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Why don’t they fight: A study to examine youth responses to exclusion and violence in Uganda

Uganda has a history of societal pressures that have sometimes resulted in violence such as insurgencies, armed conflict, and criminal activities, among other manifestations. While some of Uganda’s youth have and continue to be involved in violent activities, the vast majority of youth in Uganda are not, despite the fact that they are affected by the same societal pressures. Most young people are using non-violent strategies to respond to exclusion and other challenges, and they have made progress in rejecting cycles of violence in their communities.

Against this background, Genocide and Atrocity Prevention (GAPS Uganda), a civil society organization, will examine the factors that discourage youth participation in violence, and identify specific pathways to nonviolent behaviour as well as solutions to respond to violence, exclusion, and injustice. In order to scale up youth agency in Uganda and the Great Lakes Region, this project will document the strategic alliances, networks, and partnerships that youth form to develop resilience against violence. It will also identify good practices that can be replicated to strengthen and widen spaces for youth participation in civil engagement and conflict prevention initiatives.

The project will work closely with the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region and Ugandan policymakers at the local and national level to contribute to the development of evidence-based policies and interventions for promoting non-violence. It will also play a critical role in scaling up violence prevention efforts in Uganda and in the Great Lakes region by supporting the design of more youth-led and responsive policies and strategies to transform situations of violence.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
36 months
IDRC Officer
Martha Mutisi
Total Funding
CA$ 370,100.00
Democratic and Inclusive Governance
Governance and Justice
Institution Country
Project Leader
Ashad Sentongo
GAPS Company Ltd



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Genocide and atrocity prevention support : why they don't fight