Preventing Gender-Based Violence During Climate Crises in northern Uganda

African Women wading through a flooded street.

Help prevent Global Gender Violence (GBV) through educating stakeholders and sharing the stories of impacted women in Northern Uganda

Project context

Heavy rainfalls experienced in the eastern parts of Uganda in the months of May and June 2019, 2021, 2022 caused flooding and landslide disasters within Bukedi and Elgon region, directly affecting 569 households (2,845 individuals) in four districts of Bududa, Sironko, Mbale and Butaleja. Initially following the crisis, the government of Uganda and humanitarian organizations like Red Cross Society intervened to offer assistance to affected communities. 

Since then, landslides and flooding continue to affect districts including Butaleja, Mbale and Bududa and others. Both CERU and FIRD recognized that once a crisis strikes, although support is given, issues of power and gender transformativeness are not taken into consideration and continue to cause discrimination against women and girls who are already a vulnerable group. To address this unmet need, the two organizations began providing emergency support to women and girls and also holding community conversations with community leaders, women and youth groups on integration of VAWG prevention and response in all humanitarian and emergency interventions during and after climate change experiences including floods and landslides. 

FIRD and CERU will intensify mobilization, capacity enhancement of civil society organizations (working of VAWG advocacy, prevent and response) and government institutions (that focus on access to justice,VAWG prevention and response) and establish a functional GBV and Advocacy Referral Network that provides survivor centered services and advocacy to VAWG survivors/victims. Additionally, we envisage having a community and district level Referral Networks to ensure availability of VAWG services and support at all times. This network will also continue to operate even when the project comes to an end.

Project opportunities

We invite UB students to help us capture the voices and lived experiences of women and girls prior to, during and after climate change situations of flooding and landslides to build capacity with key stakeholders. This approach will ensure buy-in from all community levels including ordinary women and men, young people (girls and boys), community leaders and institutions thus ensuring broad and inclusive participation.

Student projects will be customized tto support student goals and interests while aligning with program needs. Projects will support the following priorities:

  • FIRD and CERU will prioritise carrying out a “Pre implementation external-led assessment” with the aim of clarifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats when working on dynamic issues of GBV and Climate Change, identifying capacity gaps and strengths on GBV integrative programming and GRB. The recommendations from the assessment will further strengthen strategic planning, coordination, programming and strong integration of gender equality and VAWG prevention.
  • In partnership with targeted leadership institutions, we will develop a Capacity Growth Response Plan to strengthen capacity enhancement activities by addressing gaps and leveraging existing capacities and resources. The plan will include an exit strategy clarifying how capacity growth and development will be sustained while defining qualitative and quantitative indicators to be tracked throughout the implementation period.
  • We shall engage community leaders, civil society organisations (national and international) working in the districts of project implementation, district officials, and other relevant stakeholders at regional and national levels on the planned project implementation. This will enable us to share and unpack the purpose/objectives of the project implementation, the role of the different stakeholders, budgets, expectations or fears and expected outcomes, emphasizing project ownership among the various stakeholders.  

Interested students should submit a letter indicating relevant experience, skills and goals and availability to commit significant time and effort to this project.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment Variable
Start time Fall, Spring, Summer
Level of collaboration Variable
Benefits Digital Badge
Who is eligible Students of all backgrounds and majors invited to apply

Core partners

  • CERU
  • FIRD

Project mentor

Mara Huber

Associate Dean, Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning; Director, Experiential Learning Network

127 Capen Hall

Phone: (716) 829-2834


SUNY SDG Project Challenge

This project is for students interested in the SUNY SDG Project Challenge.

Express Interest

  1. Email ELN with letter of interest at to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to send this email)
  2. After you send your email expressing your interest, click the button to schedule a meeting to discuss the project. (Please be sure to include your letter of interest when scheduling the event)


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