On the Road with Humentum in Kampala

Blog

October 03, 2017

On the Road with Humentum in Kampala

By Tammy Hettinger

Director, Global Member Development & Engagement Humentum

I recently returned from Humentum’s first integrated training week in Kampala, Uganda. More than 200 individuals from 107 organizations participated in our workshops and member events. We also celebrated the launch of our first regional hub in East Africa and introduced many members to Samantha Musoke, regional director for Humentum in East Africa. While she may be new to InsideNGO (now Humentum) members, she has been associated with Mango—now part of our new merged entity—for a dozen years.

At our member roundtable, The Future of NGO Financing: Ready or Not, Humentum trainer Alfred Agaba reminded us that that the financing landscape is changing, whether we are ready or not. We must embrace innovation and lead the way forward or risk being rendered as obsolete as the typewriter! He led a discussion on how organizations deal with and adjust to change as our attendees shared their own examples, perspectives, and challenges in a lively discussion.

We carried this theme of Innovation in Financing through our member events and hosted a well-attended dinner with panelists Joyce Tamale, managing director of the Uganda Health Marketing Group (UHMG); Wanguhu Githiomi, finance director of ChildFund Uganda; and Mark Meassick, USAID Mission director for Uganda. Seen in photo at right, from left to right, are Tim Boyes-Watson of Humentum; Mr. Meassick; Ms. Tamale (holding microphone); and Mr. Githiomi.

Ms. Tamale shared UHMG’s journey into marketing, distributing, and selling health products to achieve revenue of $13 million and 30% unrestricted income for this national NGO. She used language more often heard in the private sector, but all UHMG’s work has a truly social mission. Her leadership was recently recognized with CEO Global’s award for Most Influential Woman of the Year Award 2017 for Uganda and also for East Africa.

Mr. Githiomi gave us insight to the workings of the performance-based financing model ChildFund piloted with partners. Just 15% of the grant he cited was performance based, thereby sharing some of the risks but also encouraging a real focus on achieving outcomes. And ChildFund’s partners also appreciated the approach.

Lastly, Mr. Meassick expressed his views on the topic and shared his own innovation alphabet:

  • Accountability: Be accountable to beneficiaries as well as donors
  • Be innovative with project design
  • Collaborate, learn, and adapt
  • Deepen partnerships and networks
  • Empower yourself, staff, and beneficiaries

I am inspired by the individuals I met and the stories they told about how their organizations are leading the way forward, like these folks seen at left, from Catholic Relief Services and PAG Uganda. As we start our journey as Humentum, our focus is on collaboration, learning together, and increasing the impact of our community. Collectively, we can achieve more as we work toward our vison of a more sustainable and just world with a thriving social sector.    

Kampala Week 2017 is just the start. Samantha Musoke, our regional director based in Kampala, will be hosting regular events in the region over the coming year. She will be building new partnerships that will support operational excellence for our members.

As we at Humentum are also seeking to innovate, we look forward to supporting your work in new ways, harnessing the wealth of experience and expertise of our members globally so you can access the information and resources you need when you need them and where you need them. 

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