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What we do

The purpose of the Expanding Social Protection (ESP) Programme is to put in place a national social protection systems 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 National Social Protection 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 was developed and launched. The Policy seeks to promote coordination and harmonization 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 responsible for implementing social grants- currently, the Senior Citizens Grants  which delivers UGX 25,000 (approximately US$,7, £5) monthly to older persons.


Between 2010-2015,  the Ministry of Gender, Labour & Social Development piloted the Senior Citizens Grant in 15 districts. These were: Amudat, Apac, Kaberamaido, Katakwi, Kiboga, Kole, Kyankwanzi, Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, Moroto, Nakapiripirit, Napak, Nebbi, Yumbe and Zombo.

Under the scheme, older persons receive Shs 25,000 per month, paid out once every two months.

In FY 2015/16, when the pilot phase ended, and following the outstanding success of the pilot,  Government took cognisance of the Senior Citizens Grant and its impacts. Cabinet at the time took a decision to roll out the grants in a phased manner to an additional 40 districts over 5 years, ending in FY2020/21. This roll out started with 20 districts in FY 2015/16, and subsequently added 5 new districts every year, as follows:

  • FY 2015/16: Kaabong, Abim, Kotido, Koboko, Gulu, Pader, Agago, Lamwo, Amolatar, Pallisa, Amuria, Kween, Namayingo, Mayuge, Kamuli, Kayunga, Nakasongola, Kibaale, Kisoro and Bundibugyo.
  • FY2016/17: Kitgum, Nakaseke, Kabale, Bugiri, and Amuru.
  • FY 2017/18: Dokolo, Sembabule, Kasese, Sheema and Mubende.
  • FY2018/19: Alebtong, Adjumani, Otuke, Moyo and Kumi.
  • FY 2019/20:  Nwoya, Arua, Mbale, Tororo and Kibuku.

By June 2019, Government had rolled out the grants to 46 additional districts- including the newly created ones. The 11 new districts created from the older ones are:

  • Kakumiro (from Kibaale)
  • Kagadi (from Kibaale)
  • Rukiga (from Kabale)
  • Rubanda (from Kabale)
  • Butebo (from Pallisa)
  • Pakwach (from Nebbi)
  • Omoro (from Gulu)
  • Kapelebyong (from Amuria)
  • Nabilatuk (from Nakapiripirit)
  • Kasanda (from Mubende)
  • Kwania (from Apac)

In November 2018, Government took a decision to roll out the grants to all the remaining districts thereby covering the whole country