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Interrogating Decentralisation in Africa

31 Mar 2017 12:10:22 GMT

This issue of the Open Access IDS Bulletin examines the impact of decentralisation at the local level through detailed case studies of five countries – Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia. The issue deals with all three of the main aims for decentralisation reforms in Africa: improved service delivery, democracy and participation, and a reduction in central government expenditure. It analyses micro, comparative stories by accumulating evidence on how decentralisation works differently within each featured country, and the factors that are responsible for differential outcomes.

Contributors are mostly African scholars who live under the region’s decentralised systems and study them with a proximate lens often denied to visiting scholars. Their research questions, on their countries’ respective policy agendas, are joined by the common belief that more innovative methods should be applied to these questions in order to get at better explanations.

While decentralisation is an important issue, systematic analyses of its outcomes are limited. This IDS Bulletin represents first efforts to use more innovative and incisive methods to understand decentralisation and its impact.

Do electoral handouts affect voting behavior?

23 Mar 2017 03:25:40 GMT

The literature on vote-buying often assumes a complete transaction of cash for votes. While there is ample evidence that candidates target certain voters with cash handouts, it is unclear whether these actually result in higher turnout and vote shares for the distributing party.

Empirically, using different matching techniques and accounting for district-level factors, the authors find that cash handouts have little to no effect on either turnout or vote shares during the 2011 presidential election in Benin. They cross-validate these results with additional surveys from four other African countries (Kenya, Mali, Botswana, and Uganda). Results suggest that vote-buying is better explained as an incomplete transaction between candidates and voters and that handouts from multiple parties as well as district-level traits (e.g. patronage, public goods) may account for the null effects observed.

Governance of-non-state social protection initiatives: implications for addressing gendered vulnerability to poverty in Uganda

21 Feb 2017 12:15:12 GMT

Non-state actors (NSAs) are offering social protection services in Uganda to address vulnerabilities associated with poverty. Information is limited on their adequacy and efficacy and how their governance mechanisms address gender concerns.

This study aimed to fill that gap. The research was conducted December 2012 to May 2013 in Katakwi and Kyegegwa Districts, selected for their levels of poverty and vulnerability associated with the civil war, cattle rustling and influx of refugees from neighbouring countries. The design was cross-sectional and used semi-structured questionnaires, key informant interviews, focus group discussions and case studies with NSA beneficiaries and representatives and opinion leaders.

Formal NSAs deliver mostly promotive services such as capacity building in farming and human rights sensitisation while informal NSAs provide mainly preventive services like savings and credit, and burial and moral support. The needs are great and the resources limited, so only the immediate problems are handled. For gender issues such services are only symptomatic treatment: what is needed are preventive and transformative interventions to deliver sustained reduction in gendered vulnerability. Large and formal NSAs depend on donor support, and community-based organisations on contributions, neither of which is sustainable.

The NSAs have governance instruments, but these are gender blind and broad in definition. Formal NSAs are accountable to the government and donors but not to their clientele. The contrary is true for informal NSAs.

A national policy that accommodates the local context is needed to support delivery of NSA services; to facilitate offering of  transformative and preventive interventions of long-term and strategic nature; to guide NSAs to incorporate gender responsiveness as a guiding principle in their interventions; and to require NSAs to engage local communities in programme development. Gender should be integral to all policy and programming, supported by gender training at all levels.

Governing health care in Uganda: explaining the mixed record on delivering rural maternal health services

17 Feb 2017 04:52:20 GMT

Uganda’s ruling party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM), came to power with a ‘Ten-Point Plan’. This outlined clear and specific ideas about what was needed to improve service delivery, and the role the public would play in achieving this objective and wider ambitions. Government made some important advances in the health sector, particularly in terms of reducing the level of HIV-AIDS prevalence and improving the accessibility of primary health care centres for rural citizens.

In recent years, however, the imperative of maintaining power seems to have distracted politicians at national and local levels from building a more effective health service that can deliver high-quality provision. This problem is particularly evident in terms of providing for maternal and child health, with Uganda recording slower rates of progress than some of its counterparts towards keypolicygoals, such as the MDG 5 target to reduce the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) by
three-quarters by 2015.
Key findings:
  • the quality of public health care in Uganda, including the delivery of maternal health services, is highly uneven; this is closely shaped by politics at the global, national and local level
  • the channelling of vast amounts of money into the health sector through internationally funded projects has created several power centres and bred rivalries. This has left the Ministry of Health highly factionalised and less capable of delivering on its remit
  • for much of the past decade, the health sector has been governed for political ends rather than geared towards higher levels of performance
  • capacity for supervision, inspection and enforcement of standards by central government is lacking; accountability at district level is therefore dependent on local monitoring and evaluation systems that are often too weak to
    improve levels of performance
  • local politics also closely shapes service delivery at district level: the quality and motivations of local leaders and their capacity to collaborate have a significant influence on the quality of service delivery
  • the highest levels of performance are driven by developmental coalitions with the capacity and commitment to devise and enforce innovative approaches to governing the sector

Climatic trends, risk perceptions and coping strategies of smallholder farmers in rural Uganda

10 Jan 2017 12:18:51 GMT

Smallholder farmers in Uganda face a wide range of agricultural production risks, with climate change and variability presenting new risks and vulnerabilities. Climate related risks  such as prolonged dry seasons have become more frequent and intense with negative impacts on agricultural livelihoods and food security.

