Shelter and Settlements Alternatives: Uganda Human Settlements Network (SSA:UHSNET) is a Network of civil society organisations, communities, individuals, and private sector working together with the main purpose of lobbying, advocating and sharing information for better policies, programs and practices towards sustainable improvement of human settlements in Uganda. SSA/UHSNET seeks to address the challenge of networking, based on the recognition that there are several stakeholders operating in the human settlements sector in Uganda, contributing to access to one or several aspects of adequate housing such as water & sanitation or security of tenure, who lack an organised voice to effectively address constraints to adequate housing especially for urban slum dwellers.
Shelter and settlements Alternatives was established in 1999 by a group of eminent Ugandans brought together by a shared concern for the poor state of human settlements across the country. In 2008, a group of stakeholders in the human settlements sector in Uganda, drawn from civil society, academia, professionals’ associations, communities and the private sector have been working closely together in an effort to form a national human settlements network. Governments at both central and local levels as well as relevant development partners were also included in the initiative. The initiative, which started in February 2008 was conceived and spearheaded by Shelter & Settlements Alternatives (SSA), who have been involved in information dissemination and networking in the sector since.
In May 2010 following a workshop held with stakeholders, the elected Steering Committee members agreed to form the Network, which is now called Shelter and Settlements Alternatives: Uganda Human Settlements Network (SSA:UHSNET). The Network is national membership organization with members from CSOs, Individual professionals and institutions and was formed mainly to address lack capacity of slum dwelling communities and stakeholders working in the sector to influence policies and practices for improvement of human settlements conditions in Uganda. SSA:UHSNET’s mandate is to provide a credible forum for discussion of human settlements issues and challenges and promote formulation of an enabling policy environment for mobilization of technical and financial resources required to provide decent, affordable and well planned human settlements for Ugandans, with particular focus on low income slum dwellers.
The Vision of SSA/UHSNET is “a nation with accessible, decent, affordable and sustainable human settlements for all’
SSA/UHSNET mission is to “address issues and challenges affecting human settlements in Uganda, through advocacy, networking and information sharing”
The main objectives of the Network are to:
- Create awareness, lobby and advocate for issues and challenges that affect human settlements in Uganda
- Ensure effective participation of all stakeholders on issues pertinent to human settlements in Uganda
- To take an active interest in civic, cultural, social and moral welfare of the community with specific regard to human settlements
- Mobilize resources for improving living conditions of urban slum dwellers in Uganda
- Mobilize stakeholders and ensure effective participation in formulation, implementation and revision of policies and laws affecting human settlements
- Work with Government, its agencies and institutions, national, regional and international NGOs, CSOs or other organizations so as to obtain assistance as may be deemed desirable to address issues and challenges in the Human settlements sector.
- Research and Documentation
- Networking, Advocacy and Lobbying
- Sharing Information and Experiences
- Community Mobilization and Empowerment
- Capacity building
- SO1: To influence Government and other stakeholders commitment to effective implementation of local, national, regional and international commitments to adequate housing
- SO2: To enhance community participation in human settlement decisions and actions which affect them
- SO3: To strengthen the performance effectiveness and sustainability of Member Institutions
- SO4: To strengthen the sustainability of the Network.