SAGE is a pilot programme designed to generate evidence on the impact of social grants in Uganda as well as provide an opportunity to learn how social grants programmes can be most effectively implemented in the Ugandan context.
The Rationale for Expanding Social Protection in Uganda
Poverty levels in Uganda have fallen dramatically since 1990, but around of Ugandans continue to experience chronic poverty. Many more Ugandans are vulnerable to shocks that can push them back into poverty. Uganda’s impressive growth over the past 20 years has been unequal, benefiting urban areas, central and western regions more than other areas, and benefiting the wealthiest most of all.
Social Protection can be defined as “all initiatives from the public, private and informal sectors that support individuals, households, and communities in their efforts to prevent, mitigate, manage and overcome a defined set of risks and vulnerabilities” (MGLSD, 2006). More specifically, Social Protection interventions can be divided into: Social Assistance, Social Insurance, Social Equity and Social Welfare Services. Although progress is being made in developing certain elements of a national social protection system, these measures are often fragmented, inefficient, and under-resourced.
It is noteworthy, also, that existing social protection interventions are not focused on the chronically poor : cash for work programmes are not appropriate for households with minimal labour capacity while the social insurance institutions which are focused on formal sector workers are not intended to reach the extreme poor, whose livelihoods come from informal and agricultural activities.
Since ‘poverty targeting’ is extremely difficult and expensive to do with any reasonable degree of accuracy and also tends to create poverty traps and stigma, SAGE will use simple proxies for poverty which tend to be more easily implemented, understood and accepted at all levels. The SAGE programme will therefore consist of two components – a Senior Citizen’s Grant and a Vulnerable Families Support Grant – which will allow the MGLSD to generate evidence on the effectiveness of different approaches to reaching the chronically poor at national scale. Both targeting mechanisms are expected to reach approximately 15% of households in targeted communities.
Senior Citizen’s Grant:
In Zombo district, older persons above 65 years of age are registered onto the programme. The number of beneficiaries in a specific district and/or community therefore depends on the age profile. Nationally, people aged 65 and above constitute 3.2% of the population and are represented in around 14% of households. Download guideline document here.
There in Zombo the SAGE programme has been successful and so many elders are now living fairly good life.