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Institute of Advanced Leadership

Established in 2000, the Institute of Advanced Leadership – Uganda IAL-U is a non profit education institution registered with the Uganda National council for higher education (NCHETI. PL0023).

We provide comprehensive secular higher education fulfilling a national and international service by providing full time and part time programs that are supported by ongoing research in areas reflective of the Institute’s mission.

Our approach is to provide integrated leadership training with core educational curriculum to change the thinking and attitudes of participants, to create the type of leaders who have the skills, attitudes and approach necessary to end poverty and war.

Formal and Non-Formal Courses

We are dedicated to nurturing and equipping Africa’s future leaders with experiences, insights, and tools so that African-led solutions are developed to address Africa’s challenges.

We provide diploma and certificate courses in accounting and finance, business studies, leadership, monitoring and evaluation, project planning and management, human resource management, languages and culture, public health, information technology and much more.

The Skills Development Programme was initiated by the Government of Uganda under the Ministry of Education – Department of  Business, Technical, Vocational and Educational Training (BTVET). Its emphasis is to empower the Youth with employable technical and soft Skills.

Our core values

The institute has drawn up ethical guidelines for business

Mutual respect





Open Communication




Excellence in Education

Quality in Education

Responsible Global Citizen

What we do

Public Policy Influence and Capacity Building


Institute of Advanced Leadership’s belief is that advocacy is a process, rather than an event. As such, advocacy is a continuous aspect of Institute of Advanced Leadership’s work at all levels of engagement. Institute of Advanced Leadership’s advocacy work has included grass roots interventions that have led to community by-laws, district level efforts that have resulted in referenda and local level resolutions and district ordinances; and ultimately national level issues that influence policy, practice and legislation.

Institute of Advanced Leadership’s advocacy activities have varied far and wide between and are adapted as the need arises.

Movement Building

Institute of Advanced Leadership supports entire communities to rally up against all forms of injustice through a cohesive movement building framework. We work with rural and community based groups to support them define agendas around which to mobilize and organize, define advocate for solutions to common challenges and injustices. Institute of Advanced Leadership’s belief is that movements must be collective in the issues they address, and as such, there is a deliberate move to build and grow all-inclusive movements.

The women’s rights fraternity; a gender sensitive men (GSM) stepping into leadership as agents of change influencing;

  • The way women perceive and define themselves
  • Attitudes and practices towards women in their specific communities
  • Community perception of women and girls’ roles and rights.
  • Response on part of duty bearers on women’s issues
  • Women’s confidence and perception of themselves

Institute of Advanced Leadership believes that this Movement is best placed to demand accountability, redress and response from all duty bearers and district leaders in their respective communities.  Institute of Advanced Leadership also considers this approach as a more realistic sustainability plan in moving the burden of advocacy and response away from Institute Of Advanced Leadership to the community members.

Domestic Violence

Institute of Advanced Leadership work with others to support women experiencing domestic violence, as violence affects children directly and indirectly helps the children through assistance to the woman. Although there is knowledge about how domestic violence affects children there is little by way of specific interventions for children. Over the last years domestic violence and abuse have emerged as key problem.


Incest is another form of defilement which young girls are subjected to particularly by uncles, extended family members, fathers and grandfathers. Abusive husbands and step dads’ have been known to rape their daughters and step daughters in front of their spouses. Incest is a taboo in most cultures in Ugandan settings and most go unreported as crimes because traditional rituals are used to “cleanse” the offender and the victim.


The rate of defilement in Uganda is very high and is increasing all the time, every day in print media, radio and TV news and talk shows rape, murder and defilements are reported. Defilement is a common child abuse problem in homes which are dysfunctional as a result of domestic violence. When a woman is forced to leave home, the children are left in the care of the extended family and can be defiled by male relatives such as grandfathers, uncles, older cousins or herdsmen. Children who are taken away from their mothers are also more neglected and likely to be exposed to risky situations which can lead to defilement, such as being sent to the well to collect water at late hours or alone. Children in the care of elderly people such as grandmothers are also more vulnerable to such attacks. The idea that defilement is mainly carried out by strangers is wrong. Defilement can even be carried out by someone known to the family and to the child and as a result the power dynamics and ability to coerce and exploit the child are high.

Defilement Law

In an effort to reduce the crime, the government made it a capital offence which could attract the death penalty. However conviction rates remained low and no executions were carried out. Instead parents of girls exploited this fear and demanded extortionate amounts of money as “bride price” from parents whose sons had made girls pregnant, while serious offenders were not prosecuted. Following an outcry from the public, mainly from parents of young boys, the law was revised and the death penalty made applicable only for aggravated defilement. However the offenders have a right to bail so when they are released back into the community, the victims are left exposed to the offenders who have been known to re-offend using threats or inducements.

