According to existing survey analysis, Uganda has made steady progress in poverty reduction over the past decade. However, these gains have not been experienced evenly, with large disparities in poverty levels across geographic areas and household characteristics. These disparities persist when poverty is examined across multiple deprivations– such as health, education, sanitation, and housing – rather than only consumption.
This study aims to fill some of the gaps in the current understanding of poverty, vulnerability,and equality in Uganda, with a particular view to informing the on-going policy discussions within the social protection sub-sector. The Uganda National Household Survey (UNHS) Report (UBOS 2011) provides an excellent foundation, and this current study takes the opportunity to extend the analysis of poverty and vulnerability further while using a social protection lens.
The report concludes that whilst a focus on the 7.5 million Ugandans living below the basic needs poverty is still essential, a more dynamic understanding of poverty and vulnerability would imply a broader focus for poverty and vulnerability reduction efforts. In particular if the GoU is to build on and consolidate the poverty reduction gains made over the past two decades, policy responses which address the risks and vulnerabilities experienced by high numbers of Uganda’s population are necessary. This clearly implies a role for direct income support in providing the resilience and income security households need to effectively deal with shocks, make productive investments and carve a sustainable path out of poverty.