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Respondents indicated a broader need for the people of Uganda to learn to live together peacefully, as well as reintegrating specific groups such as former combatants. Indeed, as mentioned previously, uniting the people of Uganda was the most frequent answer to how to achieve peace. Several questions in the survey sought to capture respondents’ perceptions of current social interactions within the selected communities, as well as participation in decisions affecting the community.

In general, a majority of respondents viewed positively (“good” or “very good”) their relationships with their family (87%), neighbors (87%), and the wider community (91%). Similarly, 76 percent said they trusted people in their village “a lot” or “extremely.” Practical support at the local level also appears to be high, with over half of respondents indicating they seek help from their neighbors at least on a weekly basis (59%), and 63 percent saying they provide help to their neighbors at least on a weekly basis. Such interactions, however, appeared to be less frequent in Kitgum and Pader.

The findings, overall, suggest strong social bonds but at a very local level. Over half of respondents (56%) said they never interacted with civilians from other districts in northern Uganda, and 77 percent never interacted with people from districts outside of northern Uganda. This is explained in part by the lack of mobility of much of the population. At the same time, about half of respondents had the perception that people in the South do not understand Acholi people (54% agreed with the proposition). Nonetheless, most supported the proposition that the government cares about the Acholi people (51% agree), and only a third believed the Acholi people are being marginalized by the central government (30% agreed with the proposition).

Figure 17: Community Relations

Figure 17 - Community Relations

The findings further suggest that most social interaction and support are channeled through community/neighborhood structures or through associations, rather than through their clan or from traditional leaders. A majority said they never sought help from their clan (61%) or did so less than once a month (27%). Five percent did so more than once a month. At the same time, just 14 percent said they participated in clan-related activities more than once a month. Similarly, a majority of respondents never or rarely sought help from traditional leaders (71% never, 25% once a month or less, 4% more than once a month), and 87 percent never or rarely participated in activities organized by traditional leaders. Just 4 percent did so more than once a month. However, 47 percent of respondents were members of an association, most frequently farmers’ associations (57%) and women’s associations (10%).

Finally, respondents were asked directly about their involvement in a list of 11 activities or events. Most (82%) had participated in at least one of them. The most common activities or events were the participation in farming group or association activities (52%)

Figure 18: Participation in Events / Activities

Figure 18 - Participation in Events / Activities

Figure 18 - Participation in Events / Activities