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Bringing the voice of older persons centre-stage: situational analysis of older persons in Uganda

The world’s population is ageing, and Uganda is no exception. A lack of infrastructure, however, has meant that many of the country’s older citizens have been unable to grow older in dignity. This is why the Government is taking steps to enact measures that will support not only the country’s older persons, but also its future generations.

The Ugandan Ministry for Gender, Labour and Social Development commissioned an in-depth situational analysis of older persons in early 2018 to inform the formulation of an Older Persons’ Act in Uganda. This analysis – which consisted of qualitative and quantitative research, as well as a literature review – was commissioned to inform deliberations on how the nation can better protect and promote the rights of older persons.

Development Pathways undertook field research in Kampala and six districts across Uganda, involving 400 research participants in total, capturing the voices of older persons, care-givers, other community members and government stakeholders. We analysed household survey datasets to build an even bigger picture of the situation of older persons.

The resulting findings demonstrate that older persons are a great resource for the nation and that creating a secure environment will not only allow them to age in dignity, but will bring many benefits to the country as a whole.

We disseminated our findings at Uganda’s first national conference on older persons and produced a short publication titled Facing Our Future: Ageing in a Changing Uganda, launched by the vice-president on Older Persons Day 2018, to be followed by a longer, more in-depth Situational Analysis.