This paper assesses farmers’ perceptions of climate change and variability and analyses historical trends in temperature and rainfall in two rural districts of Uganda in order to determine the major climate-related risks affecting crop and livestock production and to identify existing innovative strategies for coping with and adapting to climate-related risks, with potential for up-scaling in rural districts. The traditional coping strategies that have been developed by these communities overtime provide a foundation for designing effective adaptation strategies.

Drought, disease and pest epidemics, decreasing water sources, lack of pasture, bush fires, hailstorms, changes in crop flowering and fruiting times were the major climate-related risks reported across the two districts. Farmers use a wide range of agricultural technologies and strategies to cope with climate change and climate variability. Mulching, intercropping and planting of food security crops were among the most common practices used. Other strategies included water harvesting for domestic consumption, other soil and water conservation technologies and on-farm diversification. Farmers often use a combination of these technologies and practices to enhance agricultural productivity. The average maximum temperatures increased across the two districts. Trends in average annual rainfall showed mixed results with a general decline in one district and a relatively stable trend in the other district. Perceived changes in climate included erratic rainfall onset and cessation, which were either early or late, poor seasonal distribution of rainfall and little rainfall. Farmers also reported variations in temperatures. Farmers’ perception of changing rainfall characteristics and increasing temperatures were consistent with the observed historical climatic trends from meteorological data.

Impact of a peer-counseling intervention on breastfeeding practices in different socioeconomic strata: results from the equity analysis of the PROMISE-EBF trial in Uganda

23 Dec 2016 12:15:37 GMT

Background: Undernutrition is highly prevalent among infants in Uganda. Optimal infant feeding practices may improve nutritional status, health, and survival among children.

Objective:  Our  study  evaluates  the  socioeconomic  distribution  of  exclusive  breastfeeding  (EBF)  and  growth outcomes among infants included in a trial, which promoted EBF by peer counselors in Uganda.

Design:   Twenty-four  clusters   comprising   one   to   two   communities   in   Uganda  were   randomized   into intervention  and  control  arms,  including  765  mother-infant  pairs.  Intervention  clusters  received  the  promotion  of  EBF  by  peer  counselors  in addition to standard care. Breastfeeding and growth outcomes were compared according to wealth quintiles and  intervention/control  arms.  Socioeconomic  inequality  in  breastfeeding  and  growth  outcomes  were measured  using  the  concentration  index  12  and  24  weeks  postpartum.  We  used  the  decomposition  of  the concentration index to identify factors contributing to growth inequality at 24 weeks.

Results:  EBF  was  significantly  concentrated  among  the  poorest  in  the  intervention  group  at  24  weeks postpartum, concentration index - 0.060. The control group showed a concentration of breastfeeding among the richest part of the population, although not statistically significant. Stunting, wasting, and underweight were  similarly  significantly  concentrated  among  the  poorest  in  the  intervention  group  and  the  total population at 24 weeks, but showing non-significant concentrations for the control group.

Conclusion:  This  study  shows  that  EBF  can  be  successfully  promoted  among  the  poor.  In  addition, socioeconomic inequality in growth outcomes starts early in infancy, but the breastfeeding intervention was not strong enough to counteract this influence.

“We’re in this together”: Changing intra-household decision making for more cooperative smallholder farming

20 Dec 2016 10:27:20 GMT

Conceptualising smallholder farming households as collective action institutions, that make interrelated decisions about investment, resource use and allocation in a common household farm, may contribute to understanding widely observed uncooperative outcomes, such as yield gaps, gender gaps in productivity, suboptimal or Pareto inefficient sustainable intensification and climate change adaptation.

This paper examines the relation between participatory intra-household decision making – as a set of ‘rules of the game’ that reduces information and bargaining power asymmetries – and cooperative, i.e. more efficient, sustainable and equitable, outcomes in smallholder coffee farming households in Uganda. We find experimental evidence that participatory decision making is positively related to investments in the common household farm. Consumption behaviour however is not fairer nor more sustainable. Participatory decision making is associated with more cooperative actual outcomes such as greater investment in sustainable intensification, consideration of women’s interests, fairer reproductive intra-household labour division, more balanced control over cash crop income and improved livelihoods.

Evidence-based opportunities for out-scaling climate-smart agriculture in East Africa

16 Dec 2016 11:31:23 GMT

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is being widely promoted as a solution for food insecurity and climate change adaptation in food systems of sub-Saharan Africa, while simultaneously reducing the rate of greenhouse gas emissions. Governments throughout Africa are writing
policies and programs to promote CSA practices despite uncertainty about the ability for  practices to meet the triple CSA objectives of CSA.

I this paper, the auuthors conducted a systematic review of 175 peer-reviewed and grey literature studies, to gauge the impact of over seventy potential CSA practices on CSA outcomes in Tanzania and Uganda. Using a total of 6,342 observations, it was found that practice impacts were highly context (i.e. farming system and location) specific. Nevertheless, practice effect across CSA outcomes generally agreed in direction.

While results suggest that CSA is indeed possible, lack of mitigation data precludes a more conclusive statement. Furthermore, the inclusion of potential adoption rates changes the potential of CSA practices to achieve benefits at scale. Given the uncertainty and variable impacts of practices across regions and outcomes, it is critical for decision makers to prioritize practices based on their desired outcomes and local context.

