The purpose of the Expanding Social Protection (ESP) Programme is to embed a national social protection system that benefits the poorest as a core element of Uganda’s national policy, planning and budgeting processes. The ESP Programme comprises of two main components.
The Policy Component
Is concerned with developing a national system and a policy framework for social protection in Uganda. Under this, the ESP provides support to:
- Put in place a national social protection system and policy framework with institutions, funding, human resources and policies for implementation of social protection in Uganda
- Strengthen leadership and institutional capacities across various entities (Ministries, Departments and Agencies) in the Government of Uganda to deliver social protection
- Generate evidence on the impacts of social protection-especially Senior Citizens Grants and Vulnerable Family Grants
- Build government commitment and investment in social protection in Uganda
Direct Income Support Implementation
This component is involved in piloting the Senior Citizens Grants and the Vulnerable Family Grants schemes in 14 districts in the country. The Senior Citizens Grants deliver UGX 25,000 (approximately US$8) (2013 value) monthly to senior citizens (people of age 65 years and above, or 60 and above for the Karamoja region). The Vulnerable Family Grants on the other hand pay out UGX25, 000 monthly to vulnerable households with low labour capacity and high dependency.
The pilot districts are
Apac, Kaberamaido, Katakwi, Kiboga, Kyenjojo, Moroto, Nakapiripirit, Nebbi, Amudat, Kyegegwa, Kyankwanzi, Zombo, Napak and Kole.
The pilot tests a range of implementation modalities for efficient, cost effective and scalable Direct Income Support schemes. The purpose of the pilot is therefore to develop and test mechanisms and systems for possible adoption by the Government of Uganda for nationwide scale up of Direct Income Support schemes. The pilot will also contribute to national policy-making processes by generating evidence on the social, economic, political and institutional impacts of the Senior Citizens Grants and Vulnerable Family Grants.
The ESP is therefore designed with a strong evaluation component that will assess the impact, efficiency and effectiveness of the Programme, evaluate the targeting and payment delivery methodologies used and ensure that the results of the Programme are disseminated both nationally and internationally. An independent firm has been contracted to undertake the impact evaluation of the schemes and a peer review panel with representatives from Government, development partners and academia will provide quality assurance for the evaluation.
Some key milestones in the Programme
- The Programme was approved by Cabinet in June 2010The ESP Programme was nationally launched by the 2nd Deputy Prime Minister/Minister forPublic Service, Rt. Hon. Henry Kajura in Kampala in September 2010
- Kaberamaido, Kiboga and Kyenjojo Districts gave the very first Senior Citizens Grants and Vulnerable Family Grants in September 2011
- The Senior Citizens Grants were officially launched by the President of Uganda, who was represented by the Vice President H. E Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi during the national celebrations for the International Day for Older Persons in Kyenjojo district on 1st October 2011
- H. E President Yoweri Museveni launched the Senior Citizens Grants for Nebbi during the International Women’s Day on 8th March 2012
- Apac, Katakwi, Moroto and Nakapiripirit give first Senior Citizens Grants and Vulnerable Family Grants in April 2012
- September 2013, the programme is reaching up to 74, 150 beneficiaries in 99 sub-counties around the 14 pilot districts.
- February 2014, the Programme reaches 113,000 beneficiaries. To date UGX32 billion has been disbursed to beneficiaries.