District Environment Information Resource Centers Evaluation
In order to increase its visibility in the communities, The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) through the NEMA Library decided to establish District Environment Information
Resource Centers (DEIRC) in more than 114 Local governments in Uganda. The main purpose of these DEIRCs was to provide environmental information for development planning, community
mobilization, education, awareness and as act avenues for sharing environment information with other non-governmental organizations operating within these districts and cities.
By 2006, 25 functional Environmental Information Resource Centers in 25 focus Districts had been established in Northern, Eastern, Western and Central regions of Uganda. These were provided
with equipment that included computers and their accessories, photocopiers, printers, television sets and digital cameras were to assist in acquiring, processing, organizing, storing, accessing and
disseminating environmental information.
In 2015, the demand for environmental information led to the decision by NEMA management to increase the resource center coverage in the country. A needs survey was carried out and by 2019,
a total of 114 resource centers had been established some of which were provided with shelves.
In 2020, NEMA Management decided to carry out an evaluation exercise to assess the resource centers’, performance, efficiency, effectiveness and relevance to the district, strengthen capacity
in environmental information provision and dissemination and make recommendations for better service delivery. The findings revealed that out of the 114 evaluated resource centers, 56 (49%) were active, 41
(36%) were semi-active while 17 (15%) were in-active. Despite the numerous challenges faced by some district resource centers; a lot of effort had been undertaken by the resource center managers
to ensure that the information provided is organized to ease reference. The DEOs further requested
NEMA to continuously support the centers order meet the increasing demand for environmental information in the districts. The study recommended that the districts address the staff gaps in the
centers and also recommended the creation of regional models centers act as information referral centers for the users in the region. Priority should be on uplifting the library sections of the NEMA
regional offices and where these are not available; a centrally located model district be proposed and uplifted to a model resource center.