Decentralized climate change responses in Uganda: climate change adaptation lacks local government funding

15 Dec 2016 03:34:18 GMT

Local governments in Uganda are the most appropriate level for implementing national climate change adaptation and mitigation policies. They provide the best institutional interface between local people’s aspiration and international investments, national policies and civil society initiatives. Yet their contribution is not fully appreciated.
  • strengthen local government funding and capacity for implementing climate change adaptation
  • enhance content and pace of dialogue between national level and meso-level policymakers on climate change adaptation
  • create opportunities for local governments to collaborate in response to the transboundary nature of climate change
  • better understanding of who are vulnerable to climate change and tailor adaptation to their needs

Green: at what price?

21 Nov 2016 12:56:38 GMT

Reforestation, environmental development, growth in the developing world: when does a green economy come at too high a price?

The Ugandan Government wants to encourage development and boost it’s forest reserves. They’ve leased over 8000 hectares of land to Norwegian based company, Green Resources, Africa’s largest forestation company. This sounds like a good news story in Africa, except that Bukaleba Forest Reserve, on the shores of Lake Victoria, has been home to thousands of rural people for decades.

These villagers are indicative of 90 % of rural Africans who have no land title. This film explores one simple truth: land acquisitions for growth and development can compromise the livelihoods of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

We hear from the villagers, the Land Ministry, the company at the core. ‘Green: at what price?’ not only highlights the plight of Ugandan villagers, but reveals a vital scenario playing out across Africa and around the globe.

Shame, social exclusion and the effectiveness of anti-poverty programmes

15 Nov 2016 02:55:59 GMT

A two year qualitative investigation of the nature and consequences of shame associated with poverty was conducted in seven settings located in rural Uganda and India; urban China, Pakistan, Korea and United Kingdom; and small town and urban Norway. The research presented results consistent with the thesis that the shame is always associated with poverty and that this may reduce personal efficacy and contribute to the duration and prevalence of poverty, a process that may be aggravated by policies that stigmatise recipients of social protection.

The research explores the contention that shame is a universal attribute of poverty which is common to people experiencing poverty in all societies. It investigates whether shame has internal and external components such that people are shamed because they are poor and feel shame due to being poor - and that both reduce individual agency and increase social exclusion.

The research initially seeks within different cultural settings to:

  • explore the social construction of shame (including its synonyms and antonyms) as expressed in public discourse
  • identify the cultural coincidence of shame and poverty as revealed in public discourse

Because personal experiences and public understanding of poverty are shaped by cultural expectations and resource constraints, the research will:

  • investigate how publics conceptualise poverty and people in poverty and whether in thought or deed they contribute to shaming people in poverty
  • explore how people directly experience poverty, social exclusion and shame and recognise connections between them

Unsettling business: social consequences of the Bujagali hydropower project

07 Nov 2016 05:27:59 GMT

The Bujagali hydropower dam on The River Nile in Uganda was fi nally commissioned in August 2012 after eighteen years of controversy that delayed the dam construction.  The dam faced numerous economic, environmental, social and spiritual challenges that stalled the dam construction while the project underwent investigations over bribery claims and project reviews on the dam design and capacity. The dam cost kept on growing from $580 million at inception to $860 million and finally $902 million ($3.6million per MW) at completion.  Independent investigations by the Ugandan Parliamentary adhoc committee on energy put the dam’s actual cost at $1.3 billion ($5.2million per MW or more).The dam project was marketed by The Government of Uganda and the World Bank as the least-cost project. Two different hydropower companies - AES Nile Power and Bujagali Energy Limited – feature in the development of the Bujagali hydropower dam in Uganda. The project was undertaken as a Public Private Partnership between the Government of Uganda and International Financial Corporation (IFCs), the World Bank Group, European Investment Bank, African Development Bank in collaboration with dam construction companies- Industrial Promotions Services (IPS), a holding company of the Aga Khan and Sithe Global Power. The project partners, IPS, Sithe Global Power and the government set up a new company- Bujagali Energy Ltd (BEL) to operate and run the project.The Bujagali hydropower dam development was marred with controversies that saw the dam take over 18 years to complete. The dam project was investigated four times, twice by the Inspection Panel of The World Bank, by The African Development Bank’s Independent Review Mechanism (IRM),  and by The European Investment Bank’s Compliance Review. A long range of cases have also been opened by the IFCs Compliance Advisor Ombudsman. Citizens groups in Uganda like the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE), Save Bujagali Crusade, and other international groups like International Rivers Network (IR), and Counter Balance played an important role in raising the potential social, economic and environmental impacts of the project in the public domain and prompted the lenders to investigate and consider policy adherence.The project financiers – the World Bank (WB), African Development Bank (AfDB), and the European Development Bank (EDB) – investigated the project and found the project to have violated several of their bank policies. The banks wrote reports on their findings and made recommendations, whose implementation would be the basis for the project to receive fi nancial support. The banks, however, went ahead and funded the project ignoring the concerns raised about the project. The Government of Uganda signed an agreement with IPS and BEL to construct the project in 2007 before Parliament approved the government’s obligation as required by law. BEL started the project construction in 2007 and expected to fi nish in three years, but the dam project was completed and commissioned by Government of Uganda in August 2012, fi ve years later. Despite several lender reports recommendations and reiterated effort from the project constructors some of the concerns raised by civil citizen groups are not resolved, and new ones have been raised during the process. These issues include; hydrological and climate change risks, cumulative impact assessment of the cascade of dams, economic and environmental analysis of alternative energy options, cultural and spiritual values, compensations for persons affected by the electricity transmission line as well as  persons injured during the dam construction.Complaints about these unresolved issues have been raised by the concerned citi[...]

