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Uganda’s Social Protection Sector Review launched at National Event 

04/12/2020

On 25 November 2020, the Government of Uganda launched the 2019 Social Protection Sector Review during a National Dialogue on Social Protection organised by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Protection and the Embassy of Ireland. Key findings were presented on the milestones and impacts of Uganda’s social protection systemA key milestone is the nationwide implementation of the Senior Citizens Grant, which has expanded geographic coverage since mth 2020becoming Uganda’s first universal social protection programme. Moreover, the event highlighted the need for more inclusive social protection in Uganda to promote economic recovery after COVID-19 and enhance shock-responsiveness of the system.  

The event brought together distinguished speakers and representatives of the Government of Uganda. From the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Protection, the Principal Secretary, Aggrey David Kibenge and Director, Social Protection, James Ebitupresented evidence on the benefits of investing in inclusive social protection. From the National Planning Authority, Chairperson Prof. Pamela Mbabazi, and Manager, Population and Social Sector Planning, Dr. Sarah Nahalamba, discussed the role of social protection in the national development agenda, while Senior Economist Wilson Assiimwe from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development discussed the economic context for social protection. Other speakers included Nicole McHugh from the Irish EmbassyDr. Fred Muhumuza from Makerere University, and social protection experts Dr. Bazlul Khondker and Dr. Michael Samson.  

The speakers called for a stronger commitment to investing in social protection in Uganda, and highlighted evidence that emphasises the essential role of social protection in promoting human capital development and creates positive returns for the wider economy and society through four key dimensions: a healthier citizenry, an educated and adaptable workforce, a more dynamic economy, and a more stable, cohesive and dignified society. As James Ebitu noted, “Without a healthy, educated, dynamic and mobile workforce and citizenry, infrastructure and other supply-side investments are likely to generate limited returns.”  

The speakers highlighted priorities for Uganda to expand direct income support programmes, expand coverage of care and support services, and expand social security coverage for the informal sector. In order to achieve this, the Government of Uganda aims to enhance its capacity and systems, through the development of a national social protection single registry, improve early warning systems and disaster risk financing, and growing the national commitment to financing social protection.  

Development Pathways has supported the Government of Uganda closely in building the evidence base for investing in Social Protection. Through this successful launch of the national Social Protection Sector Review, we hope that the Government of Uganda will use this milestone to further work towards the realisation of a more inclusive social protection system, across the lifecycle. 

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