By leveraging the coordinated efforts of people, a strong and vibrant civil society plays an important role in economic development, poverty reduction and the promotion of pluralism. In addition to the work done by AKDN agencies such as its independent media outlets and the Aga Khan University, which are themselves important civil society organisations, AKDN through Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is also engaged in programmes to build capacity, improve governance and support the development of civil society.
Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is working with several civil society and community-based organisations in the West Nile region of Uganda in education, financial inclusion and youth empowerment. In partnering with local civil society actors, the Foundation builds the capacity of community-based groups to respond to development challenges, allowing them to continue addressing the needs of Ugandans long after a project ends.
AKF is working with Partners in Community Transformation (PICOT), Needy Kids and Hear International, three local education-centric civil society organisations, to strengthen education systems, improve learning outcomes, raise awareness of challenges facing girls’ education and mainstream gender in pre-primary and primary schools. AKF also works with three Head Teacher Associations and 150 Parent Teacher Associations and School Management committees in the region as part of its Whole School Approach to education programming. Through this collaboration, AKF is encouraging school communities to develop and implement gender-responsive school development plans, foster supportive learning environments and share best practices for teaching and classroom management.
AKF also works with the Community Organization for Rural Enterprise Activity Management (CREAM), a civil society organisation based in Arua district, to implement a financial inclusion project aimed at supporting community-based savings groups. Together, AKF and CREAM are linking remote communities to formal financial institutions, which increases community members’ access to credit and the safety of their savings.
Finally, AKF has formally partnered with PICOT to implement a four-year intervention aimed at improving social and economic opportunities for youth aged 15-30 in Koboko district. With support from the local district government, AKF and PICOT will enhance an existing adult education programme to give vulnerable young women and men employability and life skills aligned with market needs.