Who we are

Vision
Adequate Nutrition for Prosperity

Mission
Promote food and nutrition security for the well-being of everyone in Uganda

Strategic Objectives

  • Provide a platform for collaborative linkages among individuals, professional institutions, and public and private organization’s dealing with nutrition issues.
  • Regulate nutrition professional development and practices.
  • Advocate for strategic actions and policies in nutrition and food security.
  • Enhance sharing, learning, and social behavior change regarding the value and benefits of adequate nutrition

 

Background

The UGAN Society is a professional body of nutritionists established in October 1999 as a result of a regional movement in East Africa to increase the visibility of nutrition, coordinate actions, and train more nutritionists. Membership to UGAN is of three types; individual membership, honorary membership and organisational membership. Individual members comprise a diverse group of nutrition professionals and advocates with backgrounds in nutrition, dietetics, public health, food science, medicine, agriculture, animal science, and home economics. Many of these join the association as students.

The UGAN recognises that nutrition is not merely a process, but an essential input for all development outcomes and is thus dedicated to increasing the visibility of the country’s nutrition profession and influencing national nutrition strategic actions. The organizations primary reason for existence is to harness the skills, competencies, and experiences of its membership to promote the cause of adequate nutrition and food security as a right for every one in Ugandan.

The UGAN collaborates with other nutrition societies, universities, NGOs, research institutes, and the private sector (food industry) at local, regional, and global levels in carrying out activities aimed at improving the visibility of and addressing food and nutrition security issues.

At inception, the UGAN’s main objective was to bring together nutritional professionals and advocates to achieve a vision of a Uganda in which every individual enjoys good nutrition at all times with specific objectives aiming to:

  1. Create a forum for professionals in nutrition.
  2. Facilitate linkages between nutritionists and other stakeholders.
  3. Contribute to national development through lobbying and advocacy.
  4. Influence policies favourable to better nutrition.
  5. Build capacity in all aspects of nutrition.
  6. Offer technical guidance in nutrition.
  7. Develop and disseminate nutrition information.
  8. Network with other professional organisations and stakeholders.
  9. Promote improved nutrition.
  10. Carry out operational research in nutrition.

In 2013, the UGAN developed a new five year Strategic Development Plan (2013/14-2018/19) which highlights four strategic objectives to be pursued including:

  1. Provide a platform for collaborative linkages among individuals, professionals institutions, and public and private organisations dealing with nutrition issues
  2. Regulate nutrition professional development and practices
  3. Advocate for strategic actions and policies in nutrition and food security
  4. Enhance sharing, learning, and social behaviour change regarding the value and benefits of adequate nutrition

The organisational vision for the next 5 years is ‘to be a vibrant and effective organisation that seeks to create visible positive changes in the area of food and nutrition in Uganda’. The organisation objective is to ‘strengthen the governance and management capacity of the UGAN to respond to the evolving needs in nutrition and to that of its membership’.

The founding president of UGAN was  Dr. Robert Mwadime who served from 1999 to 2004. He is currently the Chief of Party of the USAID Community Connector Project. Dr. William Ssali served as president from 2004 to 2006, he is now the Chairperson of the Uganda National Bureau of Standards. Prof Joyce Kikafunda led the UGAN from 2006 to 2012 and is now Uganda’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

The current president is Dr Elizabeth Madraa also  serving as the Food Fortification Advisor to USAID’s Strengthening Partnerships, Results and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING) project.

The UGAN Patron is Her Excellency the First Lady of Uganda and Minster in Charge of Karamoja Affairs, Honourable Janet Kataha Museveni. She has championed a number of nutrition, food, agriculture, and health-related activities in the country.

CRITICAL MILESTONES

Year Critical Milestones
1999 The UGAN was formed by a 13-member team comprising of representatives from diferent sectors; election of the first Executive Committee with Dr. Robert Mwadime as first president.
2000 Mapping of nutrition partners, which became a major source of information about the scale of nutrition activities nationwide.
2003 Contribution to the development of the Master of Science curriculum in Applied Human Nutrition at Makerere Universityand the Uganda Food and Nutrition Policy (2003).
Registered with the Federation of African Nutrition Unions & Societies (FANUS).
2004 Registration as a professional body and launch.
Members participated in developing the Handbook on Nutrition and HIV/AIDS; provided technical support in various trainings on nutrition and HIV/AIDS.
2005 Selected members attended different regional trainings, including ‘Continuous Nutrition Education on Early Nutrition and Its Consequences on Later Life’ and the National Nutrition Congress.
Became a member of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS).
2006 Hosted the National Nutrition/HIV/AIDS Conference in Kampala, Uganda.
2007 Participated in the development and implementation of the advocacy strategy for eradication of malnutrition in uganda for the Gender Informed Nutrition in Agriculture project; Launched first UGAN website and brochure.
2008 Participated in the first series of the Uganda Food and Nutrition Bulletin supported by UNICEF.
2009 Hosted the first Uganda Nutrition Congress.
Supported members to participate in the International Committee of Nutrition Conference in Thailand. Participated in writing the Uganda Nutrition Situation 2010 Report.
2010 Participated in the formulation of Global Strategy on Infant and Young Child Feeding by UNICEF. Members participated in the development of the 2010 guidelines and training manuals on intergrated management of acute malnutrition (IMAM) and the school nutrition guidelines.
Pre-tested World Health Organisation (WHO) consultant manual for the development of country-specific food-based dietary guidelines (FBDGs).
2011 Members participated in the development of the Uganda Nutrition Action Plan (UNAP).
Provided technical and financial support for the African Food and Nutrition Day.
Launched new interactive website (www.ugansociety.org).
Held national and regional nutrition dialogues that brought together different cadres to discuss food and nutrition security issues.
2012 Coordinated efforts leading to formation and eventual running of the Uganda Civil Society Coalition on Scaling up Nutrition (UCCO-SUN). UCCO-SUN is a civil society coalition in Uganda that aims to bring together civil society organisation (CSOs) for joint nutrition actions.
Organised a CSO meeting to discuss the implications of the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) results (2011) on nutrition programming.
Put up a temporary refurbished office at Makerere University Department of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-engineering.
2013 Developed the second comprehensive and informative Strategic Plan 2013–2018.
Voted to chair the UCCO-SUN
Chaired UCCO-SUN and ensured effective coordination of all UCCO-SUN activities.
Represented UCCO-SUN members at an international SUN movement meeting in Washington, DC.
Represented UCCO-SUN in two global meetings organised by the Global Social Observatory in Geneva to develop a reference note in handling conflict of interest in the global SUN movement.
Through the UCCO-SUN platform, trained 30 CSO youths in nutrition advocacy in August.