Evidence & impact: Over the last 5 years, The ESP Programme has generated evidence on impacts, administrative feasibility and long-term sustainability of the Senior Citizens Grant. These impacts include:
- Improved the welfare of older people and their families through increased:Food security, frequency, quantity and quality of meals, uptake of health services, uptake of education services among children living with older people, improved ability to deal with economic shocks
- Increased the productivity of beneficiary households through: Investment of grants in purchase of livestock, farm inputs and the establishment of small businesses, use of grant money by older people to hire -labourers to open up their hitherto idle agricultural land
- Increased savings and investment: Over 15,000 beneficiaries have formed savings and loan groups; saving on a weekly or monthly basis and then disbursing the accumulated savings on a rotational basis at agreed intervals. These savings are used to cover emergencies, to support productive investments, cultivation and meeting the education and scholastic needs of their children/grandchildren.
- Boosted local economic activity: Increased purchasing power among SAGE beneficiary households has increased demand for local goods and services. This has resulted in the establishment of new business and markets to supply essential commodities such as soap, salt, sugar and paraffin and food stuffs – particularly on SAGE paydays.
- Increased social inclusion and empowerment: Beneficiaries, especially women, consistently report improved participation in community affairs, sense of self-esteem and empowerment. Older people report feeling less discriminated against in their communities and more valued by their families on account of their ability to make social contributions to community-based social support mechanisms which are based on reciprocity (funerals, weddings etc).
- Strengthened social cohesion, social contract and visibility of government to communities: The Senior Citizens Grant has been well received by beneficiaries and the general public across the political divide as it: reflects Ugandan values of support for the elderly; builds social cohesion; and delivers services directly to beneficiaries. This is supported by statements from beneficiaries such as: “This is one of the best government programmes that directly reaches out and touches the people”. Strong evidence is also emerging that the grant has significantly reinvigorated local level service delivery by promoting contact between different levels of government and the community, improving coordination of service delivery, accountability and the relevance and visibility of government.
- Impacts on poverty: Analysis based on the Uganda National Household Survey 2009/10, confirms that national roll-out of the SCG would: Deliver a basic level of income security to around 1.2 million older people, lift at least 1.2 million older people and household members out of extreme poverty, improve economic security for an additional 1.7 million people who are highly vulnerable to falling into poverty, benefit 3 million of Uganda’s most vulnerable children.
Beyond the impact on the beneficiaries, the Programme has also achieved the following:
- Systems in place: The Programme established systems for delivering the service, such as payment systems, enrolment system, management information systems,
- The National Social Protection Policy: A National Social Protection policy was developed and was approved by Cabinet early November 2015. It was launched by H.E the President of Uganda, represented by H.E the Vice President on March 2nd, 2016.