Introduction to the special Issue: Flows and practices: the politics of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in Southern Africa

03 Nov 2016 03:20:45 GMT

For the past two decades, IWRM has been actively promoted by water experts as well as multilateral and bilateral donors  who have considered it to be a crucial way to address global  water management problems. IWRM  has  been  incorporated  into  water  laws,  reforms  and  policies  of  southern  African  nations.  This  article introduces the special issue 'Flows and Practices: The Politics of IWRM in southern Africa'. It provides a conceptual framework  to  study:  the  flow  of  IWRM  as  an  idea;  its  translation  and  articulation  into  new  policies,  institutions andallocation  mechanisms,  and  the  resulting  practices  and  effects  across  multiple  scales – global,  regional, national and local. The empirical findings of the complexities of articulation and implementation of IWRM in South Africa,  Zimbabwe,  Mozambique,  Tanzania  and  Uganda  form  the  core  of  this  special  issue.  We  demonstrate  how Africa  has  been  a  laboratory  for  IWRM  experiments,  while  donors  as  well  as  a  new  cadre  of  water  professionals and  students  have  made  IWRM  their  mission.  The  case  studies  reveal  that  IWRM  may  have  resulted  in  an unwarranted policy focus on managing water instead of enlarging poor women’s and men’s access to water. The newly  created  institutional  arrangements tended  to centralise  the  power  and  control  of  the  State  and  powerful users over water and failed to address historically rooted inequalities.

Flows and practices: The politics of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in southern Africa

01 Nov 2016 05:14:41 GMT

For the past two decades, IWRM has been actively promoted by water experts as well as multilateral and bilateral donors  who have considered it to be a crucial way to address global  water management problems. IWRM  has  been  incorporated  into  water  laws,  reforms  and  policies  of  southern  African  nations.  This  is a special issue 'Flows and Practices: The Politics of IWRM in southern Africa' of the journal Water Alternatives. The empirical findings of the complexities of articulation and implementation of IWRM in South Africa,  Zimbabwe,  Mozambique,  Tanzania  and  Uganda  form  the  core  of  this  special  issue.  We  demonstrate  how Africa  has  been  a  laboratory  for  IWRM  experiments,  while  donors  as  well  as  a  new  cadre  of  water  professionals and  students  have  made  IWRM  their  mission.  The  case  studies  reveal  that  IWRM  may  have  resulted  in  an unwarranted policy focus on managing water instead of enlarging poor women’s and men’s access to water. The newly created  institutional  arrangements tended  to centralise  the  power  and  control  of  the  State  and  powerful users over water and failed to address historically rooted inequalities.

The political economy of conservation at Mount Elgon, Uganda: between local deprivation, regional sustainability, and global public goods

13 Oct 2016 04:15:34 GMT

This paper presents a case study from Mount Elgon National Park, Uganda, examining and deepening an understanding of direct incomes and costs of conservation for local people close to protected areas. In the early 1990s, collaborative arrangements were introduced to Mount Elgon National Park to improve people-park relations and enhance rural livelihoods after a period of violent evictions and severe resource access restrictions. In areas with such arrangements – including resource access agreements, Taungya farming, and beekeeping schemes – we observe a marginal increase in annual incomes for involved households. Other incomes accrue from tourism revenue sharing schemes, a community revolving fund, and payments for carbon sequestration. However, these incomes are economically marginal (1.2% of household income), unevenly distributed and instrumentally used to reward compliance with park regulations. They do not necessarily accrue to those incurring costs due to eviction and exclusion, crop raiding, resource access restrictions and conflicts. By contrast, costs constitute at least 20.5 % of total household incomes, making it difficult to see how conservation, poverty alleviation and development can be locally reconciled if local populations continue to bear the economic brunt of conservation. We recommend a shift in policy towards donor and state responsibility for compensating costs on a relevant scale. Such a shift would be an important step towards a more substantive rights-based model of conservation, and would enhance the legitimacy of protected area management in the context of both extreme poverty and natural resource dependence.

