Expanding Social Protection Programme ESP II: 2015-2020

The Expanding Social Protection Programme is currently transitioning from Phase 1 to Phase ESP II. In Phase 1 (2010-2015), the Government of Uganda piloted the Senior Citizens Grants in 15 districts around the country. These were: Amudat, Apac, Kaberamaido, Katakwi, Kiboga, Kole, Kyankwanzi, Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, Moroto, Nakapiripirit, Napak, Nebbi, Yumbe and Zombo.

In August 2015, following the successful implementation of pilot, the Government of Uganda announced a phased national rollout of the Senior Citizens Grants, starting with 40 new districts over the next 5 years. Under the plan an additional 20 districts will be added onto the Programme starting with 20 new districts in Financial Year (FY) 2015/16. Subsequently 5 new districts will be added every year until 2019/20, as follows:

  • FY 2015/16: Kaabong, Abim, Kotido, Koboko, Gulu, Pader, Agago, Lamwo, Amolatar, Pallisa, Amuria, Kween, Namayingo, Mayuge, Kamuli, Kayunga, Nakasongola, Kibaale, Kisoro and Bundibugyo.
  • FY2016/17: Kitgum, Nakaseke, Kabale, Bugiri, and Amuru.
  • FY 2017/18: Dokolo, Sembabule, Kasese, Sheema and Mubende.
  • FY2018/19: Alebtong, Adjumani, Otuke, Moyo and Kumi.
  • FY 2019/20: Nwoya, Arua, Mbale, Tororo and Kibuku.

ESP II Funding

To fund Phase ESP II, and to enable the roll out according to the Plan, the Government of Uganda has made available UGX149 billion over 5 years (2015-2020). The development partners- DFID/UKAID and Irish Aid on their part have provided GBP 67.8 million (equivalent to Ushs 329.7 billion over 5 years (2015-20) towards the second phase of the Expanding Social Protection Programme.

The funding from development partners will specifically go to funding the grants for the 14 pilot districts until 2020, while the Government of Uganda gradually takes over their funding. It will also go towards operating costs associated with national roll-out and to building capacity for social protection policy implementation and institutional development.

Under ESP II, a new Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the development partners and the Government of Uganda (Ministry of Finance, Planning & Economic Development).

Under ESP II, the Programme will also have some structural changes.

  • In ESP 1, the Programme maintained district offices, under ESP II; the Programme will introduce regional centres; which will technically support a number of districts in the regions.
  • The Ministry of Gender, Labour & Social Development and the Fund Manager, Maxwell Stamp Plc are in advanced stages of recruiting a new Payment Service Provider. Post Bank Uganda was the best evaluated bidder. This therefore means that the mode of Payment of the grants has changed in Phase ESP II, from MTN Mobile Money to PostBank Uganda.

ESP II will also be fundamentally different from ESP 1 in that under this Phase:

  • The Programme will enrol only the 100 oldest beneficiaries in each sub-county of the selected districts. Under ESP 1, all eligible beneficiaries in all sub counties in the pilot districts were enrolled on the Programme. Under ESP II, however, all eligible beneficiaries in the pilot districts will continue to be covered by the grants.
  • The Programme will exclude older persons with government-funded pensions from the Senior Citizens Grants, since they already draw a pension from the consolidated fund
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