Key Achievements/Impacts of the ESP Programme
Evidence & impact: The Programme has generated evidence on its impacts, administrative feasibility and long-term sustainability. These impacts include:
- Improved welfare of the 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 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.
Transitional impacts beginning to happen
- Latest studies show that SAGE beneficiaries are now able to bale inputs such as fertilisers and better seeds, and therefore their yields are increasing. They now do framing for profit, and not just for consumption/subsistence
- The multiplier effects are beginning to be seen; the increased purchasing power in the community means that the local shopkeepers have market for their goods, and actually report stock out during payments; local people who have labour are employed to work for beneficiaries for example the local boda boda (motor cycle taxis) benefit from hire by older persons. In short, everyone in the community benefits.
- Access to credit: Studies show that in SAGE districts both access and the cost of credit is easier and cheaper compared to non-SAGE districts. This is because in SAGE district beneficiaries have formed local savings groups that lend money both to members (fellow beneficiaries) and to community members (who are not necessarily direct beneficiaries of SAGE) for an interest. It is therefore easier to access credit in SAGE districts. The cost of credit is also lower than in non-SAGE districts.
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,
- National Policy: A National Social Protection policy was developed and was approved by Cabinet early November 2015. It was launched by H.E the President, represented by H.E the Vice President on March 2nd, 2015.