The launch of the National Cooperative Database in Uganda
On 29 June, the National Cooperative Database was launched in Uganda. This represents the culmination of many years of work done by multiple partners, including SCOPEinsight and the Ugandan Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives (MTIC).
Digitalizing data for governmental use
As early as 2018, SCOPEinsight, Rikolto, the National Alliance of Agricultural Co-operatives in Uganda (NAAC), and MTIC made a plan to create digital records for agricultural cooperatives in Uganda. For this to happen quickly and efficiently at scale, it required the creation of a new SCOPEinsight tool: the SCOPE Rapid. It also required an expansion to SCOPEinsight’s Business Intelligence offerings: the National Database.
With funding from the Agribusiness Market Ecosystem Alliance (AMEA) awarded at the end of 2020, SCOPEinsight developed the SCOPE Rapid tool with support from Agriterra. The goal of the tool is to collect information from a large group of cooperatives, in order to map the cooperative landscape. Agriterra coordinated the data gathering in Uganda, with support from Rikolto, NAAC, and MTIC. In all, the consortium scoped over 200 cooperatives with the tool. The data was then unlocked in the Ugandan National Cooperative Database. Here, stakeholders can use it for segmenting and planning purposes, as well as policy making.
The official launch of the database
On 29 June, a consortium of actors from AMEA, NAAC, Agriterra, Rikolto, and SCOPEinsight presented the National Database. The Minister of State for Cooperatives, Honorable Frederick Ngobi Gume, officially launched the database. The event included presentations from MTIC, AMEA, SCOPEinsight, and the Belgian Embassy. A discussion session led to the collection of valuable input to potentially scale up the filling of the database. The database itself was shown by Marise Blom, COO of SCOPEinsight.
The presentations explained the need for the database and the efforts undertaken to create and fill it. There are over 30,000 cooperatives in Uganda, but it is difficult for the government to meet their needs without sufficient information about them. The scoping done by the SCOPE Rapid tool will provide that information, and the National Database will store it and allow the government to use it for segmentation and planning purposes.
In her presentation, Marise Blom focused on the need for many of the partners in Uganda to come together and fill the database, so many stakeholders can make use of the general information. This will help to avoid overlap and gaps between programs. This kind of partnership requires interoperability and the exchange of information, as well as a sustainable business model. The shared goal was to scale up the work to reach more of the cooperatives in Uganda. It will be crucial for all actors to support MTIC to create a meaningful database.
The future of the National Database
The successful pilot project is only the beginning of the work in Uganda. MTIC would like to scale up the National Database to include more cooperatives from across the country. This will require the use of the SCOPE Rapid tool to scale up, ideally at a quickening pace. Now that the tool has been created and piloted, it will be easier to implement it in other programs.
After the initial scoping, the SCOPE Rapid data in the National Database can also be used to segment cooperatives that are ready for a more in-depth assessment of their level of professionalism. The data from these in-depth assessments is then displayed through the SCOPEinsight Business Intelligence Platform. Stakeholders can use this data to tailor capacity building or increase access to finance. For example, after the pilot project, the consortium selected 42 cooperatives to assess with the SCOPE Basic and SCOPE Pro tools.
The approach taken in Uganda can be replicated in other countries. Currently, SCOPEinsight is working with the local Agriterra team in Ethiopia to collect the data of more than 100 dairy cooperatives. This data will be used to develop a holistic and strategic plan for the Ethiopian Cooperative Commission to take the dairy sector to the next level.
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