War and peace in the Great Lakes Region

04 Oct 2016 05:18:11 GMT

The Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR), Cape Town, South Africa, hosted a two-day policy research seminar in Cape Town, from 19 to 20 March 2016, on the theme “War and Peace in the Great Lakes Region”. The meeting brought together about 30 prominent African and Western policymakers, scholars, and civil society activists to assess the major obstacles to peace and security in the Great Lakes, and considered seven broad themes: Security and Governance in the Great Lakes Region; the cases of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); Burundi; Rwanda; and Uganda; as well as the role of the United Nations; and that of the European Union, in the Great Lakes. The following 10 key policy recommendations emerged from the policy research seminar:since post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding efforts in the Great Lakes have become stalled due to the unresolved issues in the region’s political economy, it is imperative that governments urgently address the major issue of youth unemployment – more than 30 percent of the region’s population are aged between 10 and 24the international community must adopt a less selective approach to responding to the governance deficiencies of the countries in the region, acting swiftly to criticise the government in Burundi but being reluctant to condemn governments in Uganda and Rwanda due to strategic interests in both countriesaddressing sexual violence in the DRC must become a key priority. Making progress in security sector reform which has been largely uncoordinated by external actors amid a lack of political will on the part of the government of Joseph Kabila, would also be critical to efforts to tackling gender-based violenceBurundi needs effective leadership and a government that is accountable to its own people. A mass movement must therefore be fostered to promote an inclusive negotiation process. Beyond Burundi, mass advocacy movements should also be built among the 127 million citizens of the Great Lakescarefully targeted international sanctions against the Rwandan government for its actions in the DRC have had some effect in changing its behaviour. Such sanctions should also be applied to Rwanda’s domestic human rights situationthere is an urgent need for governments in the Great Lakes region to recommit to peace accords and tackling regional insecurity related to issues of identity and citizenshipthere is also an urgent need for political parties and conflict actors in the Great Lakes to revisit peace accords that were signed more than a decade and a half ago with a view to adapting as well as implementing principles of constitutionalism and multi-party democracy which were enshrined in these accordsthough some have suggested that UN peacekeepers should withdraw from the DRC to create room for endogenous solutions to the country’s long-running conflict, other voices have cautioned against a premature withdrawal of the UN, citing the example of Burundi in 2006 where such a withdrawal removed the international community’s capacity for tackling instabilityit is time to rethink the role of the UN in the DRC in the areas of peacekeeping and peacebuilding. Its bureaucracy has become dysfunctional which has negatively affected the efficiency of UN peacekeeping missions. The UN Security Council must therefore do more to align mandates, roles, and resources closer to the realities onthe groundthe EU and other international actors need to undertake more outreach to Tanzania, South Africa, the EAC and other regional actors in their peacebuilding efforts in the Great Lakes[...]

Climate and development outlook: stories of change from CDKN, Uganda special edition

09 Sep 2016 01:49:48 GMT

Uganda is a low-income country whose economy has recently enjoyed a growth spurt. Uganda’s leaders have set their sights on achieving upper middle income status in a generation’s time.

However, climate change could have a deep influence on Uganda’s development progress. Highly dependent on the climate-sensitive sectors of agriculture, tourism, water and energy, Uganda has suffered more frequent droughts, floods and other extreme climate events in recent decades. The economy and population are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
Uganda’s development agenda is articulated in Uganda Vision 2040, the country’s long-term development blueprint. Vision 2040 aims to achieve a green economy and a clean environment in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. However, climate change is a key challenge, which could prevent the attainment of the Vision 2040 development goals.

Key areas for CDKN support in Uganda are:
  • an economic assessment of the impacts of climate change
  • Uganda’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution
  • safe water in sub-Saharan Africa
  • decision-making, implementation and the social and economic impacts of climate risk-induced resettlement in urban areas: Kampala case study
  • Africa clean cooking energy solutions
  • support for the African Climate Change Resilience Alliance

Economic assessment of the impacts of climate change in Uganda. Briefing note: malaria prevalence in the districts of Tororo and Kabale

31 Aug 2016 10:25:31 GMT

An Economic Assessment of the Impacts of Climate Change has been completed at the national level in Uganda. As part of this nation-wide study, this case study seeks to assess the impacts of climate change and their costs in the health sector in the districts of Tororo and Kabale, drawing on national projections of climate change.

Malaria is endemic in 95% of Uganda, and poses significant economic and soci al costs. In both districts looked at in this study, the costs associated with malaria could more than double by 2050 as a result of both population increase and predicted changes in climate. In Tororo, the economic cost of malaria due to climate change may rise from $9-$ 22 1 million in 2010 to $ 20 -$561 million in 2050. In Kabale, these costs may increase from between $0.7-$1 5.8 million in 2010 to between $1.55-$41.7 million in 2050. Efforts need to be increased to reduce this burden -€“ and there are a number of low cost actions that may be taken.

Adaptation options such as Long Lasting Insecticide Nets (LLINs), Indoor Residential Spra ying (IRS), clearing of breeding sites and proper treatment have been shown to have benefits that far outweigh the costs when they are properly targeted, even without climate change. Additional cost-effective adaptation actions in the immediate term may include information dissemination, particularly to high risk areas, revised planning regimes to help control malaria prevalence, and measures for early warning and action for malaria risk. The spatial differentiation in malaria risk suggests there is no "one size fits all” policy for malaria, and hence there is a need for comprehensive di sease vulnerability assessments and action planning across districts.

Economic Assessment of the impacts of climate change in Uganda: National Level Assessment - agricultural sector report

23 Aug 2016 12:22:26 GMT

The agricultural sector is a fundamental part of the Ugandan economy, employing about 66 percent of the working population in 2009/10 and contributing about 22 percent to total GDP in the year 2012 (UBOS, 2013). Therefore, improving understanding of the nature and potential impacts of climate change on the sector is an essential prerequisite to the assessment and prioritization of adaptation actions.
Climate change can potentially impact agricultural production in a number of ways. In the case of crops this maybe by changing: (i) the area suitable for agriculture, (ii) the length of the growing season, (iii) yield potential, (iv) the frequency and severity of extreme events (in particular droughts and floods) and (v) the incidence of plant diseases. In the case of livestock climate change may affect production through: (i) impacts on the quantity and quality of feed, (ii) increasing heat stress, (iii) changes to and spread of livestock diseases and (iv) changes in water availability.

