UNHCO was conceived by a group of Ugandans drawn from various professional disciplines who share common concerns and a vision of a health sector that provides quality health care for the mutual benefit of both providers and consumers.
Since its inception in 1999, UNHCO has been implementing programmes that advocate for a strong institutionalized platform that is able to articulate voices of consumers of health goods and services. UNHCO has championed the Rights Based Approach (RBA) to healthcare delivery and contributed to efforts to improve community participation and accountability.
We look forward to “A Uganda where the healthcare system guarantees full enjoyment of the right to health by all people.”
We exist to: “To promote full integration and implementation of the rights based approach in Uganda’s health sector through meaningful citizen-duty bearer engagement in healthcare planning and delivery.”
Our Core Values
In pursuing its mission and vision, UNHCO will be guided by the following core TILT values.
- Team work for excellence: UNHCO believes in collaboration, learning and mutual support among staff for effective implementation of its programs.
- Integrity: to protect and promote our image, UNHCO will uphold the highest level of honesty in all our actions and dealings with stakeholders.
- Learning: We believe in sharing, learning and innovation for continuous growth and improvement of health services.
- Time management: We will work towards ensuring timely identification and response to citizens’ health related concerns.
- Accountability and transparency: UNHCO is a learning organisation, maintaining an open door policy that provides a platform for citizens and duty bearers to dialogue and to provide and receive feedback. In all dealings, UNHCO prohibits and punishes any form of corruption and encourages and rewards accountable and transparent practices.
- Constructive engagement at all levels: We will facilitate honest and non-confrontational engagement between three parties (policy makers, health providers and citizens) in health care planning and delivery.
- Partnership and networking: UNHCO will support a multi-sectoral response to address health concerns. We are for collaboration and complementarism as opposed to competition and duplication.
- Quality: We advocate for health facilities, goods, and services which are scientifically and medically appropriate and of good quality. We advocate for adequate skilled medical personnel, scientifically approved and medicines and medical supplies that are of good quality and meets international standards. We also ensure that our programs are of high quality and are impact driven.
- Equality and Non-Discrimination: UNHCO will advocate for health services that are provided without discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, age, language, religion, birth, or geographic area.
- Participation: UNHCO will empower communities to determine their health priorities and meaningfully engage with policy makers and service providers to improve healthcare delivery.
- Indivisibility and Interdependence: UNHCO will also ensure that actions to realize the right to health do not undermine other rights. Its interventions will be guided by the overall national development priorities and human rights instruments at all levels.
UNHCO is a membership not-for-profit Non-governmental Organisation registered with the National NGO Board to operate in all parts of Uganda. It was founded in 1999 by a group of Ugandans drawn from various backgrounds. By then, the vision of the founders was to create an advocacy platform to raise their voice on protection of the rights of health consumers. Since its formation, UNHCO has been advocating for effective citizen participation in healthcare delivery and sustainable access to affordable and quality healthcare services. This has been based on the mutuality of rights and obligations of both the health service providers and users.
In executing its mandate, UNHCO employs an empowerment strategy that focuses on strengthening capacities of local communities to demand and hold service providers and policy makers accountable as well as civil society leadership and policy advocacy at national level. This overarching operating framework is the Rights Based Approach (RBA) which enables citizens to appreciate health service delivery as a right and not a privilege.
At community level, UNHCO works mainly through the community Resource Persons selected from partner CBOs, Health Unit Management Committees (HUMC), Health Providers and Local Councils or individuals seconded by the communities themselves. Working through these structures ensures sustainability providing an enabling environment for a feedback and redress system as well as empowering local communities to own, participate, monitor and for demand quality services.
Our governance and management structure
UNHCO’s internal governance and management consists of four interrelated structures: the Annual General Meeting (AGM), regional delegates’ assembly, Board of Directors and the Secretariat. Each of these structures is explained below:
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) consists of members from the Regional Assemblies and Regional Boards. The AGM is the supreme decision making organ of the organization and is responsible for determining the overall strategic direction of the organization as well as election of the Board of Directors. The Regional Delegates’ Assemblies consist of all subscribing members from each region. There is a governance board at each region responsible for implementing the policies and decisions of the Annual General Assembly and Board of Directors respectively.
The Board of Directors is responsible for policy making and overseeing operations of the Secretariat. The Board executes some of its roles through Board sub-committees: Finance, Human Resource and Programs. The organization has a Secretariat headed by an Executive Director, appointed by the Board of Directors. The Secretariat is responsible for implementing board resolutions, strategic plan and management of day to day affairs of the organisation.