Thematic Priorities


SDSN Uganda will deploy a multi-disciplinary approach driven by the most pressing challenges and existing opportunities for the country. The network will facilitate and motivate the uptake of transformative solutions in the engines of development in the country that provide pathways to positive change to economic growth and human welfare. The focus areas are:

  1. Agriculture and food systems
  2. Improved Health
  3. Natural resources and ecosystem health
  4. Renewable energy and energy efficiency
  5. Sustainable cities
  6. Climate compatible development


In support of SDG 2 (End Hunger), SDSN Uganda will seek to ensure the development of climate-resilient and sustainable agricultural systems that increase agricultural production to ensure food and nutritional security and household incomes on a sustainable basis. Increased household incomes would in turn contribute to poverty reduction (SDG1) and food and nutritional security would contribute to improving health (SDG3). Working with other key stakeholders, SDSN Uganda will develop transformative pathways related to agriculture, hunger and nutrition (SDG2) through the Agriculture Transformation Solutions Initiative. It will contribute to research, learning and education as well as monitoring progress towards SDG 2, and developing locally appropriate indicators and matrices for monitoring progress towards SDG2. SDSN Uganda will pursue and strengthen research collaboration with other universities and research institutions in Uganda and globally.


In support of SDG3 (good health and wellbeing) SDSN Uganda will contribute to developing policies and practices that support Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and address the social determinants of health in order to improve the health status of Ugandans i.e. ensure equitable access to affordable, accountable, appropriate and quality health services for all Ugandans. A multi-sectoral approach that integrates “Health in All” policies to address UHC shall be adopted.


In support of SDG 6 (water and sanitation) and SDG15 (life on land), the network will seek develop transformative approaches for sustainable natural resource management, ecosystem management and water quality. The focus will be to reduce forest, wetland and rangeland degradation as well as improve water quality. Sustainable utilization of land and landscapes, protection of mountain ecosystems, catchment-based natural resource management will be promoted to reverse loss in biodiversity as well as forest and wetland cover


Energy poverty remains a serious constraint to the socio-economic transformation of Uganda. In support of SDG7 (affordable and clean energy), SDSN Uganda will work with key local, national and international stakeholders to reduce energy poverty and increase energy security/access in rural and urban Uganda. Evidence-based solutions for increasing renewable energy in the countries’ energy mix (solar, wind, waste to energy, etc.) and energy efficiency (efficient cookstoves, bulbs, other home appliances) will be sought.


In support of SDG11 (sustainable cities and communities), SDSN Uganda will seek to identify and promote sustainable, resilient and green cities. Practical solutions for addressing urban development challenges such as housing/slums, urban poverty, energy access, transport, air and water quality, solid waste management and unemployment will be sought through evidence-based research and dialogues with key stakeholders and supporting integrated urban planning approaches that address economic, social and environmental sustainability. The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ministry of Local Government, City/Urban Local Governments will be important partners in this initiative. SDSN shall draw from the expertise of national and international institutions.


Uganda is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and promoting climate change adaptation and mitigation has a high potential to deliver triple wins (resilience, reduced emissions and enhanced development) and multiple benefits e.g. sustainable agriculture and food security; water security; green energy and energy security, improved health; increased investments, jobs and income etc. that are critical to the achievement many SDGs. In support of the achievement of SDG13 (climate action), SDSN Uganda will support capacity building and transformative solutions for climate change resilient and low carbon development pathways. Building awareness building, evidence-based research and innovations, training and demonstrations, knowledge management and stakeholder dialogues are some of the activities we can engage in.