Social Protection in Uganda

Social Protection in Uganda
Beatrice Okillan
Policy and Learning Manager, Social Protection Secretariat
Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development
Uganda Poverty Context: 2011
• 24.5% - more than 7 million people - living below poverty line
• Significant numbers living in chronic poverty
• 20% of children are underweight
• Inequality increasing – current Gini of 0.42
• Resource constraints identified as limiting access to health &
education services
• Consistent growth – stronger base for financing SP
Social Protection Context
• Refer to IUPE and Health Care – free in principle
• NSSF and Public Service Pension - covered 700,000 families
• 95% of active labour force excluded from formal social protection
• No minimum wage – labour unions weak and fragmented
• Fragmented provision of social protection
• No clear institutional leadership on SP and no overarching policy, planning
or legal framework
• Limited donor engagement in SP
Policy Initiation 2005-2007
• Recognition of chronic poverty & limitations of existing livelihoods
and emergency cash / food for work policies;
• MGLSD concept paper in 2005
• SP Task Force led the development of SP policy
• International cross-GoU capacity building on social protection;
• 2006-2007 DFID supported design for cash transfer pilot
• 2007 MoFPED view– sustainability & affordability?
Policy Process:
Drivers 2008-2010
• 2008 Kampala conference raised awareness of international interest
and African experience of SP
• 2008, Uganda signed up to the AU’s Social Policy Framework commitment to invest in social protection
• 2009 DFID funded redesign of social protection programme with
MoFPED endorsement
• 2010 Social Protection well represented in the 5 year National
Development Plan
• Select Committee established leading to ....Cabinet full endorsement
and approval June 2010
ESP Overview
• Housed within the MGLSD
• Around $60 million / 5 years
• Purpose: to embed a national social protection system that benefits
the poorest as a core element of Uganda’s national policy, planning
and budgeting processes.
• Parallel processes of:
– Policy development
– Pilot implementation and
– Evidence generation (national and international)
Social Protection Institutional
 Creating a Social Protection Secretariat within the MGLSD
 Providing technical support to the SP Sub-Committee
 Strengthening GoU Leadership Structures on SP:
 Building a strong social protection team within MGLSD for policy &
management of cash transfers
 Building cross GoU capacity for policy development, analysis and
 Considering from the outset the long term institutional structures
necessary for policy and implementation
Social Protection Policy Framework
• Will bring together core ‘pillars’ of the social
protection policy framework in Uganda
• Will provide a long-term vision
• Significant consultation process
• Strategic and prioritized
• Underpinned by legislation as required
Social Assistance Grants for
Empowerment (SAGE)
14 Districts
 15% of the population / 600,000 beneficiaries
 22,000 UGX / month (aprox. $10 usd)
 Experimental targeting approaches
Innovative payment mechanism
Building Demand & Political Support
• Evaluation of cash transfer pilot will be critical
• Research (including by Ministry of Finance)
• Training and awareness raising, study tours –
including political level influencing
• Support to civil society
• Communications strategy
Challenges and Opportunities
• Institutional: SP agenda driven by SP Directorate in MGLSD
– Directorate of Labour, decent work agenda, labour
legislation not prominent in Ugandan debate
• Political: on-going advocacy on affordability and
sustainability required
• Increasing development partner interest – e.g. new EU SP
• Increasing regional and international focus
Thank you and Questions?

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