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UPHOLD’s Key Achievements

Grants | Local Government Grants | CSO Grants | Monitoring & Evaluation


The grants strategy of Uganda Programme for Human and Holistic Development (UPHOLD) is committed to USAID’s Strategic Objective 8 of increasing the human capacity of Ugandans through increasing the number of real choices people have to improve their health, lives and productivity, and by empowering people to make the most of these choices.As a tool for fostering positive social change, UPHOLD’s grants strategy is also ultimately linked with USAID’s Strategic Objective 9 of more effective and participatory governance.

The vision of UPHOLD’s grants strategy is a strengthened civil society that positively contributes to people-centred governance in Uganda.Within this arrangement, it is envisaged that strong and productive partnerships, especially those between public and private (state and non-state) actors, will advance the objectives of decentralization.Furthermore, it is anticipated that these partnerships will foster the advancement of an enabling environment for increased use of better quality social services by more Ugandans.

The main goals of UPHOLD’s grants strategy are to a) expand people’s access to and use of better quality social services, b) foster the concept of integrated social services at decentralized levels of government by promoting effective synergies between the education, health and HIV/AIDS sectors, c) increase the capacity of indigenous civil society organizations (non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, and faith-based organizations) to constructively utilize grants for social development; and d) develop the capacity of Local Councils and civil society organizations to give grants and monitor them in a manner consistent with high standards of transparency and accountability.

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Local Government Grants

Local government grants have been given to the 34 districts where UPHOLD works to support their activities in Health, HIV/AIDS and education.Nine of these grants are in Uganda’s conflict areas, so called because of the insurgencies by the Lord’s Resistance Army.

UPHOLD grants adhere to Government of Uganda standards that all money that goes into a district is listed in the Local Government Annual Workplan.

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CSO Grants

In partnership with the Government of Uganda, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through their implementing partner, UPHOLD, developed an innovative and competitive grants application program for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).Valued at approximately 9 billion Ugandan Shillings (US $5 million), this is the first large-scale integrated HIV/AIDS, health and education grants scheme in Africa.The grants, called Family and Community Action grants, will increase the number of CSOs in Uganda benefiting from USAID funding, with technical support from UPHOLD.

Read more about the Family and Community Action grants.

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Monitoring and Evaluation

The Monitoring, Evaluation and Dissemination (MED) Department is a key service unit within UPHOLD whose role is to address the information needs of the technical department as well as contribute to USAID’s Mission’s Strategic Objective 8 (SO8) Results Framework. 

The indicators on which UPHOLD routinely collects information both for its own programmatic needs and for reporting to USAID are contained in a document called the UPHOLD Performance Monitoring Plan (PMP). Data on these indicators as well as on our trainings is also stored in the UPHOLD Indicator Database from which analysis is done to respond to the various reporting needs.

Over the life of the project, the UPHOLD MED Department has achieved results in the following illustrative areas:

Support to routine national health information systems

As an integrated and mainly district-focused project, UPHOLD has largely avoided the creation of parallel systems of data collection at this level but has instead worked together with the districts and the line ministries (especially the Ministry of Health) to strengthen existing systems of data capture and collation.Examples of this collaboration include the following:

  • In 2004, UPHOLD provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Health (MoH) to conduct a situational analysis of its routine reporting system called the Health Management Information System (HMIS) with the goal of identifying the gaps and then developing an action plan on how to strengthen the system.
  • Following this situational analysis, in 2005 UPHOLD and other partners successfully negotiated for the inclusion of a number of important indicators on HIV/AIDS that had hitherto been missing in the HMIS module utilized for data capture at health facility level.
  • UPHOLD then supported the roll-out and training of over 1,100 district and health facility level staff from 16 districts on the use of the revised HMIS module.Additionally, UPHOLD provided technical assistance to the MoH for the development of a Training Manual aimed at strengthening HMIS data quality.HMIS focal persons in the UPHOLD districts have been oriented on the use of this manual.
  • For malaria control, in order to strengthen the home-based management of fever (HBMF) strategy, UPHOLD supported the procurement and distribution of registers to community medicine distributors (CMDs) in all the districts where we work.
  • UPHOLD has also supported the procurement and distribution of client cards and registers for HIV counseling and testing (HCT) as well as for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) in order to ensure that those facilities that provide these services in our geographical area of coverage can capture client details accurately.
  • In recognition of the important role that support supervision plays in improving the quality of service delivery, UPHOLD has supported an innovative program of mentoring of ‘champions’ for support supervision.While this is a pilot initiative that has so far been conducted in three districts, it is planned that this system will be extended to other districts and it will be utilized to address some of the challenges in data collection as well as timely and accurate reporting back at facility level.

Institutionalization of LQAS for routine evidence-based planning and decision-making at district level

The emergence of decentralization at district level in Uganda aimed at improving the quality of governance and accountability.At district level, this created a need for reliable lower level data for evidence-based social services planning and management.Unfortunately, household-level surveys such as the five-year Uganda Demographic Health Survey (UDHS) do not provide district level estimates.There was thus a need to assist district planners to get access to information that would be useful for their work planning needs and could be collected in a rapid, cost effective and participatory manner.

In its area of geographical coverage, UPHOLD helped fill this gap by introducing the annual survey that collects information on several social services indicators using the Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS) survey technique.The LQAS survey has now been carried out three times in the history of the UPHOLD project (2004, 2005, and 2006). District-specific results from the previous year’s survey are analyzed and disseminated to all districts in time to be fed into the work planning process for the next financial year.This has proven to be an invaluable source of information for district-level planning and prioritization that also guides UPHOLD’s allocation of resources in the technical areas that are supported in each district.Please click on the respective dates to view the 2004 and 2005 reports.

In July 2006, leaders and policy makers at both national and district levels together with development partners and civil society organizations convened in Kampala to share lessons learned from utilizing the LQAS methodology at district level and to discuss how the use of this methodology could be scaled up.The national conference funded by USAID under UPHOLD was opened by the Rt.Honorable Prime Minister of Uganda under the theme Enhancing Evidence Based Planning at District Level: The LQAS Experience in Uganda.

Learn more about UPHOLD's use of LQAS.

M&E Support to Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)

As part of its implementation strategy, UPHOLD supports over 110 civil society organizations and their partners to implement activities in HIV/AIDS, health and education.A baseline survey of the M&E capacity of these grantees revealed many gaps and UPHOLD put in place mechanisms to enhance this capacity and enable grantees to report on their activities more effectively.Standardized reporting tools were developed and a data collection flow process clearly outlined.There is on-going support provided to CSOs according to their specific needs and a recent self assessment study reveals that many of the CSOs have greatly benefited from this UPHOLD support.Many CSOs report using M&E skills gained and UPHOLD tools in monitoring and evaluating their other activities.

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