for the activities and sub-activities and to refine the overall strategic plan, if possible with the support of IRI/consultants.

The team thanks IRI for the support given and the participants for their contributions and open discussions during the workshop.

5.0. List of Participants

  • *Name* *Contact* *Designation*
  • Patrick Aroma 078-658458 Volunteer
  • Cecilia Anyakoit 077-607283 Cashier
  • Hamza Sewankambo 075-543203 Volunteer
  • Benson Ogwang 077-607283 Youth Leader UPC
  • Chris Opio 075-959440 National Vice Chairman
  • Peter Elamu 071-845159 Acting Administration Officer
  • Livingstone Okello Okello 077-503528 Vice President UPC
  • Margaret Ateng Otim 077-677117 Personal Assistant to the Party President
  • Joseph Ochieno 071-297654 Vice Chairperson
  • Haji Badru K. Wegulo 077-518846 Treasurer
  • Paul Erongot 075-698891 Volunteer
  • Nelson F.O. Ofwono 077-221420 Volunteer
  • Chris Opoka Okumu 077-607283 Assistant Secretary General