JSI Logo Uganda Program for Human and Holistic Development


Mission | Goals | Strategies | Geographic Scope | Approach | Program Design | Technical Domains


Uganda Program for Human and Holistic Development is committed to empowering families, communities and institutions to improve the quality and use of services in education, health and HIV/AIDS. UPHOLD accomplishes this through partnerships and people-centered approaches for a sustained client-friendly environment. The Program began in 2003 working in 20 districts and by 2006 was operating in 34 districts. UPHOLD currently works in 28 districts, having transferred some of its northern districts to another JSI initiative, the Northern Uganda Malaria, AIDS, and Tuberculosis Project (NUMAT).

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UPHOLD is an integrated social services program designed to support the Government of Uganda’s social sector policies and priorities as well as USAID’s Strategic Objective 8 Results Framework for improved human capacity. Strategically oriented to increase the utilization, quality, support and sustainability of services in education, health and HIV/AIDS through an integrated approach, the program’s four main goals are to:

  1. Improve educational status;
  2. Reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections;
  3. Decrease child and maternal mortality; and
  4. Stabilize population growth in 34 districts in Uganda.

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Working within each selected district’s plans and priorities, UPHOLD works to:

  • Increase involvement of families and communities
  • Award grants to foster social change
  • Use responsible speed in implementation
  • Foster organizational effectiveness
  • Measure for results
  • Go national by helping to scale-up good practices

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Geographic Scope

As mentioned above, UPHOLD activities are currently implemented in 28 districts covered by six regional offices reaching West, Central, East, South West, North East and North Uganda. Click here for district map of Uganda.

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UPHOLD’s holistic approach to development entails six cross-cutting themes:

  1. An integrated, multi-sectoral approach that builds human capacity and creates synergy between interventions;
  2. Strengthening effective partnerships and dialogue between the public sector, the private sector, civil society, families and communities;
  3. Building on the existing strengths and opportunities of Uganda’s wealth of human and socio-cultural resources;
  4. A behavior-centered orientation that focuses on understanding and strategically addressing human motivations and constraints in taking specific actions;
  5. Improving quality assurance systems; and
  6. Systems thinking based on strategic analysis and planning and creative processes.

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Program Design: UPHOLD’S Conceptual Framework

Designed to support the Government of Uganda’s social sector policies and priorities, UPHOLD works to increase the utilization, quality, support and sustainability of services in education, health and HIV/AIDS through an integrated approach.

Investments made under UPHOLD aim to be catalytic insofar as they accelerate going to scale nationally, foster the emergence of sustainable approaches to providing social services , leverage other sources of funds, and create opportunities for communities to have an active role in decision making. In so doing, the Program has formed and organized itself as a learning organization that will leverage partners’ combined expertise and knowledge to nurture Ugandan institutions and providers in continuously producing and delivering high quality health and educational services.

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Technical Domains

UPHOLD’s activities are implemented in seven broad technical domains, as shown in Figure 1 below. Some of UPHOLD’s technical activities are implemented strictly within one of the three sectors: either in Education (domain #1), Health (domain #2), or HIV/AIDS (domain #3). Other technical activities are implemented through four areas of integration between the sectors: Education/Health (domain #4), Education/HIV/AIDS (domain #5), Health/HIV/AIDS (domain #6), and Education/HIV/AIDS/Health (domain #7).

Figure 1: UPHOLD’s Seven Technical Domains

Diagram of UPHOLD's Seven Technical Domains

Within the seven broad technical domains, UPHOLD’s specific technical interventions cover:

  • Primary School Education
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Child Health
  • HIV/AIDS prevention and care
  • Adolescent Health
  • Integrated Reproductive Health (specifically, safe motherhood and family planning); and
  • Communicable Disease Control (particularly malaria and TB control)

An additional five technical interventions are cross-cutting. These are:

  • Performance Improvement
  • Quality Assurance
  • Private Sector Support
  • Behaviour Change (BC) Communication and other BC Strategies
  • Community Ownership and Involvement

UPHOLD has identified and adopted six principles that govern all interventions and interactions with clients and partners. The principles focus on people-centered results, stakeholder involvement and participation, capacity-building at the core of every activity, district focus (health sub-district, sub-county), continuous learning and use of good practices, and culture and gender as resources.

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