Development Network of Indigenous Voluntary Associations (DENIVA) is Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that provides a platform for collective reflection, action and voice to voluntary local associations to advocate for people-centered, accountable and sustainable development in Uganda.

DENIVA was founded in 1988 by 21 Civil Society Organizations as a network of  Ugandan NGOs and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and has grown to over 700 Member Organizations (MO), located in all regions of Uganda.

DENIVA’s program areas are (i) Governance and Human Rights; (ii) Sustainable Livelihoods; and (iii) Strengthening of Civil Society Organizations. Gender Mainstreaming and Youth Empowerment are cross cutting themes.DENIVA is also the  Secretariat of the NGO Quality Assurance Mechanism (QuAM) and Secretariat for the Eastern Africa Regional Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).


A responsible society where all Ugandans meet their needs and enjoy their rights


Promoting good governance and improved livelihoods through capacity development, information sharing and advocacy.


Openness: We are able to speak without fear or favor.

Responsiveness: We strive to be timely, approachable, sensitive and respond to injustice and obstacles tosustainable development.

Tolerance: We are open-minded in our analysis of actions on poverty and injustice while recognizing diversity of contributions.

Mutual support: We value interdependence in pursuit of our aspirations.

Integrity: We are bound by truthfulness and honesty in the way we do business.

Gender equality: We demonstrate and advocate for equal opportunities and mutual respect for both men and women.

Learning: Based on our experience, we continuously expand our capacity to create desired results, be innovative and nurture new knowledge.

Listening: We strive for mutual respect for alternative and diverse views to create situations where everyone wins

Trust: We have belief and confidence in the goodwill and ability to achieve our aspirations as a network.

Sharing: We treasure exchange of information, resources, experiences and best practices in our operations.


DENIVA’s Identity

DENIVA’s identity is its indigenous nature that is jealously guarded to preserve home-grown development ideologies and principles while taking into perspective regional and global dimensions. This is portrayed in the DENIVA logo with the following features:

  • Crested Crane represents Uganda and is one of its national symbols.
  • The black color indicates indigenousness and pride in the African people.
  • The red chain signifies brotherhood/sisterhood and the sacrifices our ancestors have made to build our nation.
  • Green grass celebrates the network’s originality and a taproot link with the grassroots communities.
  • The black chain signifies togetherness and synergygenerated by thenetwork.


To advocate for good governance, quality service delivery and poverty reduction in Uganda.

DENIVA’s Purpose

To promote research, documentation, and capacity building initiatives for Member Organizations  and Civil Society Organizations for effective advocacy and policy influencing at all levels of Uganda’s development.

DENIVA’s development approaches

DENIVA partners with Member Organizations (MOs) to mobilize and empower local communities through Neighborhood Assemblies (NAs). These are People’s Parliaments or platforms where citizens are able to raise pertinent issues that affect their local communities and actively engage in generating solutions and hold local governments accountable.

DENIVA conducts research to generate information for evidence based advocacy to engage government in the formulate, review and implementation of policies and programs in favor of marginalized groups like women, children, internally displaced persons and persons with disabilities. DENIVA partners with MOs to implement projects that address community challenges and make a difference in the lives of the people. Reflection meetings between the implementing organizations are organized for peer review and to come up with collective actions and voice.

DENIVA advocates for a conducive environment for civil society to operate. It amplifies voices from the grassroots through the media, publications, DENIVA website and networks at the national, regional and international levels.  DENIVA aims at building an empowered, courageous and vibrant citizenry that demands for a Uganda that is democratic, accountable and with efficient institutions that serve its people.DENIVA is a member of regional and international partnerships that foster mutual learning, sharing of best practices and documentation of experiences.

DENIVA Programs

1. Governance and Human Rights

The Governance and Human Rights Program advocates for a democracy that serves all citizens of Uganda;  promotes respect of human rights and calls for adherence to Constitutionalism.

The program has the following objectives:

  1. To promote civic and voter education among Ugandan citizens in order to actively participate in democratic governance at all levels.
  2. To empower citizens to demand for the respect of their human rights as stated in the Uganda Constitution and International Conventions.
  3. To promote quality service delivery and accountability at local and central government levels in the sectors of Education, Health and Agriculture.
  4. To advocate for a favorable operating environment for civil society organizations in Uganda.
  5. To promote women’s participation in local and national politics and build their capacity in transformative leadership.

