Although national elections in Uganda have become increasingly competitive since the introduction of multiparty politics in 2005, the ruling National Resistance Movement has dominated the country since 1986. Elections have been marked by the harassment and arrest of opposition leaders, intimidation of voters and, in some cases, violent clashes between protestors and security forces. IFES programmatic interventions have been designed to engage, inform and motivate Ugandan citizens, particularly marginalized groups, to participate in the electoral process and support post-election interventions in preparation for future elections and democratic political processes. IFES’ support aims to improve citizen engagement and support efforts to hold transparent elections in Uganda since 2015.
Under programming funded by the United States Agency for International Development, IFES works with electoral stakeholders and community partners to support increased citizen participation in the country's elections and efforts to move toward a more peaceful electoral process. As a Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS) partner, IFES has helped to foster increased citizen engagement through a direct effort to engage communities that have been traditionally marginalized. These efforts have been taken hand-in-hand with local community partners in consideration of the importance of having programmatic efforts guided by local expertise and experiences. Past and ongoing efforts prioritize the capacity development of local partners to ensure that they are positioned to assume greater ownership of the electoral process and effectively lead local coordination efforts and to sustain knowledge and activities.