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Keywords:

  • SWAp;
  • decentralization;
  • NGO;
  • reproductive health;
  • Uganda

Abstract

This paper explores the ability for reproductive health (RH) non-governmental organizations (NGO) in Uganda to survive in the context of SWAp and decentralization. The authors argue that, contrary to the perceptions that this context may increase NGO's financial vulnerability, a SWAp and a decentralized system may provide an opportunity that should be embraced by NGOs to enhance their sustainability and effectiveness by reducing their current dependency on donor funding. The paper discusses the systemic weaknesses of many NGOs that currently make them vulnerable, and observes that unless these weaknesses are addressed, such NGOs will lose their space in the SWAp and decentralization arena. The authors suggest that NGOs need to recognize the opportunities that participating in public-private partnerships through a SWAp can offer them for long-term and significant funding. They need also to develop their capacity to pro-actively participate in a SWAp and decentralized context by becoming more entrepreneurial in nature, through re-orienting their organizational philosophies and strategic planning and budgeting so as to be able to partner effectively with the public sector in accessing funds made available through health sector reform. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.