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Baby being weighed at health centre - strategy

Plan Uganda is working with communities to promote proper child development.

Plan’s strategy in Uganda works to ensure that all children access their rights to survival, development, protection and participation.

Uganda is one of the poorest countries in the world, with many people struggling to survive and provide the basic necessities for their families. Most children’s rights are a long way from being fulfilled. Poverty is being reduced: the proportion of the population living in absolute poverty is now around 30%, down from 56% in 1992. But in terms of under-5s mortality – a key indicator of the well-being of children – Uganda is ranked 21 from worst out of 189 countries.

The high population growth rate of 3.4% per year (the third highest in the world) poses a significant challenge in reducing poverty and inequality. With over 2,000,000 child orphans and the impact of HIV and AIDS on many households, social protection for the chronic poor is not given sufficient high priority in national planning.

Key goals

To help address these issues, Plan works to ensure the rights of children in Uganda – to survival, protection, development, and participation – are better respected, protected, and fulfilled. Underlying this overall goal is the recognition that sustainable improvements in the quality of life of marginalised children and their families crucially depend upon their empowerment to speak out and act collectively.

The country programmes are built to reflect the life-cycle of a child at the various stages of development:

  • Early childhood (under 6 years)
  • Primary school years (6-12 years)
  • Adolescence (over 12 years).


Over the years Plan Uganda’s programmes have improved access to primary health care services; focusing on improvement in general hygiene and sanitation situation in communities and schools. They have supported national immunisation campaigns and provision of clean and safe water.

Our Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach educates communities about the importance of sanitation and helps them to construct and maintain their own latrines. This approach gives individuals the confidence to enforce a total ban on open defecation in their villages.

Using models like Village Savings & Loans Associations, which lend money to community members at a reasonable interest rate, we have given people an opportunity to invest in their livelihoods and increase their income. Community members borrow money to pay for fees, health services and to finance small businesses. 

There are also vocational skills development opportunities for youth and the household economic security is being strengthened. Rural communities are mobilizing financial capital which they now invest in small scale business projects.

Plan Uganda has strengthened a community-based child protection mechanism in which child protection committees carry out policing, while working with local authorities to address child rights violations.

Find out more about what we do and our achievements