Follow us on Twitter

About the Research

You are here

After more than 20 years of war between the government and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), dramatic changes have taken place in the war-devastated northern part of Uganda. In late 2005, the LRA withdrew from Uganda, and signed, in 2006, a Cessation of Hostilities Agreement with the Ugandan government. The squalid displacement camps, which previously housed up to 90 percent of the population of northern Uganda, have been dismantled. Hundreds of thousands have returned to their villages or found new settlement sites and have started rebuilding houses and cultivating their land.

The peace remains uneasy – an absence of violence with no resolution to the conflict that led to the killings, mutilations and abductions of tens of thousands of children and adults. The LRA did not agree to a final peace agreement, and talks collapsed in April 2008. The LRA thus remains active and continues to perpetrate massive human rights violations from its new base in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).[1] But it has not sought to return to northern Uganda.

In this context, recovery from decades of conflict is challenging. Much remains to be done to promote sustainable peace, social reconstruction, and development in northern Uganda. This report presents the results of a survey designed to improve understanding of the needs, views and priorities of northern Ugandans during this time of transition to peace and security. It provides results that are representative of the adult population in four districts: Gulu, Amuru, Kitgum and Pader.

The survey was conducted in April and May of 2010. The authors conducted similar surveys in northern Uganda in 2005 and 2007.[2] For comparison purposes, the methodology and objectives of the study are similar to the previous two studies in northern Uganda as well as to other Initiative for Vulnerable Populations studies conducted in Cambodia, the DRC, and the Central African Republic (CAR). However, the questionnaire and methodology of this survey also reflect the specific situation and concerns prevailing in northern Uganda in spring 2010. The research findings are aimed at supporting nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), government and international agencies, and local and international courts in promoting reconstruction and development for the Acholi people. The United States Agency for International Development’s Northern Uganda Transition Initiative (USAID’s NUTI) provided support for the survey, as did the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Humanity United.


[1] See for example Human Rights Watch (2010). Trail of Death

[2] Pham PN, Vinck P, Stover E, Moss A, Wierda M (2007). When the War Ends. A Population-Based Survey on Attitudes about Peace, Justice and Social Reconstruction in Northern Uganda. Human Rights Center, University of California, Berkeley; Payson Center for International Development, Tulane University; International Center for Transitional Justice, New York.

Pham PN, Vinck P, Wierda M, Stover E, di Giovanni A (2005). Forgotten Voices: A Population-Based Survey of Attitudes about Peace and Justice in Northern Uganda. International Center for Transitional Justice and the Human Rights Center, University of California, Berkeley.