USAID Uganda Strengthening Decentralization for Sustainability (SDS)

Women providing public health training

Cardno empowered local district governments and health facilities in Uganda to help local districts address an array of health and education challenges, from HIV/AIDS, to water hygiene and basic literacy.

Under the SDS Program, Cardno provided innovative approaches that supported Uganda’s local governments in improving public service delivery of health and other social services.  

The SDS Program sought to improve the coordination of district services to eliminate duplication among USAID Implementing Partners (IPs), enhance collaboration among local government stakeholders, and strengthen coordination between local governments and USAID.  

Cardno provided coordination, technical assistance, capacity building, financing of strategic interventions through district cash grants, and facilitation of public and social sector service programs, including water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); education; and human resources for health.  

Cardno introduced a locally-adapted version of USAID's innovative District Operational Plan (DOP) framework to ensure joint implementation, monitoring and evaluation of activities. Cardno’s team provided our Implementing Partner Mapping tool, developed with UNICEF, to allow districts to view development metrics, projects and facilities within their districts. To help strengthen the management of local government resources and program results, we also used the Surge Model, in which by we recruited, trained and deployed consultant teams in a staggered approach to disseminate resources in district clusters. 

The SDS Program positively impacted 71 districts in Uganda, with community-level outcomes including: 

  • induction of 33,223 newly-elected councilors to help them better meet the needs of citizens 
  • participation of 85 per cent of implementing partners in the district planning process 
  • mapping of 20,042 girls and women under the DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored and Safe Women) initiative of ‘Working Together for an AIDS-free Future for Girls and Women’, with 9,718 girls reached with HIV risk-reduction messages, 6,179 provided with HIV counseling and testing services, and 2,470 reached with post violence care   
  • participation of 2,059 school administrators in governance and management training, to help improve early grade reading and education 
  • provision of $17.75 million through the grants portfolio, to help strengthen districts, civil society organizations and medical bureaus 
  • recruitment of 1,212 health workers in both public and private not-for-profit health facilities, to bolster service delivery