Around the Institute

Advocacy in Uganda

March 21, 2014

Re-scheduled Breakfast Event: Survey with Placebo

The weather gods haven’t been kind to us here in the District. We even had to cancel our last breakfast meeting in February due to snow. But now that we’re officially in spring, it’s safe (we think!) to resume our breakfast lineup. So mark your calendar, people: Grover “Russ” Whitehurst from Brookings and David Stuit from Basis Policy Research will be stopping by on April 1st from 8:15 to 9:45AM to chat about their “survey with placebo” evaluation method. Submit your RSVP here. Your homework? Read their paper and prepare some good questions to get the conversation going.

More than a Kernel of Truth

Sometimes we can’t help but laugh at some of the follies of the West in addressing development in the Global South. Remember Radi-Aid’s Africa for Norway campaign? This year, The Samaritans—an online “comedy about an NGO that does nothing”—promises more laughs (and uncomfortable silences too!). We also recently came across the work of Ghana Think Tank, a network of groups in Ghana, Cuba, El Salvador and other countries seeking to solve problems in the developed word. We deeply admire their steadfast commitment to proposing potentially “impractical” solutions to seemingly intractable issues and creating “intensely awkward” cross-cultural situations. Good stuff.

Advocacy Against the Tide

Uganda has been in the news lately. There was God Loves Uganda, a controversial documentary about the role of American evangelical Christians in influencing Ugandan policies on homosexuality. And then, of course, there was the signing of the anti-homosexuality bill into law by President Museveni last month. The New York Review of Books also just published a piece about the alleged murder of Cerinah Nebanda, a member of the Ugandan parliament and a vocal opponent of the President’s policies. In this political environment, how can civil society groups spark social change? We analyzed four disparate Ugandan NGO advocacy efforts in this 2012 report and will continue to mull over this question as we help advocacy organizations in Uganda develop and refine their advocacy plans.