The Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) was initially established in July 2011 by eight Development Partners (DPs): Austria, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the European Union, as a five-year governance programme aimed at providing harmonised, coherent and well-coordinated support to state and non-state entities to strengthen democratisation, protect human rights, improve access to justice and enhance accountability in Uganda. The Programme goal was to contribute to equitable growth, poverty eradication, rule of law and long term stability in Uganda. This programme marked the first phase of DGF that ended in June 2016. A transitional period of 18 months, supported by the same DPs, was implemented from July 2016 to December 2017.
Currently the DGF is implementing its second 5-year phase (January 2018 – December 2022) with support from seven DPs: Austria, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the European Union, to build on the achievements of the first phase, address the continuing democratic deficits, and consolidate peace and stability in the country.
The vision statement for this phase is: “a Uganda where citizens are empowered to engage in democratic governance and the state upholds citizens' rights”.
DGF's work is aligned to the Uganda national priorities and commitments, such as the National Action Plan for Human Rights; National Development Plan II; the National Gender Policy; the Constitution of Uganda; and national commitments to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly SDG 5 (gender equality) and SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions).
DGF works in partnership with diverse state and non-state actors, to which it provides both financial and technical support to implement a programme that that focuses on:
- Strengthening democratic processes that respond to citizens' rights;
- Improving citizens' inclusion and engagement in decision-making processes;
- Strengthening rule of law and improve access to justice for all citizens;
- Increasing protection and fulfillment of human rights and gender equality.
DGF’s approach to programming in this phase falls under three broad and interconnected spheres namely:
- Democratic processes that build citizen-state relationships;
- Citizen empowerment, engagement and accountability;
- Protection of human rights, access to justice and gender equality.