The purpose of the Expanding Social Protection (ESP) Programme is to put in place a national social protection system in line with the National Social protection Policy 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 for 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
A National Social Protection Policy has now been developed and launched. The Policy seeks to promote coordination and harmonisation of social protection interventions 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 or social protection in the country.
Direct Income Support Implementation
This component is involved in implementing social grants –at the moment the Senior Citizens Grants. The Senior Citizens Grants deliver UGX 25,000 (approximately US$8) monthly to senior citizens (people of age 65 years and above, or 60 and above for the Karamoja region).
In Financial Year 2017/18, The Programme reached beneficiaries in 40 districts. Of these 15 were pilot. These are: Apac, Kaberamaido, Katakwi, Kiboga, Kyenjojo, Moroto, Nakapiripirit, Nebbi, Amudat, Kyegegwa, Kyankwanzi, Zombo, Napak and Kole.
In August 2015, following the successful implementation of the pilot, the Government of Uganda announced a phased roll out of the grants. According to the plan, the Government will extend the Senior Citizens Grants to an additional 40 districts over a 5 years. The plan was to start with 20 districts in FY 2015/16, and subsequently adding 5 new district every Financial Year until 2019/20. The full roll out plan to the districts is as follows:
- FY 2015/16: districts of: Kaabong, Abim, Kotido, Koboko, Gulu, Pader, Agago, Lamwo, Amolatar, Pallisa, Amuria, Kween, Namayingo, Mayuge, Kamuli, Kayunga, Nakasongola, Kibaale, Kisoro and Bundibugyo.
- FY2016/17: Districts of: Kitgum, Nakaseke, Kabale, Bugiri, and Amuru.
Some key milestones in the Programme
- The Programme was approved by Cabinet in June 2010
- The ESP Programme was nationally launched by then 2nd Deputy Prime Minister/Minister for Public 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.
- October 2014 Yumbe district is added on the programme as part of the pilot, making it the 15th pilot district
- June 2015, the Programme is reaching 123, 153 beneficiaries in the 15 districts
- August 2015, the Government announces a phased national roll out, following the success of the pilot
- May 2016, payments began in the 20 new districts, with launch of payments in Kamuli, Bundibugyo, Mayuge and Kisoro districts; and subsequently Kaabong, Abim, Kotido, Koboko, Gulu, Pader, Agago, Lamwo, Amolatar, Pallisa, Amuria, Kween, Namayingo, Kayunga, Nakasongola and Kibaale.
- June 2017, first payments for 5 districts of: Kitgum, Nakaseke, Kabale, Bugiri, and Amuru.