Expanding Social Protection (ESP) Programme I: 2010-2015
In July 2010 the Ministry of Gender, Labour & Social Development (MGLSD) presented a proposal to Cabinet to implement a pilot Senior Citizen Grant (SCG) scheme in Uganda as part of the wider Expanding Social Protection (ESP) Programme.
The Expanding Social Protection Programme was designed to achieve two objectives: (i) To pilot the social grants through the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) scheme, and (ii) To draw lessons from the pilot to develop the Uganda National Social Protection Policy, as a beginning point to build a social protection system for the country.
The SAGE Scheme initially piloted two types of grants: the Senior Citizens Grants and the Vulnerable Family Grants. The Senior Citizens Grant targeted older persons of 65 years and above (but lowered in the case of Karamoja to 60 years). The Vulnerable Family Grant on the other hand was paid to poor and vulnerable households without labour capacity.
In June 2015, however, the MGLSD made a decision to phase out the Vulnerable Family Grant. This decision was based on the lessons learnt in the course of the pilot which showed that the Vulnerable Family Grant was contentious and not well accepted by the community as was the case with the Senior Citizens Grants. The Vulnerable Family Grant was a household grant and therefore its administration was problematic and not well appreciated by the communities. In some districts, community leaders requested the Ministry to remove the grant.
Over the period 2010-2015, the Government of Uganda implemented the Senior Citizens Grant initially in 14 districts of Amudat, Apac, Kaberamaido, Katakwi, Kiboga, Kole, Kyankwanzi, Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, Moroto, Nakapiripirit, Napak, Nebbi and Zombo. However, later adding Yumbe district, making it the 15th district.
Under the scheme, beneficiaries received Shs. 25,000 (about US$8, £5) every month, but paid out every two months hence beneficiaries receive Shs 50,000 every two months.
The grants were delivered to beneficiaries through MTN Mobile Money. However, the Payment service Provider changed in Phase II (See ESP II).
Over this period (2010-2015), the Senior Citizen Grants reached 123,153 beneficiaries in the 15 pilot districts. A total of UShs 99.2 billion was disbursed in grants to beneficiaries.