Home Institution

Appalachian State University

Publication Date

Fall 2021

Program Name

Uganda: Global Development Studies


The purpose of this research was to assess the ability of Community Based Organizations, or CBOs, in the Kapchorwa District of Uganda to create long-term and sustainable community development that meets the needs of their community. To provide the necessary context for the study, I conducted a literature review of poverty in Uganda, theory in sustainable and community development, the connection of CBOs to sustainable community development, challenges and strengths for CBOs, and the general context of the structure of and the regulations for a CBO in Uganda.

The participants in the research were members of CBOs in the Kapchorwa District of Uganda. I particularly selected three CBOs to research. Other participants were community members in the villages of the selected CBOs who were not members of the groups, as well as LC1s, CDOs, and a representative from KACSOA. The primary methods used were focus group discussions and key informant interviews. These provided the researcher with insight into the inner workings of CBOs, the impacts these had and perceptions of the community, and some perspectives of local government and NGO workers. Particularly, these methods allowed the researcher to emphasize the perspective of the community and those leading community-based development initiatives.

The main findings of the research found that CBOs are essential components of truly sustainable community development due to their grassroots nature. However, due to limitations in capacity and organization, CBOs are more often than not failing to live up to this potential. The main challenges are due to internal structure, lack of capacity, lack of capital, and disorganized objectives and purpose. Recommendations are presented to provide CBOs with tools to become more successful in the long-term, which is possible, as demonstrated by the findings.


African Languages and Societies | African Studies | Civic and Community Engagement | Community-Based Research | Development Studies | Politics and Social Change | Public Policy | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Social Justice


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