2. Sustainable Livelihoods

The Sustainable Livelihoods Program aims at supporting local communities with skills and knowledge on climate change adaptation, resilience, disaster risk reduction and economic empowerment. The program has the following objectives:

  1. To building the capacity of local communities to adapt to climate change through awareness campaigns, piloting of adaptation actions, and strengthening public private
  2. To strengthen the resilience of local communities and build capacity for disaster risk reduction.
  3. To mobilize local communities to protect the environment, utilize and preserve natural resources for the benefit of national development and for posterity.
  4. To analyze the impact of agricultural policies and programs on local populations in order to make proposals for reform and food security in favor of the poor.
  5. To promote women’s economic empowerment programs and support youth groups with innovative entrepreneurship initiatives.

3. Strengthening Civil Society Organizations

DENIVA is committed to institutional strengthening of its Member Organizations and the wider Civil Society by providing technical support in the development of Policies, Programs and Processes. Support in organizational development is provided to develop Strategic Plans, Finance Policies, Human Resource Policies, Gender Policies, Monitoring & Evaluation Frameworks, among others. In additions, skills and knowledge are shared in Communication, Networking, Advocacy, Proposal Writing & Resource Mobilization. The program has the following objectives:

  1. To build the capacity of Civil Society Organizations in Organizational Development so as to comply with Quality Assurance Mechanism (QuAM) standards.
  2. To align QuAM standards with the Global Standard for CSO Accountability and create awareness of the Global Standard at the national and regional levels.
  3. To create a platform where DENIVA member organizations exchange ideas and information to promote the development of Uganda.
  4. To support communication, information sharing and co-operation between indigenous voluntary associations, government, development partners and the international community on Uganda’s development.
  5. To strengthen DENIVA’s strategic and operational management for an efficient organization that effectively delivers its mandate.

4. DENIVA as host of the Quality Assurance Mechanism (QuAM) Secretariat.

In 2006, DENIVA and Uganda National NGO Forum as co-promoters developed the Quality Assurance Mechanism (QuAM) for Civil Society Organizations working in Uganda. QuAMis a voluntary self-assessment and regulatory mechanism designed to strengthen the internal governance, professionalism, transparency, integrity and accountability of NGOs to stakeholders. 

DENIVA hosts the secretariat for the NGOs Quality Assurance Mechanism (QuAM) and is responsible for certifying all CSOs operating in Uganda based on a set of standards. QuAM certification of NGOs enhances their capacities, standards and ethical conduct and consequently raises their credibility and legitimacy. QuAM has three certificates, namely: Basic, Standard and Advanced.

DENIVA/QuAM is proud to be a partner of the Global Standard for Civil Society Accountability that brings together nine civil society accountability networks from around the world to develop a commonly accepted Global Standard for CSO Accountability.

5. DENIVA as host of the Secretariat for the Regional Network on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).

DENIVA is a member of the Global Network on Disaster Risk Reduction (GNDR) and currently hosts the Regional Network on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), that brings together representatives from over eight countries from Eastern Africa to share experiences and plan strategies on resilience and disaster reduction.

DENIVA membership

DENIVA is a network organization with a membership 700 local non-governmental organizations spread across all the districts of Uganda. The Member Organizations (MOs) vary from Community Based Organizations, Faith Based Organizations to National Civil Society Organizations.Would you like to join DENIVA? Check our website www.deniva.or.ug or contact us.


Governance and Human Rights

Governance and Human Rights

The Governance and Human Rights Program aims at strengthening and nurturing partnerships and communities to advocate for a democracy that serves all citizens in Uganda. The program works for social, economic and political accountability of local and...

Sustainable Livelihoods

Sustainable Livelihoods

The Sustainable Livelihoods Program aims at supporting MOs with skills and knowledge in order to advocate pro-poor and gender sensitive policies through programmes in agriculture, trade, climate change and improved service delivery. The objectives a...

Civil Society Organisation Strengthening

Civil Society Organisation Strengthening

DENIVA has a long term experience in providing capacity building services to CSOs as one of its key mandates. Organizational development interventions ranges from research, proposal development, presentation and facilitation skills; negotiation and n...

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