IAS Uganda started operations in 1994 in response to the influx of Southern Sudan refugees who were fleeing from the civil unrest in Sudan. IAS Uganda carried out multi sectorial interventions in the West Nile districts of Moyo, Koboko and Adjumani, with major focus on increasing access to basic social services for the refugees.
Where we work
Today our operations are currently in:
Acholi Sub Region, Karamoja Sub Region, Teso Sub Region and West Nile.
What we do
This pearl of Africa has been independent since 1962 but government structures are still changing. Because of this Uganda faces chronic underdevelopment and has appeared seven times in ECHO’s Forgotten Crisis Index since 2004.
IAS Uganda wants to equip the local communities with the skills to manage their own development process. Through our programme Integrated Community Empowerment and Development we encourage communities to identify, plan, implement and manage both relief and development assistance by building working relationships with the communities and other local partners.
IAS Uganda uses a Rights Based and Needs Based approach to community development and Civic education is carried out to enhance the civic competence of the community. We believe that when understanding the roles and responsibilities as rights holders the capacity to demand for the rights from the duty bearers at all levels will increase.
IAS Uganda work in the following sectors
Persons with disabilities in Uganda experience inequalities in their daily lives, and have fewer opportunities to access a quality education. Children with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to marginalization and exclusion as they are often not accepted by friends, family or the communities in which they live. It is not uncommon that these children are being hidden in the homes since the parents believe the disability is a curse. Therefore IAS Uganda aims to ensure equal access to education for children, youth and women from disadvantaged backgrounds with diverse learning abilities. We do this by:
• Promotion and advocacy for girl child education
• Teacher training and development
• Training of Parent Teacher Associations (PTA), School Management Committees (SMC) and Board of Governors
• Supporting vocational training centres
• Sponsorship of vulnerable children
• Supporting school projects
Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH)
Access to safe clean water saves lives, in many aspects. One of them is on a health-related level; clean water reduces the risk of having water-borne diseases, like diarrhea, typhoid fever and cholera. Through the approach of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) we want to increase access and sustainability of safe portable water at household level. We also create community awareness on the values, benefits and dangers of poor hygiene and sanitation practices.. To enhance sanitation as school level, pupils and teachers are sensitized on Child- Led Sanitation and institutional latrines constructed.
This is done by:
• Drilling of deep and shallow wells, spring protection and rehabilitating existing water points.
• Constructing animal drinking troughs
• Training in soap making in schools
• Training girls in making reusable sanitary pads
• Construction of institutional pit latrines in schools
• Building the capacity of the community to maintain the water points and water catchment areas
• Sensitization and awareness campaigns and workshops
• Community dialogue
Food Security and Livelihood
IAS works with mainly with Farmer Groups of 20-30 households each. These are trained in modern farming methods and market access, equipped with oxen and ox ploughs plus seeds to engage in both food production and producing for the market. These groups later form Community Based Organizations, register with the government offices to gain legitimacy and able to access support from the government.
The activities under here include:
• Supporting the community to shift from use of rudimentary technology to use of modern farming inputs. This is done through provision of the modern farm inputs.
• Facilitate the formation of organized groups (Community Development Units) and support their income generation initiatives.
• Strengthen community capacity towards sustainable agricultural and environmental practices.
• Cultivate the culture of saving among the communities.
• Engage communities in analyzing the effects of alcohol on development. Communities are facilitated to establish alternative sources of income in order to minimize the problems that are generated as a result of alcohol production and consumption.
Emergency response and Disaster Risk reduction
In the recent years Uganda has been hit but both man-made and natural disasters resulting into unprecedented emergencies. The effects of climatic change and poor environmental management practices have resulted into recurrent drought, land sides and flooding mostly in Eastern Uganda rendering many people homeless and causing immense suffering. The civil unrest in the neighboring countries has result into immense displacement of people such that today Uganda hosts over 500,000 refugees and asylum seekers as per the Office of the Prime Minister, Refugee Department.
In line with IAS mission of saving lives, IAS joins the government of Uganda in the efforts to offer respond to such emergencies.
IAS Uganda response to emergency is governed by the IAS Humanitarian strategy. We seek to enhance the capacity of IAS staff and partners to timely and efficiently reach out to disaster affected populations in need of humanitarian action. Our humanitarian action comprises of both assistance and protection aiming at saving lives that is alleviating suffering and maintaining human dignity during and in the aftermath of man-made crises and natural disasters as well as prevent and strengthen preparedness for the occurrence of such situations.
It is guided by the principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence. We seek to go local in such situations involving the local communities to take charge of their situation. Furthermore there is integration of Disaster Risk Reduction and resilience into humanitarian programming. We apply the do no harm principles to our work responding to various emergency and disaster situations to fulfil the mission of saving lives. Priority sectors of intervention are IAS core competence. These include Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) with specific reference to Water Hygiene and Sanitation, Education and Food Security and Livelihoods.
This is achieved through
• Increasing access to safe clean water through drilling and rehabilitation of boreholes
• Support the establishment of sanitation facilities through distribution of slabs and sanitary digging kits
• Sensitization of communities on proper hygiene and sanitation practices
• Formation of Village Savings and Loan Associations and training on the art of saving and basic business skill, which culminates in the establishment of income generating activities.
• Sensitization on environmental management, conflict resolution and peaceful co-existence, civic education, skills development and sports especially for the youth
Civil society development
This focuses on building the capacity of local organizations and organized communities to strengthening their participation in poverty reduction and sustainable development initiatives.
Capacity building is carried out at levels indicated below:
Government structures: these are in the districts of operation right from grass-root leadership- Local Council (LC1) to the District Chairmen (LCV). They form key strategic partners and are trained in various aspects of leadership to enhance their capacity to facilitate the development process in the areas of operation.
Community Based Organisations: IAS seeks to empower communities to take charge of their development process as a precursor for sustainability. 80 Village Farmer Groups – VFGs (focusing on food security) evolved into Village Development Units- VDUs (focusing on Income generation) and later registered as Community Based Organizations -CBOs having secured registration with their Sub Counties and districts authorities. Their capacity is to be enhanced further to form Associations of VDU with the aim of enhancing market access and exploit synergies of belonging to big groups.
Advocacy and lobbying
IAS Uganda operates in a cultural setting where people to a great extent have limited freedom of speech, based on age, gender and status. The right to speak is not fully exercised because of fear of the consequences. As a result, the rights holders mostly accept what the duty bearers have offered without any challenge hence limited contribution to the policy and decision making process. On the other hand, even when people have to speak out, because lack of capacity, they have resorted to violence hence the need to enhance the capacity of the communities to advocate for themselves while IAS conducts lobbying. This is achieved through:
• Conducting civic education trainings
• Conducting dialogue meeting both with the communities and local leaders
• Sensitizing communities about the budgetary process, the constitution of Uganda