The National Bureau for NGOs (NGO Bureau) is a semi-autonomous body under the Ministry of Internal Affairs established by the NGO Act 2016 .The Act mandates it to register, regulate, coordinate, inspect, monitor and oversee all NGO operations in the country. There are currently 13000 registered NGOs according to the register at the NGO Bureau.
Strategic theme for 2015/16 – 2019/20
Positioning the National Bureau for NGOs to drive a vibrant, accountable and more effective NGO sector.
A vibrant and accountable NGO sector enabling citizens’ advancement and self-transformation.
To provide an enabling environment for the empowerment of the NGO sector through registration, regulation.
To set out a framework that strengthens the relationship between the NGO sector and Government, and enhance capacities and effectiveness in the areas of service delivery, advocacy and community empowerment
Core Values & Beliefs
(i) Respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms with regard to social, cultural and religious beliefs and practices, which rights will be exercised responsibly.
(ii) Freedom of association and independence of individuals and NGOs within the overall framework of the law.
(iii) Voluntarism and respect for diversity within the NGO sector.
(iv) The right of NGOs to autonomy, self-governance and self-regulation consistent with the laws of Uganda.
(v) Dignity, mutual respect and trust underpinned by open dialogue, transparency and accountability.
(vi) Gender equity and equality
Key strategic objectives:
(i) Enhance effective, efficient and client-centred service delivery at the NGO Bureau;
(ii) Enhance stakeholder awareness of the NGO Bureau services;
(iii) Strengthen the legal, policy and regulatory framework for the NGO sector;
(iv) Improve accountability, transparency and credibility in the NGO sector;
(v) Strengthen the institutional capacity of the NGO Bureau to effectively execute its mandate.
Uganda’s Vision for 30 years up to 2040
A Transformed Ugandan Society from a Peasant to a Modern and Prosperous Country by 2040.
Priority actions for the NGO Bureau in implementation of the NDP II;
a) Strengthening Governance mechanisms for the NGO sector
b) Strengthening the role of NGOs in Sector Working Groups (SWGs) to participate in the implementation of the NDP II.
c) Re-align the coordination, registration and regulation of the NGO sector towards supporting the NDP II identified priorities.
d) Establishing Forums to discuss progress in the implementation of the NDP II by NGO.
The functions of the Bureau are to:-
1. advise the minister on the general policy relating to the operations of organizations;
2. formulate, develop and issue policy guidelines for DNMCs and SNMCs for the effective and efficient monitoring of the operations of the organizations;
3. establish branch offices of the Bureau;
4. formulate and develop policy guidelines for DNMCs, SNMCs and CBOs;
5. make recommendations to the relevant authorities with regard to employment of non-citizens by an organization, on whether an organization may be exempted from taxes and duties or be accorded any other privileges or immunities;
6. coordinate the establishment and functions of a National Non- Governmental Organizations’ consultative and dialogue platform;
7. establish and maintain a register of organizations;
8. consider applications for issue and renewal of permits;
9. perform any other function under this Act or as may be directed in Writing by the Minister;
10. Conduct background checks and scrutinize the credentials and status of all international NGOs seeking to register and operate in Uganda. Only legitimate NGOs are to be allowed to operate in Uganda;
11. Consider new applications for registration by Non- Governmental Organizations including NGO umbrellas/networks/clusters;
12. Work closely with the sector lead Ministry, line Ministries, NGO umbrella Organizations and other stakeholders to prepare and disseminate widely, periodic official reports, on the status, contribution and impact of the NGO sector to national development;
13. Consider applications for renewal of NGO permits;
14. Keep a register of all registered NGOS;
15. Monitor compliance by all registered NGOs with the terms and conditions of their certificate of registration/incorporation and their Constitution;
16. Provide appropriate guidelines for operationalization of the NGO Act at line Ministry and lower levels of district administration consistent with the principles of this and other policies;
17. In liaison with the designated officers, in the line ministries and Local Government Authorities, monitor district relations with NGO to ensure compliance with set guidelines;
18. Coordinate Government engagement with other NGO sector stakeholders including umbrella organizations to promote responsible and accountable conduct amongst NGO sector actors in the country;
19. Coordinate Government engagement with other stakeholders, including development partners, in efforts to enhance capacity building and sustainability of the NGO sector;
20. Coordinate Government engagement with other stakeholders to establish a reliable database and information system on the NGO sector in Uganda;
21. Consider applications for NGO permits.