Program Principles

  • Promote empowerment
  • Work with partners
  • Ensure accountability and promote responsibility
  • Address discrimination
  • Promote the nonviolent resolution of conflicts
  • Seek sustainable results

Partnership Approach: Building Local Capacity and Ownership

CARE believes that lasting positive change at scale can only be achieved through coalitions, collaboration and various forms of partnerships with a wide range of actors and stakeholders. 

Strategic partnerships with various stakeholders allows for sustainable, long-term improvement, helping us positively affect the lives of many women and children.
We have therefore designed, implemented, assessed and evaluated our programmes, models and advocacy strategies in close collaboration with our strategic partners in order to ensure shared ownership and joint learning. By working together, we collectively overcome barriers, thus enabling us to achieve results well beyond those that could be achieved by CARE or the partner alone.

In line with our programming principles, CARE Uganda designs, implements and monitors its work in partnership with other organizations and has a Partnership Strategy, field guidelines and associated sub-grant manuals that guide this process. The partners include community based organizations (CBOs), national and international NGOs, the private sector, academic and research institutions, the government (both central and local), and the media. 

The main reasons for moving towards partnership are:

  • Building institutional capacity among local and national organizations so that they can continue the development work effectively after CARE programs have ended;
  • Learning from the local knowledge of the partner organizations;
  • Building on the existing access and proximity of the local partners to the communities
  • Collaborating on relevant national and local issues for influencing governance and policy issues; and
  • Increasing the legitimacy of our work and building long-term ownership over issues we address.

So far, CARE Uganda has worked with over 100 NGO / CBO partners, several private sector organizations including banks, agro-traders, various ministries and departments of the Government of Uganda.


Evidence Based Advocacy

Overcoming poverty and social inclusion requires addressing the policies, strategies and legal barriers poor and vulnerable women, girls and communities face, and supporting them to denounce potential abuses. Through partnerships and alliances with other actors from civil society, research organisations and the media, and using joint policy analysis and research, we have advocated for the enforcement of existing legislation and passing new laws. For example, WENG contributed to establishing the Tree Fund provided for in the National Forestry and Tree Planting Act 2003. 

Our WAYFIP program helps improve womens' access to banking and other financial services
WAYFIP supported the development of standards for Village Saving and Loans Associations (VSLAs) and worked with banks to reduce structural barriers women face to access financial services. NUWEP supported the creation of District level alcohol ordinances in Northern Uganda to reduce violence caused by alcoholism. 

CARE International member partners in the East, Central and Southern Africa region and in the North (e.g. Denmark, Norway, Austria, UK, USA, Canada, etc.) play a critical role in bringing our work to various relevant target audiences in different parts of the world (e.g. the AU in Addis Ababa, the UN in New York; Geneva; London; Paris; Brussels, etc. Of recent, CARE Uganda has participated in various global fora (e.g. Conferences of Parties on Climate Change, World Conference in South Arica, etc.)


Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment and Engaging Men and Boys:

A young girl carefully tends her nursery garden while an older women looks on.
Gender equality requires equal opportunities. In Uganda, men traditionally control productive assets, political power, religious and cultural leadership, all of which are critical spheres of influence for improving the rights realisation of women and girls. Thus CARE creates a more supportive enabling environment, in which women and men have more equal capacities and women can freely express themselves and participate in decisions making processes from household to local and national levels. Engaging men as social change agents has proven a very effective strategy in eliminating structural barriers women and girls face. CARE has engaged ‘Role Model Men’ from all levels of society: cultural and religious leaders, community level political and administrative leaders, civil servants (including teachers), local government employees, police, health workers, individual men, men in associations or groups, male staff within CARE and implementing partner organisations, etc.
One of over 32,000 "Role-model men" we've inspired since 2010
The Role Model Men are engaged as front figures and peer educators in addressing issues that impede the fulfilment of women’s economic, social, political and reproductive health rights at household and community level. They promote a better understanding of the social and economic importance of gender equality and model a more positive, free of violence Ugandan male identity. 

Over the years, CARE Uganda has evolved its Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) model that has yielded many impressive results, particularly in deliberately working with men on their behaviours to become champions of gender equality. CARE’s experience has taught us that empowered women cannot fully enjoy the benefits from their increased mobility, self-confidence and self-esteem if their male partners (fathers, sexual partners, husbands, brothers, etc.) in their homes and in the community continue to demonstrate disrespectful and sometimes violent behaviors vis-à-vis women and girls. 

CARE has therefore developed the Role Model Man approach in 2010, which has grown increasingly important in all of our projects. This has led to over 642 trained role model men working with over 6,420 households across the districts of Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya, Pader, Kitgum, Agago, Lanwo and Omoro. The role model men’s main activity is to reach out to fellow men in previously identified households with issues of domestic violence, women lacking freedom and not having decision-making power, extreme poverty and food and nutrition insecurity.

Since 2010, over 32,000 men have been reached by the role model men as part of the broader community outreach approach. Increased incomes, increased self-respect and increased confidence to speak in public are only some of the positive outcomes of this approach.


Financial Inclusion

Our Village Savings & Loan Associations (VSLA's) has helped 568,059 women financial assistance
CARE is a leader on financial inclusion for poor women and girls in Uganda. In 1998, CARE Uganda established its first Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) and has since trained and mentored over 28,971 groups across all regions of Uganda. The current VSLA membership is 809,367 (of which 568,059 are female) and the cumulative savings for all active VSLA groups is greater than 52 Billion Ugandan Shillings.

The model’s sustainability is evidenced by the 95% group continuation rate despite CARE Uganda’s active involvement being limited to between 12 to 24 months. Additionally, CARE has developed a youth-pathways apprenticeship approach, through which more than 2,625 youths have been trained in CARE’s financial inclusion model throughout all parts of eastern and western Uganda. 

To respond to the needs for bigger loans emerging from successful VSLAs after some time, since 2011, CARE Uganda has entered into partnerships with various commercial banks (e.g. Barclays, Postbank) and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs, e.g. MTN, Airtel) to facilitate access to formal financial products for VSLA members. CARE’s Bank Linkages model and digitalized financial products (Electronic keys, digitalized E-wallets, digital ledger-links) increase the range of financial products and services available to VSLA members (e.g. zero-cost VSLA groups’ savings accounts, access to credit facilities and loans at affordable rates, overdrafts, etc.), strengthen their financial security (reduce risk of theft of cash box, supports growing entrepreneurial aspirations of members) and address problems of transactional interface and distance to financial access points.


Market Oriented Climate Smart Agriculture, Disaster Risk Reduction and Building Resilience

A Sudanese refugee gratefully holds on to much-needed relief provisions
While CARE Uganda has a long history in the agriculture and natural resources governance sector in Uganda, the last five years have seen increased deliberate attention to addressing the effects of climate change by working both at community level on effective adaptation strategies for small holder farmers (with a focus on women) and at the national level on key policy issues.

At community level, CARE has implemented various initiatives that promote conservation agriculture principles as the basis for adaptation (with the main objective of restoring soil health), together with the promotion of more disease and drought resistent and more nutritious crops. CARE also promotes a mixed intercropping system that reduces the number of months without food while contributing to increased household dietary diversity.

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CARE International in Uganda has embarked on a journey to develop the current Business Plan that outlines the strategic goals for the next five years.

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Uganda: Country Statistics

  • Population:
  • Life Expectancy:
    62.3 years
  • % Of Pop Female:
  • Aged 0 - 14: