UNNGOF – Uganda National NGO Forum
Uganda National NGO Forum was launched in 1997 following two years of concerted work to develop the operational structure, a Constitution and membership recruitment program. Many NGOs had realised the need to engage Government and the donor community on policy issues and poverty concerns. Also, Government found it increasingly important to involve Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the design and implementation of policies and programmes.
The idea to form UNNGOF was to establish an organisation that would wholly represent CSOs while bringing together National NGOs, International NGOs, CBOs, Voluntary Development Organisations (VDOs), Farmers’ Groups, Cooperative Associations and other Citizens’ Organisations and interest groups from all thematic areas.
The first General Assembly of UNNGOF was held in January of 1997 after nationwide sensitization and mass mobilization. About 1,000 NGO representatives participated and it was agreed that the Forum would create a comprehensive membership base that would meet periodically to choose and renew leadership and other governance organs in a democratic manner. Since then, UNNGOF has never wavered in providing a platform and leadership for CSOs on behalf of the poor and through time, created a neutral ground for all NGOs to constructively interact.
By 2001, UNNGOF had established policies and procedures for accountability, established formal registration for members, operationalized a code of conduct, amended the Constitution by re-mobilising members, developed a three year rights-based Strategic Plan, and set up district forums for support at district level and to the Secretariat. After a period of struggling financially, DFID committed to fund UNNGOF’s Plan for three years which resulted into implementing more activities in the areas of advocacy and capacity building for members.