National Consultation on the CSO Enabling Environment: National Assessment Report : Summary of Proceedings

The enabling environment for civil society is informed not just by laws and regulations but by the entire framework of the economy, the people, their political ideology, their cultures, their religious beliefs, and their societal set ups. A sustainable civil society in Uganda, where individuals or groups of individuals or their organizations fully operate to their maximum potential, is the greatest aspiration of civil society actors at all levels. The need to create a better understanding of the environment in which CSOs operate has been and remains a key preoccupation of various stakeholders in Uganda. The Uganda National NGO Forum is a strategic partner in the implementation of the Enabling Environment National Assessment (EENA) in Uganda, in collaboration with CIVICUS (World Alliance for Citizen Participation) and ICNL (International Centre for non-profit Law). This assessment is part of the broader Civic Space Initiative (CSI) thataims to protect and expand civic space by fostering an enabling legal environment for civil society organizations; it focuses on civil society legal initiatives at the global, regional, and national levels. From discussions that ensued, the Enabling Environment National Assessment process, is a basis for dialogue among government, development partners and CSOs to work together to improve the enabling environment for CSOs and strengthen CSO-government relations. This report presents an account of the proceedings from the meeting. The promotion of an enabling environment remains a fundamental challenge, which requires shared responsibility among a broad range of actors: CSOs, Governments, Development Partners and the Private sector. The meeting was a great opportunity for civil society and other development actors to reflect upon the challenges of CSO Enabling Environment and develop an advocacy plan to enhance the operating environment of CSOs in Uganda.