The heart of NDF’s development intervention approach is rooted in the rich culture and history of the Kingdom of Buganda, which has been in existence for more than 800 years.
NDF’s cultural voice speaks from, and is rooted in a cultural leadership structure that precedes the Colonial Era. The leadership structure has His Majesty the Kabaka (King) at its apex and it cascades down to the head of the household. The social capital each cultural leader commands on their respective rung of the cultural leadership ladder carries with it the power of credibility, influence and persuasion.
Through their messages, pronouncements, actions and behaviour, cultural leaders are able to influence attitudes, behaviour and practices at both the individual and community level.
In the past, the voice of culture in the development agenda had been silent. However, in 2005 the Blair Commission on Africa pointed out the need to anchor lasting solutions to Africa’s development in culture, because culture was intertwined with the power and wealth structures of African societies and therefore had potential to have great influence on social, economic and political conditions.
Development programs are more likely to succeed when they:
• Integrate the positive elements that exist within cultural institutions
• Work with cultural leaders as equal partners
• Recognize that positive cultural frameworks are key in defining choices, opportunities and abilities in the pursuit and attainment of development solutions.