Swedish support to democracy and human rights is mainly conducted through cooperation with civil society. An important goal is to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations to hold duty bearers accountable and safeguard the rights of citizens as laid down in Ugandan law and through international conventions.
Sweden, as one of eight donors, has provided assistance to the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) programme since July 2011. Through the DGF, Sweden is able to support a large number of organizations throughout the country and ensure added value by coordinating with like-minded donors. Support from DGF includes state partners that are working with democratic governance and increased respect for human rights in the country. It played an important role for voter education in the preparations for the 2016 elections. More broadly, the supported local NGOs strive to make people aware of their rights, ensure more inclusive access to justice and promote peace and reconciliation.
Diakonia is a Swedish organization that works with the strengthening of democracy and respect for human rights through its cooperation with Ugandan civil society organizations. Diakonia’s partners have a strong presence in the north-eastern parts of Uganda. They have a broad range of activities that includes women's political participation and reducing gender-based violence, including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). FGM is still a common practice in Eastern Uganda. The support through Zoa has contributed to changing mindsets of traditional surgeons and leaders. Slowly the acceptance for FGM is diminishing.