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Frequently Asked Questions

Why does the Uganda National NGO Forum (UNNGOF) want this information and how will it be used?

 

UNNGOF is creating an online (Internet) directory of NGOs in Uganda. This will show the size and contribution of the NGO sector as a whole, while at the same time profiling, and raising the visibility of, individual organisations.

 

Aren’t there already several lists and directories of this kind?

 

This will not just be a list of contact addresses. It will include meaningful descriptions of individual NGOs, with real insight into the work they do. It will also be a long-lasting and regularly updated, resource. UNGOFF expects that, from a couple of hundred entries by the end of this year, the directory will grow to around 1,000 entries by the end of 2011. This will be unique in Uganda. In fact, it will unique in Africa.

 

What is the point of an on-line directory? What good will it be to us?

 

The directory will have several uses. NGOs can use it to learn about and from each other—for example, to get a better picture of how other, similar groups work on similar issues. Researchers and journalists can use it to find organisations that work in areas or specialise in issues that they are investigating. Government staff in various departments can use it both to see where NGOs are making contributions, and to include relevant NGOs in ‘stakeholder consultations’ etc. People looking for social work volunteer or internship opportunities with NGOs can use it to identify and approach groups they feel attracted to. Donor agencies—including international organisations but also international and Ugandan private individuals and companies who want to support sustainable development—can use it to identify potential grant recipients. Once formally launched, it will include listings of job, training and study opportunities, and other things of interest to NGOs.

 

Will NGOs be charged for being included, or users charged for accessing information?

 

NO. This is an entirely free service. Start-up costs are covered by grants that UNNGOF has received. In future, the site will be sustained by income from advertising opportunities and services that are of special interest to NGO staff. This will cover the wage of one person responsible for updating and continuously expanding the directory.

 

Can NGOs present their work in their own way?

YES! Along with the basic information we are asking for, we want NGOs to submit their own descriptions of their organisations (up to a maximum of 500 words), outlining their area and style of work and drawing attention to what they feel to be most important—such as their values, aims and major achievements.

 

Why do you also want to know details of our registration, finance and staffing?

 

These are “vital statistics” that give a real picture of an NGO’s situation. But this is not a “beauty contest” that will privilege the bigger, “rich” NGOs. There are all kinds and sizes of organisation in the NGO community, and UNNGOF respects this diversity. Often it is smaller, community based organisations that researchers, donors and potential partners want to learn about. The bigger NGOs have their own resources for communication and publicity. The Directory will give equal space to small groups that do not enjoy such opportunities.

 

Also, requiring this information is a practical way of “sorting the sheep from the goats”—that is, excluding “briefcase NGOs”. The directory will include only NGOs that are serious, honest and committed enough to go public with this information. The fact they are willing to do so will itself show readers that they are serious and honest. And this will add to the credibility and reputation of the NGO sector as a whole.

About NGO Directory

Welcome to the National NGO Directory.  This is the online website where you can find NGOs in  Uganda by sector or region. Browse the Advanced Search function to search for more information about any of the NGOs you are interested in. You can add an organization to the database, by download the submission form and guidelines by clicking here. For more information about the website, see About.

This directory / database was initiated by the Uganda National NGO Forum in November 2009 to serve the entire NGO community in Uganda as well as partners in government, the private sector, researchers, journalists and international development partners. 

A practical tool to enhance knowledge and understanding of the NGO sector, the directory also serves to increase NGO transparency through disclosure of detailed, credible information on the activities and funding of listed organisations.   It is a ‘living’ directory, which will be extended and updated as often as resources allow.

This is neither an open-access platform, where NGOs may post whatever they wish, nor a listing with strict editorial control.  Rather, all NGOs operating lawfully in Uganda are entitled—and encouraged—to write and submit their own short profiles; but they must agree to disclose the basic details that appear at the beginning of each entry.  The site managers make every effort to ensure the reliability of the entries, but the NGOs are themselves the authors of this information and ultimately accountable for its accuracy.

All creatures great and small 
This initiative respects the breadth and diversity of Uganda’s NGO sector.  The sector includes big, well-known organisations that have several offices across the country, employ dozens of staff and, in some cases, are members of international NGO networks.  But it also includes many community-based groups that work entirely on voluntary effort.   Some groups specialise in research and advocacy, aiming to inform and influence public policy makers, whilst others are geared almost entirely to practical action and service for specific constituencies.  Yet others hope to combine these activities.  Some groups derive inspiration and where to buy Viagra vision from religious faith; others are entirely secular.  Some set out to help others; some are mainly self-help in nature. 

The directory makes no judgments about which are the ‘best’ kinds of organization or approach.  Rather, it simply aims to represent the sector faithfully.  Arguably, it is the very diversity of the NGO sector that makes it so important: much as the diversity of a tropical rain forest gives it enormous, ecological value. 

However, small NGOs, especially those based in rural areas, typically find it hard both to access information and to make their existence and work known beyond their immediate communities.   
For this reason, and recognising the important net contribution of small organisations, the NGO Forum began this project by reaching out to small, rural-based groups.  

Regional ‘write-shops’ were held in western, northern and eastern Uganda, where scores of local NGOs came together to share ideas and experience and to write their profiles for the directory.  Similar efforts will continue, as far as resources allow, to ensure the visibility of the grass roots. 

Reference group 
In order to draw on the knowledge and experience of other important stakeholders in the NGO sector, a Reference Group was convened in the earliest stages of this communications project.   This Group continues to meet regularly to offer advice, criticism, encouragement and much wisdom. It includes representatives of the following agencies: 

ActionAid Uganda 
Cross Cultural Foundation of Uganda 
DENIVA (Development Network of Indigenous Voluntary Associations) 
DFID (the UK’s Department for International Development) 
Makerere University Faculty of Computing/Informatics 
Ministry of Internal Affairs NGO Board 
Network of Ugandan Researchers and Research Users 
Office of the Prime Ministe
Private Sector Foundation Uganda 
Uganda Bureau of Statistics 
Uganda Journalists’ Association 
Uganda Women’s Network

Uganda NGO Directory

Welcome to the National NGO Directory.  This is the online website where you can find NGOs in  Uganda by sector or region. Browse the Advanced Search function to search for more information about any of the NGOs you are interested in. You can add an organization to the database, by download the submission form and guidelines by clicking here. For more information about the website, see About.