This report has assessed the potential economic impacts of climate change and finds that, in the  absence of additional measures to adapt to climate change, there will be consequences in three areas: on food crops and livestock, on export crops, and on both of these sectors from extreme events.

Economic assessment of the impacts of climate change in Uganda: key results

19 Aug 2016 02:00:10 GMT

Uganda is already experiencing the impacts of climate variability and associated economic losses. Uganda’s First National Development Plan (2010–2015) recognises that climate change will affect most of its key economic sectors and that action on climate change is crucial if the country is to meet its goal to become a competitive, upper middle-income country by 2040 (Vision 2040). The Plan also recognises that, for development to be economically and socially sustainable, climate resilience must be at the heart of policies for growth and development, energy access and security, increased agricultural production, education and health.

Against this backdrop, the Government of Uganda  commissioned the Economic Assessment of the Impacts of Climate Change study. Its purpose is to provide the Government with economic evidence on the current and future costs associated with climate variability and predicted climate change, and the necessary adaptation measures for different sectors at both national and local
scales. This evidence is intended to help policy-makers mainstream climate change and resilience into national and sectoral policies and develop the case for investing in adaptation.
Key message:
  • development prospects will only be reached if the impacts of climate change on Uganda are mitigated
  • the impacts of climate change are expected to be felt across all the sectors and local areas studied , to varying degrees
  • the cost of adaptation is high: estimated at around US$406 m over the next five years (2015–2020). On an annual basis, this amounts to about 5% of net official development assistance received and 3.2% of total government revenues (excluding grants)
  • the cost of inaction is 20 times greater than the cost of adaptation: inaction is estimated at between US$3.1 bn and 5.9 bn per year by 2025, which is more than 20 times the proposed adaptation budget
  • the economic case for adaptation is clear: many of the adaptation measures proposed in the study are ‘no regrets’ investments, in that they are valid even in the absence of climate change
  • considering the co-benefits strengthens the case for adaptation further, for example improved livelihoods, health and access to energy; these represent strong investments in the development of Uganda’s future

Economic assessment of the impacts of climate change in Uganda: Arabica coffee production in the Mount Elgon Region (Bududa District)

12 Aug 2016 12:54:02 GMT

The Mount Elgon region is very vulnerable to climate change and variability, with a heavy dependence on coffee production. Yields and quality of coffee crops have been declining over the last 30 years, in part owing to poor management practices and in part because of an increase in the frequency of droughts, landslides and floods. This study has reviewed the evolving situation for Arabica coffee cultivation in the Bududa district and looked at how climate variability is affecting coffee yields and livelihoods, based on the data collected in the field through interviews with key stakeholders and a literature review.It identified seven potential adaptation approaches, and focused on the two that stakeholders considered to be most important: Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) and institutional support measures (or extension services). According to literature and the stakeholders interviewed, CSA practices are not currently adopted, in part because farmers lack the resources and technical capacities to make the necessary investments.The study found that although quite costly, investments in CSA are likely to be justified, as probable benefits outweigh the costs, both under current conditions, and even more so when expected climate impacts are considered. The study indicates that likely investment costs are in the range of US$2.4 million in 2016, rising to US$4.9 million by 2019, over and above the current institutional support programme of Bududa’s District Local Government, which has a budget of only around US$ 214,329. The analysis shows that investment in these two complementary programmes – CSA and institutional support - would have an internal rate of return of around 36%. If combined with other adaptation approaches, such as complementary policies or providing better climate information, there is, in the view of the study team, potential to sustain coffee cultivation in Bududa, both now and under future predicted climatic conditions.The study recommends that further research and analysis is conducted in order to identify:the impact of climate variability on coffee yields in the Mt Elgon region, and other coffee growing regions in Ugandathe cost and benefits of different approaches to CSA in the coffee sector, in particular to identify ‘low regret’ options and options where there are co-benefitsthe economic viability of coffee growing under BAU and CSA in different regions in Uganda, in order to focus investment on regions where there is a stronger economic case for coffee cultivation in the long termbarriers and enablers that effect the adoption of CSA practices by farmers, in order to identify what wrap-around support might be needed, and subsequent to this an analysis of how support may be best deliveredthe costs and benefits of alternative livelihoods in Bududa, including cultivation of other crops and non-farming activities, versus coffee cultivationThe above actions would help to inform the design of a CSA programme for coffee, including practical measures as well as institutional support, and help to identify what additional complementary strategies might be needed. Critically, the development of such a programme should also involve the private sector, and an analysis of the market and value chain for coffee, to enable improved commercialisation. Further, given the high level of investment that is potentially required, it is recommended that any CSA programme is first piloted in order to establish whether expectations around costs, benefits, and yields, etc, are borne out[...]

The East African energy frontier, a decade on

12 Aug 2016 11:07:29 GMT

The East Africa region has seen some of the decade’ s largest natural gas and energy finds. However, despite their magnitude, these discoveries have yet to fulfil the promise of social and economic progress. With some signs of the negative impact of resource wealth already in evidence, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique all require changes to their natural resources policies to ensure that revenues are shared and invested in the future. Underpinning this is the need for governments to improve transparency, allowing local institutions to hold the government and other stakeholders accountable. Without such steps, the full potential of these finds is set to go unrealised.
The past decade’s energy finds created great promise for Eastern Africa. Yet questions remain about whether these finds will be a burden or blessing. With the downturn in global energy markets and production dates being repeatedly postponed, any potential benefits are subject to the uncertainties and political volatilities that have come to characterise the region. However, it is not too late for these countries to use their assets wisely. A real commitment to accountability and the channelling of revenues towards development objectives is needed, as well as the necessary freedoms for local institutions to monitor the sector and hold government and other stakeholders to account. Now, while prices are low, is a good opportunity for states to get their institutional houses in order. With the effective infrastructure in place, as well as co-operation between states and profits being invested in their future, these finds can in time contribute to the development of the region.

