Resilience and high performance amidst conflict, epidemics and extreme poverty: The Lacor Hospital, northern Uganda

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    A case study prepared for the project ‘Capacity, Change and Performance’.

    This case study looks at the experiences of the St Mary’s Hospital in Lacor, near Gulu, the capital of Gulu district in northern Uganda. It draws attention to the factors that have played a role in shaping the hospital’s capability to perform effectively in an environment characterised by conflict, epidemics and extreme poverty. The study focuses on the last 10 years, although occasional references are made to earlier periods to provide for a better understanding of the case.

    This analysis is retrospective, but it is not an evaluation. In line with the methodology for the wider ECDPM study, this case intends to record the strengths and successes of the Lacor Hospital in shaping the capabilities that enable its excellent performance. It concentrates on ‘what’ happened, ‘why’ and ‘how’. It is only in the final section that the challenges and key questions for the hospital’s future are listed – those were mentioned by the staff and board members and need to be addressed to guarantee that the needs of the poor in the region are met in the future. This analysis is therefore explanatory and makes no recommendations or proposals for the future functioning of the hospital, although some of the insights gained might be helpful to identify important issues for the future.


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