The year 2016 was marked by a slowdown in economic growth and a decrease in political space, but a louder voice from civil society and the media. The Presidential elections and their aftermath were accompanied by irregularities, occasional brutalities by the security forces and shrinking political space. Economic growth was lower than expected and investments in the public social sectors (health, education) were insufficient to meet the demands of a fast-growing population. On the other hand, civil society, the private sector and the media have been increasingly active in engaging in policy debates with the government. The influx of around one million refugees is an enormous challenge for Uganda, which has one of the biggest refugee populations in Africa. In spite of these challenges and constraints, the programmes supported by the Netherlands were able to maintain their efforts to increase production and income for smallholder farmers and improve access to justice. Furthermore, trade and investment initiatives between Uganda and the Netherlands remained robust.

Featured project

Food and nutrition security in Uganda

No fewer than 100,000 farmers bought and used improved seeds generated by the Dutch programme and produced 18,000 MT of food; 150,000 producers benefited from improved road construction, a 20% increase in farm gate prices and a 30% reduction in transport costs; 12,000 women were trained in financial literacy and agribusiness; and 27,700 children received improved food intake through the school milk programme.

Key results of the embassy in Uganda

Food & Nutrition Security

Indicator Score Progress

Total number of farm holders reached (male/female; age: % < 35) (direct)

100,942 On track
Number of farmers - Directly (40% youth)
Number of farmers - indirectly
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

Within the embassy programme, service delivery to farmers and entrepreneurs is developed largely through non-governmental and market-led models, as alternatives to the prevailing government-led model. Examples are farmer-to-farmer training approaches, farm-based training facilities, commercial production of seeds by famers' business groups and linking farmers to (private) service providers, like financial institutions, processors and off takers. This approach leads to more farmers in 2016 being supported and has a more sustainable effect.

Number of farmers with reached with increased productivity and income (direct)

73,663 On track
Number of farmers - directly (47% youth)
Number of farmers - indirectly
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

The Dutch programme has led in 2016 to a substantial increase in production with figures beyond the assumed national averages. In some cases, this has increased income by more than 200%. This picture is not universal, however. Adverse weather conditions, including extensive drought periods, had a negative effect on certain crop yields. At the same time, prices in the sale of farm produce directly from the producer were pushed up, partly compensating for the loss of income due to lower yields. Several projects, such as the seed programme, explicitly address the challenge of climate change by developing more drought-resistant and early-maturing varieties. Linking producers to market purchasers, which is a key element of the Embassy's policy, has been increasingly successful with the involvement of Dutch companies.

Completion of border posts Busia (Kenya), Mutukula (Tanzania) and Mirama Hills (Rwanda)

100% Progress, not on track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

Despite the completion of the One-Stop-Border-Posts (OSBP) project by Trade Mark East Africa and the local authorities in 2016, and its positive effect on transport times, export and import costs remain high. In particular, monopolies in the transport sector and corruption continue to be a problem. Moreover, Uganda’s logistic advantage, being a hub connecting coastal states with fast-growing markets in the region, becomes a disadvantage as soon as regional trade flows are disturbed, as experienced with the closure of the border with South Sudan in 2016.

Increase in inclusive business co-operation between Uganda and the Netherlands

10 On track
The number of companies in Uganda linked with the Netherlands increased from 130 (2015) to 140 (2016)
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

The number of Ugandan companies with Dutch business relations in 2016 increased for the fifth year in a row. Proactive embassy involvement in the demand for and use of available financial instruments for Private Sector Development (PSD) paid off. Uganda’s Best Farmer Competition continues to produce positive spin-offs for the bilateral trade and investment agenda, as Ugandan farmers discover Dutch agro-machinery and high-quality inputs.

Security & Rule of Law

Indicator Score Progress

Population's perceptions of improved capacity of the judicial system (level of confidence, issues of access and quality)

50% / 60% satisfied Progress, not on track
60% satisfied with judicial courts; 50% satisfied with Uganda Police Force (2016)
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

Dutch support in the Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) is earmarked for five JLOS institutions: Uganda Human Rights Commission, Law Development Centre, Uganda Law Reform Commission, Judicial Service Commission and Uganda Law Society. Dutch support in 2016 represents less than 10% of the total budget of these JLOS institutions. Hence, only to a small extent can the achieved results be attributed to our programme. Progress is not on track because some key policies and laws still have to be endorsed by cabinet, such as the Transitional Justice (TJ) policy, the Legal Aid policy and Marriage & Divorce Bill. The external review of the JLOS Third Sector Development Plan 2012/17 concluded that the JLOS has made some progress in terms of performance.

Number of people (M/F) with increased access to justice (formal/informal: meaning those who have used formal or informal justice systems)

127,325 On track
Number of people – approximately 10% attributed to the Netherlands contribution (2016)
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

The Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) has been delivering results as expected. Multi-donor support to DGF enables more than 80 partners, such as NGOs, to advocate for better access to justice and to represent civilians in their demand for improved accountability. In the case of the DGF, 10% of the results can be attributed to Dutch support, given the fact that our contribution is approximately 10% of the total DGF budget. Even though there has been disappointment and frustration surrounding the (results of the) 2016 elections, DGF-supported interventions (voter education and public interest litigation, in particular) have contributed to constructive consultations between civil society and government, and a higher voter turnout of 68%, compared to 58% in 2011. External evaluation confirmed that the DGF has made a difference in the lives of approximately 5 million Ugandans, through awareness raising, advocacy campaigns and service delivery, providing value for money, reducing transaction costs and with a high level of efficiency. In short, the DGF is a rather unique and well-performing multi-donor arrangement that strengthens democratic governance within civil society and enhances constructive engagement between state and non-state actors.

Background & future

Interpretation of the results in context

Results for Food Security did not differ greatly from those anticipated. Climate influences suppressed production figures for some crops. Civil war and insecurity in neighbouring South Sudan reduced cross-border trade. The introduction of a new national quality (farmer-produced) seed certificate was successful, despite the institutional weakness of the government systems. The expected results in the Justice, Law and Order Sector were scaled down due to budgetary limitations, as a result of significantly reduced (Dutch) donor funding. Strong leadership from the Chief Justice is shaking up the judiciary, resulting in case backlog reduction; broad public appreciation and gradual restoration of the sector's credibility and reputation. Some key (interrelated) problem areas within the sector are being addressed more vigorously than before (e.g. corruption, case backlog, juvenile justice and gender-based violence).

Glimpse into the future

Efforts will continue to influence government agricultural policies and regulations by generating evidence of good practices and alternative approaches involving the private sector. In order to adapt to climate change (increasing water shortage), programmes will focus on incorporating water conservation and smart irrigation within existing and scheduled programmes. Continuing support to the Justice, Law and Order Sector will focus on the reduction of case backlog, transitional justice and safety/security in the refugee settlements in Northern Uganda. Likewise, the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) will continue to be the main instrument for enhancing constructive engagement between civil society and the government. It is the intention to invest further in SRHR as one of the priorities in the new country strategy.

Financial summary

Total expenditure Embassy € 15,317,896

Expenditure 2016 per theme

Expenditure 2016 per channel