Annual Update 2021 VNG International


Deserted Moyo-Sudan border:  Insecurity is still affecting cross border trade.


Rhino Camp: Solar technicians will soon become a necessity in the project area with increased adoption by the communities.

‘PPD forums have helped in bridging the gap between the public and private sectors by eliminating suspicion or misinformation.’

Mr. Jobel Aiko,

City Commercial Officer, Arua City

‘The value of this project, in my view, is that local governments are key in the approach to enable inclusive locally driven economic development, in terms of employment, entrepreneurship and vocational training, for host communities and refugees.’

Ms. Anne-Marie Tosserams,

Project Manager VNG International

Dealing with Conflict, Fragility

and Migration by strengthening democratic

local government

Featured Project

Uganda, Supporting Refugees and Host Communities in Northern Uganda



Northern Uganda is marked by years of civil war, regional instability and economic disparities. Since 2017, Uganda has been hosting over 1.4 million refugees, mainly from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This puts increasing pressure on natural resources such as land, water and wood. Small scale subsistence agriculture and micro/small businesses (mainly shops and workshops) are the only livelihood activities for host communities and refugees in this region. Both groups suffer from lack of skills, lack of resources- such as start-up capital for businesses, credit and agricultural inputs- and lack of employment opportunities.


This is why VNG International aims to strengthen six District Local Governments (DLGs) in their capacity to improve income and employment opportunities of both refugees and the local population. Our activities fall within the larger GIZ managed programme: “Response to increased demand on government services and creation of economic opportunities in Uganda (RISE)”, which is financially supported by the European Commission and BMZ.



Results achieved:


  • Completion of an Employment and Labour Market Analysis (ELMA) in Northern Uganda which showed that the under- and unemployment in the region is not caused by lack of available skilled labour, but is mainly caused by lack of demand. The regional economy mainly consists of micro/small enterprises without integration in value chains or connection to medium/large size companies.
  • A Stakeholder Analysis, Socio-Economic Analysis and Value Chain Analysis per DLG, establishing which sectors could contribute most to the strengthening of Local Economic Development (LED) in the West Nile region.
  • Then employment opportunities were facilitated through institutionalized Public-Private Dialogue (PPDs) by supporting and conducting various meetings of public-private platforms, of which the DLG forms the secretariat.
  • Also a feasibility study was conducted on how to unlock the potential of a decentralised climate fund in Adjumani District.
  • And we provided M&E support for the overall GIZ RISE programme.


In all our activities, we aim to introduce the interests and objectives of the DLGs that are otherwise often not considered. The creation of investment opportunities for Micro, Small & Medium Sized enterprises (MSMEs), and through them, the creation of employment for both host and refugee population requires local governments' active participation. However, many structural and temporary limitations hamper the potential of local governments as promoters of economic development and the creation of an environment conducive to doing business.


That is why our organisation has extensively supported the organisation of Public-Private Dialogue forums encouraging local governments and entrepreneurs to overcome the obstacles for doing business. In 2021, we will support 30 MSMEs using the SME loop methodology.