Uganda: Promoting Democracy and Civic Engagement

image of community members.

Collaborate with the Sugur Development Agency to improve human rights in Uganda through the provision of quality technical and advisory services in areas of human rights, climate change adaptation, gender mainstreaming, good governance and sustainable development. 

Project description

The Sugur Development Agency (SDA) is a Ugandan youth led non-profit NGO established in 2007 and registered under the Ugandan Non-Governmental Organizations Registration Act 2016. SDA is committed to work for the improvement of human rights in Uganda through the provision of quality technical and advisory services in areas of human rights, climate change adaptation, gender mainstreaming, good governance and sustainable development. Our operational scope is at the national level, focusing on issues and processes that concern human rights across Uganda.  We believe change is built on a strong, engaged and well informed citizenry. SDA's work entails acting as an interlocuter of knowledge and information to inform citizens of their rights and also their obligations and responsibilities. 

SDA uses five main programs to protect and promote human rights in Uganda:

  • Justice Governance and Communications Program:  Developing information and communicating it effectively is a key to enhancing justice, building citizen’s civic competence and thus by extension, the consolidation of Democratic governance and Rule of law. The goal of this program is to help the most vulnerable obtain justice and develop a formidable communications and information strategy that enhances the potential of the citizen.
  • Citizen Empowerment and Social Action: This program aims to promote democracy in Uganda by building a civic literacy and competence among our citizens. It is vital that they know how important their participation and influence is on the democratic process and establishing accountable public leadership. 
  • Land and Property Rights: Land remains one of the most deeply emotional issues and a huge political concern in Uganda because of its role as a store of wealth, a factor of production and a source of cultural identity. Case backlog reports, place land cases as some of the most predominant in the justice system. The limited awareness on land rights coupled with intricate and inaccessible dispute resolution mechanisms exacerbate the situation. 
  • Youth and Law: SDA is founded by young professionals, who are familiar with the contemporary justice and development challenges faced by the youth. Being a significant portion of the country’s population directly makes the youth majority of those in conflict with the law thus a huge constituency of those in need of legal assistance. Particular areas of law that young people need assistance with include human rights, cyber bullying and online safety, inheritance, sexual offenses and dealing with justice institutions like Police. Deliberate youth-friendly services are designed as our contribution to curbing crime in Uganda 
  • Leadership Development and Policy Engagement: This program area focuses on demystifying public policy and empowering citizens to scrutinize and assess the relevance and impact of public policies to them and be able to effectively influence the outcomes of these policies.

Project outcome

Specific project outcomes will be customized through communication with NGO partners. Past examples of global projects have included:

  • Marketing and content development for websites and social media 
  • Research and resource sharing
  • Mentoring and networking 
  • Program and curriculum development 
  • Grant writing

Please note: In addition to the options above, partners may have specialized project requests.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment Variable
Start time Fall, Spring, Summer
Level of collaboration Variable
Benefits Variable
Who is eligible All undergraduate students

Project mentor

Mara Huber

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

24 Capen Hall

Phone: (716) 829-2834


Start the project

To apply for one of the limited spaces, send an interest email to with the following information and one of our staff will respond with more information via email :  

  • Share relevant background information about yourself and why you are interested in a global project.
  • Review the list of current global partnerships, list the three you are most interested in working with and explain why for each.
  • Explain what you hope to contribute to and gain from a global project.

Note that global partners rely on the contributions associated with ELN student projects and commit their limited time and resources to working with students. Accordingly, different projects will require varying amounts of time and strong commitment and follow through.  

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 

  1. Examine the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the history of the framework. Then select one SDG to focus on as you work through your project.
  2. Download and complete this PowerPoint template.