A bottom-up approach: identifying national standard climate change indicators for Uganda

11 Aug 2016 10:45:55 GMT

Globally, there is increasing recognition of the need to track climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction progress. But the ability of countries and development partners to do this is constrained by the complex nature of adaptation and the absence
of measurable outcomes or indicators to judge adaptation and its effects on a country’s overall development.
This report documents and draws some lessons from the highly participatory,year-long, bottom-up process to develop climate change indicators for inclusion in uganda’s existing local and national monitoring and evaluation tools and frameworks.
The process of developing national standard climate change indicators for Uganda underlined the success of using a bottom-up approach and building consensus through participation. Building and sharing knowledge and skills and working together makes the process sustainable and more effective. Adaptation is a long-term process: our experience in uganda shows that using new approaches like Tracking Adaptation and Measuring Development (TAMD) will help countries develop effective long-term monitoring systems.

Public spending on climate change in Africa: Experiences from Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda

27 Jun 2016 03:48:34 GMT

Public spending on climate change in Africa describes the extent to which public expenditure responds to national climate change policy and the institutional demands required to implement such policy. The four countries of the study: “ Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda provide insights into the early mobilisation of climate change finance, as each country attempts to address the new challenges that climate change is bringing about. The report is divided into three parts. The first part introduces the concept of climate change finance and outlines the effectiveness framework used in each of the country studies. The methodological challenges associated with public expenditure reviews as applied to national climate change actions are also described. The second part provides in-depth country accounts for Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda, on the level and nature of climate change-relevant public spending, set in the context of each country’s macroeconomic and public finance management systems. The final section concludes by drawing lessons for climate change policy development, institutional strengthening, local delivery of climate change finance and the monitoring of public finance, based on the insights gained from the country studies.

Gender matters: overcoming gender-related barriers to prevent new HIV infections among children and keep their mothers alive

24 Jun 2016 12:30:51 GMT

Studies indicate that harmful gender norms and practices, cultural perceptions and beliefs surrounding pregnancy and childbirth, and a distrust of health-care services all can pose barriers to HIV prevention and treatment. In particular, women face difficulties related to unequal gender power relations and stigma.

This Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) document presents evidence that timely and continued access to antiretroviral medicines would reduce new infections in children and give HIV-infected women access to HIV treatment and care for their own health and well-being. Because 1) women's lack of autonomy, 2) mistrust of health services, particularly due to a lack of cultural sensitivity and confidentiality among health-service providers, and 3) fear of stigma and related abuse can affect women's access to treatment, key gender-related barriers stand in the way of preventing new HIV infections among children and keeping their mothers alive.

The following recommendations, based upon discussions in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, and Uganda, are proposed to overcome gender-related and cultural barriers to services.

  • address stigma and discrimination against women living with HIV to increase utilization of and adherence to services", by, for example, building awareness and sensitivity in communities, including through the use of local media and local language(s), and engaging community leaders at all levels, including religious leaders, in dialogue on stigma
  • address violence against women as part of programmes to prevent new HIV infections among children and keep mothers alive and healthy", by integrating services for survivors of violence in all health-care settings and training health services to work in a non-judgmental manner with the complexities around violence against women and the underlying gender inequalities, using confidentiality and promoting the right to respect
  • support transformation of traditional gender roles related to maternal health, providing correct information on HIV by using culturally-appropriate, gender-sensitive and rights-based approaches" by, for example, creating opportunities for voluntary attendance, counselling, and testing for couples
  • address lack of awareness and mistrust of existing services to prevent new HIV infections among children and keep mothers alive and healthy", by, for example, reaching communities, beyond individual clients and healthcare providers, as part of "decentralized approaches and awareness campaigns. For consistency in messaging and the effective use of expertise, both women living with HIV and traditional birth attendants must be engaged in community mobilization efforts

Access, Services and Knowledge (ASK) Programme - essential packages manual

23 Jun 2016 11:53:46 GMT

The Essential Packages Manual was produced as part of the "Access, Services and Knowledge" (ASK) programme of the Youth Empowerment Alliance, which seeks to improve the sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) of young people (15-24 years) by increasing their uptake of SRH services in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal, Pakistan, and Indonesia.

The manual is designed to help partners understand the main concepts, principles, and values of the ASK programme, and provides information and practical tools designed to assist partners to reach programme objectives. This includes information about SRHR and related services for young people, as well as guidance in creating an enabling environment and integrating SRHR, HIV/AIDS, and meaningful youth participation into programming.

The publication includes tools for self-assessment to help identify partners’ own progress and areas requiring support. It also includes roadmaps with practical steps to move towards desired project results, and outlines available tools, guidelines, protocols, and standards.

