About US

We are an independent public policy research and advocacy think tank based in Uganda, working in the East and Southern Africa sub-regions on a range of public policy issues. Our core business is policy research and analysis, policy outreach and capacity building. Recognised among the Top-100 Think Tanks worldwide in 2017 Global Think Tank Index published by the University of Pennsylvania. Since its founding 22 years ago, ACODE has emerged as one of the leading regional public policy think tanks in Sub-Saharan African.

As an independent organisation, ACODE does not align with any political party or political organisation. However, given the direct relationship between development policy and politics, we believe that our work is political and it must stand for certain political causes of a bi-partisan nature. Our work is strengthened through partnerships with relevant institutions that help us contribute solutions to issues and problems of a policy nature affecting citizens. We have active MoUs with key institutions which includes: Ministry of Water and Environment; Ministry of Local Government; Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development; West Nile Development Association(WENDA); Uganda Local Governments Association (ULGA); Urban Authorities Association of Uganda (UAAU); Mbarara City Council; and Gulu City Council among others.


The founding of ACODE in 2000 was driven by the need to establish a premier independent public policy think tank in Africa designed primarily to bridge the gap between public policy, policy outreach, and policy implementation. Institutions that existed before were largely academic thinktanks that engaged in policy research and publishing policy-relevant information that remained on library shelves.

At the time of its established, the NGO terrain in much of Sub-Saharan Africa was slowly shifting from provision of social services that had dominated NGO work for decades to engage government in policy making processes. ACODE sought to link three key components that make public policies focus on the power and vulnerable sections of society.

How we Work

  • 01 Policy Research and Analysis

    Our work cover policy and legislative reforms in natural resources governance, local governance, the environment, and economic policy, linking local experiences with regional debates. We generate knowledge to provide national and regional decision-makers with independent, evidence-based policy options for socioeconomic development.

    All our research findings are freely available in both print and electronic format publications including policy papers, policy briefs, videos, articles, workshops, and public dialogues. We provide an open platform for the public to engage with these issues and facilitate debates among stakeholders.

    We believe that our research products can also be used to generate advocacy issues and messages for targeted audiences.

  • Our public outreach and advocacy activities are based on a convinction that one of the biggest challenges facing public interest policy research and advocacy organizations is to ensure that emerging global, regional and national policies are transformed into “REAL” opportunities for poor people.

    We provide an open platform by convening policy dialogues, strategic engagements with policy-makers, and public dissemination of research findings to facilitate debates among stakeholders.

  • The demand-side of democracy and the citizens' ability to monitor its implementation and sanction government largely depend on the population’s level of awareness of their power and actions they can take to guarantee their rights. In 2015, ACODE adopted the Civic Engagement Action Plan (CEAP) methodology to facilitate citizens engagement with their elected leaders. As part of its work in the districts and sub-counties, ACODE has invested in strengthening and expanding citizens’ capacity to demand for services and monitoring to ensure transparency and accountability.

  • We work with local partners in civil society, local governments, among others groups to ensure that progressive policies are effectively implemented for socioeconomic transformation of societies and promote inclusion of poor people in public policy-making.