Kuraish (center) poses for a group photo with other GUIDE participants during the launch of the program in January 2022
Kuraish (center) poses for a group photo with other GUIDE participants during the launch of the program in January 2022
Kuraish (center) poses for a group photo with other GUIDE participants during the launch of the program in January 2022

Uganda Civil Society Strengthening Activity (CSSA)


Uganda has a fairly vibrant civil society comprised of around 14,000 registered non-governmental organizations involved in a range of sectors. Over decades of winding political and economic developments, Uganda's civil society sector remains an irreplaceable actor in providing services to citizens, monitoring public institutions, and pushing for laws, polices, and programs that address the country's ills.

On September 1, 2020, EWMI began the implementation of Uganda Civil Society Strengthening Activity (CSSA), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented in partnership with International Center for Nonprofit Law (ICNL), Uganda’s Development Network of Indigenous Voluntary Associations (DENIVA), Common Ground Consulting (CGC), and a number of other Ugandan civil society organizations and small businesses.

USAID/Uganda CSSA is a five-year project that will support the capacity strengthening of Ugandan CSOs to influence and contribute to improved development outcomes in four thematic areas: (1) health, with particular attention paid to achieving Uganda’s HIV/AIDS’ reduction goals; (2) education, youth, and child development; (3) agriculture and food security; and (4) democracy, rights, and governance. During CCSA’s Inception Phase, EWMI will commission a political economy analysis focused on CSSA’s thematic areas, which will inform EWMI’s joint stakeholder engagement approach and the selection of the particular issues within each thematic area that CSSA support will focus on.

EWMI will provide tailored and demand-driven capacity development, imbued with innovative approaches, and grant support to achieve CSSA’s objectives. Under Component 1, EWMI will provide grant support and capacity development assistance to national and regional umbrella and individual advocacy CSOs. Under Component 2, through flexible and tailored capacity development assistance and grants, EWMI will assist advocacy CSOs, national and regional umbrella CSOs and national, regional, and district CSOs that engage in advocacy or deliver services in CSSA’s thematic areas and whose work includes at least some of the districts CSSA focuses on; and other CSOs that are supported also by other USAID/Uganda implementing partners. Under Component 3, EWMI will provide grant and technical assistance support to CSOs and Government of Uganda actors that will lead to expanded alliances among multiple stakeholders to promote an enabling environment for civil society in Uganda; increased in-country resources and capacity of CSOs to navigate government requirements and restrictions; and Ugandan-led initiatives to improve the CSO enabling environment. EWMI will also support local partner CSOs to ensure increased levels of funding by the private sector and citizens for CSOs.

EWMI’s approach to implementing CSSA emphasizes: (i) local ownership of CSSA’s interventions and initiatives; (ii) building the capacity of CSOs and investing in their sustainability; and (iii) utilizing Uganda’s local expertise and resources. CSSA’s Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Guidelines will lead CSSA staff and partners’ work, while the Giving Rise to Ugandan Indigenous Direction and Experience (GUIDE) Program will invest in the leadership of women, youth, and CSOs outside Kampala.