Forced Marriage

Due to poverty, many parents view their daughters as a source of income and will sell them into marriage in return for cows or money. Forced marriage is common among many girls as young as 12 or 13 years, who are taken out of school and forced into marriage so that their parents can receive income from bride price, especially during hunger and disaster periods, girls are exchanged in form of food as bride price. Sometimes girls are sold from one marriage to another if the man fails to pay the bride price. Young virgins have been sold into marriage to older men due to the belief that they were a cure for HIV/AIDS. Uganda has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in Africa. This occurrence should be viewed as a result of a combination of defilement and forced marriages as well as other factors.

Child Neglect

The most common cases reported by women (children producing children/ younger mothers) are neglecting their children and lack of maintenance. Men neglect to provide for their family in homes. When the parents are separated, the male partners/ husbands refuse to pay maintenance for the children’s upkeep. Children from polygamous families are most at risk of neglect. The men involved behave irresponsibly by marrying many wives and then neglecting to provide for them. Some of these children do not even know their father. The children go without food, clothing, medical care or school fees. Many such children drop out of school and either marry early or end up on the streets.


The Institute on governance strategic objective is to support women, youth, communities and their organizations at local and national level to build resilience, engage public officials and institutions to respect civil liberties and be accountable for provision of quality and timely social and judicial services.

Our work on participatory democracy and governance is premised on understanding that poverty is a consequence of abuse of power manifested through undemocratic practices, unaccountable and non-responsive leadership and paternalist ‘welfare’ approach where citizens must wait upon the generosity and goodwill of the giver.


  • Key to Uganda’s system of governance is low capacity of the citizens to demand and hold leaders to account for their actions and limited or non-involvement of the governed in decision making
  • The supply side of the accountability is characterized by a rather patronizing system for buying support and approval for those wielding State power, rule by law rather than rule of law, and unaccountable and endemic corruption among leaders.
  • As guided by our  work focuses on  three intervention areas:
  • 1) Improving governance in delivery of social services;
  • 2) Promoting civic participation;
  • 3) Building resilience to emerging threats in the context and improving accountability of state and non-state actors.


  • Promotion of transparency of the  state and non-state institutions
  • Promoting citizen’s participation in decision making processes
  • Ensuring responsibility in the exercise of power by those welding political offices
  • Promoting accountability of the decision-makers

  • Increasing responsiveness of the leaders  to people’s needs through provision of social  services
  • It’s is our belief that youths should be meaningfully engaged in governance in order to build sustainable peace, security and development.
  • We also prioritize access to justice for women, children and other vulnerable groups while advocating for legislative and policy reforms. We pride in initiating and leading policy debates. In a two pronged approach we directly implement some of the governance activities at the national and local levels through the governance programs as well as work with and through partnership.

Participatory democracy and governance is critical in delivering sustained benefits of poverty eradication interventions and guaranteeing a human rights culture. There are inherent risks of reversing achievements made so far in poverty eradication efforts if no investments are made in promoting participatory democracy and governance with people at the center and participating in making decisions that affect them.

Endemic corruption, abuse of power, ineffective institutions, limited civic participation and inadequacies in the legal and policy frameworks increase vulnerabilities for people struggling to get out of poverty. To achieve this:

Through information sharing! voice! accountability! improved service delivery! connected and mutually reinforcing work areas enjoined in a governance programme that emphasizes the importance of the right information placed in the hands of citizens in accessible formats as a basis for informed debate and citizen action in pursuit of quality service delivery and ultimately a good life by ordinary women, men, the youth and children. The essence of this; is to contribute to the demand for accountability and spur sensitive decision making by decision makers. We work with men, women, youth, state and non-state actors to realize our objectives through forums and barazas’ mobilize the general public to a critical mass against corruption and improved service delivery through the holding of anti-corruption events, participation and in related matters.

Land and Women Land Rights

Across the Uganda, in Africa and the developing world in general, millions of people, particularly women, need secure access to land, resources and supportive policies from their governments.

Having secure access to and control over land increases peoples’ resilience in the face of hunger and poverty, enabling them to look into ways to manage them sustainably. Alongside access to land, security of land tenure is also important to ensure the right to food security, access to credit financing and other human rights, such as the rights to work and housing.

Together with our partners, we are working at all levels with rural women to strengthen their control over land, natural resources and among communities in extractive industries locations, as well as build their capacity to adapt to climate change. We are focusing on documenting and sharing best practices, raising awareness on corporate land grabs and their implications, building support bases and networks and campaigning for policy changes.

Women’s rights to land, which aimed to empower poor and excluded landless women in rural Uganda to influence national policies to promote women’s equal rights to land, fight hunger and improve their livelihoods.

