After five years of research, consultations, benchmarking, lesson-learning and drafting the Uganda National Social Protection Policy was on March 2nd 2016 launched by H.E President Yoweri Museveni, who was represented by H.E The vice President Edward Ssekandi. The Policy was approved by Cabinet in November 2015.
The Policy seeks to promote coordination and harmonisation of social protection in the country. As an integral part of the Uganda Vision 2040, the Policy outlines a clear vision and strategic framework for a well-coordinated national social protection system. The Policy strives to streamline and eliminate duplication in the sub sector. Its specific objectives are to: (i) increase access to social security; (ii) enhance care, protection and support for vulnerable people; and (iii) strengthen the institutional framework for social protection service delivery.
In the Uganda context, the Policy defines social protection as comprising of two pillars: social security and social care & support services. Social security refers to protective and preventive interventions to mitigate factors that lead to income shocks and affect consumption. Social Care and Support Services are a range of services that provide care, support, protection and empowerment to vulnerable individuals who are unable to fully care for themselves. Social security comprises of contributory pensions (as in the case of National Social Security Fund) and non-contributory income support (as in the case of social grants like the Senior Citizens Grants).
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Gender, Labour & Social Development, has outlined six priority areas of focus for the Policy as;
- Developing appropriate products to extend social security coverage to the informal sector;
- Expanding access to direct income support by vulnerable groups in need;
- Strengthening family and community capacity to provide and care for the children, persons with disabilities, older persons, chronically sick and other individuals in need of care;
- Reforming the Public Service Pension scheme;
- Expanding coverage of formal social security including affordable health insurance and;
- Enhancing the institutional capacity for provision of comprehensive social protection services.
The full policy is available here