Community engagement for meaningful and sustainable digital literacy training in Uganda


  • Ugne Lipeikaite EIFL
  • Raymond Amanyabyoona National Library of Uganda
  • Asia Kamukama Maendeleo Foundation
  • Adonia Katungisa National Library of Uganda



community needs assessment, digital skills, Uganda, public libraries, community engagement


This article provides practical insight on how public library programmes can deploy community needs assessment as a tool to engage the community into the development of library services and programmes for specific target groups. This approach contributes to the practice of needs-based library service development as well as demonstrates how community needs assessment can also serve as a library outreach mechanism to community members. 

The community needs assessment study, described in this article, was done in Uganda in early 2021 by EIFL (Electronic information for libraries), Peer 2 Peer University, National Library of Uganda and Maendeleo Foundation. The study was aimed at developing a meaningful and sustainable digital literacy skills training for women and youth to be delivered via a nation-wide network of public and community libraries. The study is a part of a project “Digital skills and inclusion through libraries in Uganda”, which is funded by Belgium through the Wehubit Programme implemented by the Belgian development agency, Enabel.

The study consisted of interviews with librarians and meetings with library authorities and community members across the country. The study was used both to gain a deeper understanding of expectations and preferences of women and youth in relation to the digital skills and online content, and also to raise awareness about the upcoming training by the project at early stages.

In this article, we are sharing learnings from the process, as well as discussing how the findings were used to inform and shape the development of the digital literacy training programme.