Land grabs campaigns also inform policies and supporting farmers in their struggle against land grabs, to ensure that Public-Private Sector Institutions are accountable for abuses of the rights to land, water and other natural resources.

Economic Rights

The right to development is a fundamental human right

Women are more likely to live in abject poverty – just because they are women. They have less access to land, education, income and decision-making – all of which keeps them poor.

The Institute puts women and women’s rights at the center of all our work because we believe this inequality is an injustice we must fight. And we believe that gender is critical to understanding the causes of poverty and social-economic injustices.

We work with all vulnerable groups across the country to identify the changes they want to see and to empower them to claim their social-economic rights.

The Institute also defends the rights of women and girls to live free from gender-based violence; to secure a fairer division of care work and to control their own sexuality and cultural rights especially against (Female Genital Mutilation-FGM), as well as rejecting all forms of violence.

We believe that women are powerful forces for change. In everything we do, we believes the best way to end poverty is to strengthen women in their own social-economic struggles, helping them to unleash their own potential to change the communities.

Women’s fear of violence is an attack on their basic rights and prevents them from living full and equal lives.

Advocacy campaigns with women for decent jobs-workplace environment and equal job promotion based on merits rather than gender biases, fair taxes to reduce inequalities, and to see a fairer division of unpaid care work – including public services to reduce drudgery and ensure better quality care provision for people living in poverty.

All women have the right to a reasonable standard of living, access to decent work and public services, and the right to leisure and rest.

In many rural and urban communities there are many barriers that marginalize and exclude women and girls in particular, and prevent them from achieving their social-economic rights. These take many forms, including social and cultural practices that place women and girls at risk of violence and exploitation, and mean they bear a greater responsibility for unpaid care work. This inequality prevents women from pursuing education, livelihood and other opportunities as genuine partners in nation building efforts both at grassroots and national level.

Voice and Accountability

Accountability sensitivity mechanisms in projects sensitivity can be integrated into large-scale development projects, including through technology-based solutions. The aim is to ensure that such projects are better able to make positive contributions to peace in fragile and conflict-affected situations.

We seek to unpack the meaning of voice and accountability in order to understand the processes and circumstances that influence the effectiveness of accountability initiatives and to explore the connections between conflict-sensitivity and social accountability. Since multilateral institutions work extensively through central and regional government structures, greater accountability in these projects also provides the opportunity to improve citizen–state.  The report also looks at the role that technology can play in improving accountability and governance processes, particularly in light of the limited focus so far on technological solutions to encourage responses from decision-makers. In addition, it considers the conflict-sensitivity dynamics of each project, their recognition of local conflict dynamics and their contribution to peaceful development.

In many respects, the different stages reflect the different stages, from challenges to relating of misappropriation of resources; a transparency and accountability.

Accountability appears in general to strengthen the development outcomes.  In some instances, accountability it enhance women’s empowerment.

The challenge points to an opportunity to enhance the engagement of women, whose roles are very different from those of men. The needs of women should also be adequately reflected by the community accountability groups, which are mostly male-led at present. Need to sharpen incentives and sanctions and to provide robust oversight of these groups to improve their inclusivity, transparency and responsiveness.  It will also need to strengthen local governance.

A Primer on Key Emerging Issues in Monitoring

In a bid to promote good governance, voice and accountability in Uganda by use of community based monitoring and evaluation, create enabling environment, foster active participation of citizens and enhance access to information to vulnerable groups- government services. The process involve  tenets, strengthening institutional capacity on State and Non-State Actors (NGOs/CBOS) through various trainings in accountability on public resources, use of barazas’, budget cycles, gender budgeting, lobbying , advocacy and policy influence, awareness among citizens on their rights and entitlements,, roles and responsibilities through edutainment such as forum theatres and governance and  accountability  galas,  electronic  media such as  radio spot messages,  talk shows and distribution of IEC materials;  development of accountability  tools for community based monitoring and evaluation System  and strengthening  government  mechanisms  for  dialogue  through conducting dialogues on the monitoring  among others.

Voice and Accountability Theory of Change

Voice and accountability; it has realized that there is limited awareness of citizens about their rights, weak accountability mechanisms at local level, inadequate interface between citizens and government authorities and limited capacities of CSOs to hold the government to account as key factors contributing to poor governance and accountability.  Therefore the team at the Institute aim to enhance the capacity of CSOs, citizens and relevant government authorities to effectively engage on social accountability issues at local and national level. Voice and accountability    work was anchored on   community   based monitoring system promoting evidence-based policy making and programme implementation while empowering communities in the process. Under community   based monitoring system; we support communities to identify their problems and find solutions including taking matters, they cannot solve themselves, to different levels of government where identification  and discussion  of key emerging issues  starting  right from the community to district level and right through to the national level. Numbers of activities (as seen in the figure) are undertaken as part of the process.