Maendeleo ya Jamii (MYJ) is a multi-disciplinary, not-for-profit organization incorporated in Uganda and the United States of America. The organization is appropriately named after the mission for which it was founded: “Maendeleo ya Jamii”, which is best translated from its Swahili origins as “Community Development”.
It strives to transform rural and urban communities drawing from international experiences and perspectives in a way that
influences public policy and management. Its focus is on spheres critical to community development such as agriculture, public health, environment and natural resources, public management, information technology, and organizational development.
MYJ has experience working with communities using partnership and rights-based approaches. This experience with communities includes: imparting entrepreneurial outlooks and skills; supporting the creation of community organisations for land and business management; supporting community-driven accountability in public service delivery and natural resource management; building the policy advocacy capacity of community organisations; establishing community enterprises and expanding community assets; creating community development funds; proposing sustainable benefit sharing mechanisms for natural resources; supporting the creation of unique community business models and plans; carrying out community training in business management; providing experiential learning; and facilitating the building of valuable community relationships with various partners.
MYJ’s research, support and advocacy efforts include working with urban and rural communities. MYJ organizes urban communities to address specific local governance and livelihood issues in both relatively affluent and disadvantaged neighbourhoods. It also works with pastoralist, agro-pastoralist, and agricultural communities in tropical, arid and semi-arid rural environments.
In all the communities where it works, MYJ believes in fostering close working relationships with cultural and local government leaders by soliciting and encouraging participation, thereby securing the necessary buy-in to successfully implement sustainable change.
MYJ is a growing repository for multi-disciplinary experience and continues to play an important role in studying, demonstrating and promoting community development through participatory and creative approaches.