The manual includes the following contents, organised around key result areas:

  • Values and Principles
  • Result area 1: Direct SRHR information for young people
  • Result area 2 & 3: SRH services for young people
  • Result area 4: Creating an enabling environment
  • Cross-Cutting Strategies: Integrating SRHR and HIV, meaningful youth participation

Breaking down barriers: empowering young people living with HIV in Uganda

23 Jun 2016 11:18:54 GMT

"Link Up’s experience in Uganda demonstrates the success empowered young people living with HIV can have in achieving greater access to SRHR and HIV services for their peers. Building a strong team of peer educators who were visible and proud of their work proved the foundation for service provision in the project.”

This is a key outcome outlined in this 16-page case study discussing the experience of the Link Up Project in Uganda, which was designed to increase access to integrated and quality sexual and reproductive health and rights and HIV information, as well as commodities and services, for young people living with and most affected by HIV. Between October 2013 and March 2015 the Link Up Project used peer educators, along with improving youth-friendly health services, to address barriers facing young people in accessing reproductive health services, such as lack of knowledge, skills, and youth-friendly services.

The case study first explains the context of the programme and then goes on to describe the main component of the programme - the use of peer educators.

According to the case study, through the project young people who are normally hard-to-reach were brought closer to SRHR and HIV services, and many were referred for antiretroviral therapy enrolment. Between 2013 and 2015 the project:

  • "Reached 5980 young people living with HIV with SRHR information, counselling and services in their own communities
  • Reached 3794 young people living with HIV with SRHR information, counselling and services in health facilities and through clinical outreach
  • Made 224 completed referrals of young people living with HIV to health facilities"

Findings from the SASA! Study: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial To Assess the Impact of a Community Mobilization Intervention To Prevent Violence Against Women and Reduce HIV risk in Kampala, Uganda

23 Jun 2016 04:03:39 GMT

The need for HIV prevention efforts to more explicitly incorporate program elements to address gender inequality and violence has been repeatedly articulated, and the elimination of sexual and gender-based violence has been identified by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) as being one of the core pillars of HIV prevention.

Recognising that intimate partner violence (IPV) is an independent risk factor for HIV infection, researchers in this SASA! study sought to assess the community-level impact of SASA!, a community mobilisation intervention to prevent violence and reduce HIV-risk behaviors.

This is the first CRT in sub-Saharan Africa to assess the community impact of a mobilization program on the social acceptability of IPV, the past year prevalence of IPV and levels of sexual concurrency. SASA! achieved
important community impacts, and is now being delivered in control communities and replicated in 15 countries.

Violent extremism in Africa: public opinion from the Sahel, Lake Chad, and the Horn

14 Jun 2016 11:54:13 GMT

Over the past two decades, the threat posed by violent extremist groups that espouse fundamentalist religious narratives has grown substantially across Africa (Hallowanger, 2014). The colonial era and the undemocratic rule that characterised many post-independence governments generated anti-Western and jihadist movements across the Middle East and the wider Islamic world.
Security-led approaches have largely failed to contain the geographic footprint of violent extremists in sub-Saharan Africa. This has prompted the emergence of more development-oriented approaches, such as countering violent extremism (CVE) and preventing violent extremism (PVE) initiatives, which seek to address root political and socioeconomic causes of extremism.
This paper provides exploratory analysis of new opinion data from three of sub--Saharan Africa’s regional “hotspots” of extremist activity, which are home to some of the continent’s most prolific groups:
  • Boko Haram in the Lake Chad region (Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria)
  • Ansar Dine, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and al Mourabitoun (among others) in the Sahel region (Mali)
  • Al Shabaab in the Horn of Africa (Kenya and Uganda)
Afrobarometer survey data suggest that security-related issues are a top priority for citizens of countries that have experienced high levels of extremist activity. Public trust in security forces varies widely by country; trust is generally lower in the police than in the army. Public approval of government counter-extremist efforts ranged from about four in 10 in Nigeria and Kenya to three-fourths or more in Mali, Cameroon, Niger, and Uganda. Support for strengthening military responses and capabilities was high in all countries in which the question was asked. Among citizens’ perceptions of what motivates people to join extremist groups, personal gain was a far more common response than religious beliefs.
While the exploratory analysis presented here must be considered in light of changes in government and of evolving extremist and counter-extremist strategies, it suggests the value of tracking and expanding insights into citizens’ perceptions and attitudes related to violent extremism.

Alliances for Religions and Conservations (ARC) “Faith Engagement in Climate Smart Agriculture and Sustainable Land Management in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda

10 Jun 2016 06:11:49 GMT

This is a desk appraisal of the Alliances for Religions and Conservations (ARC) done for the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) by the Department of International Environment and Development Studies, Noragric, at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU).

Protected area governance, carbon offset forestry, and environmental (in)justice at Mount Elgon, Uganda

10 Jun 2016 04:51:14 GMT

At Mount Elgon National Park in Uganda, local conservation authorities assert that a variety of benefit sharing schemes mitigate the negative consequences of exclusionary forest conservation and carbon sequestration for nearby communities. Among other initiatives, these include the redistribution of ecotourism revenue, the signing of collaborative resource management agreements, and the provision of ecotourism-related employment opportunities. Conservationists argue that these schemes result in ‘triple-win’ outcomes for both the national park and local communities, wherein biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, and development goals mutually complement each other. Taking an environmental justice approach, this report synthesizes findings concerning local notions of (in)justice, actual geographical and temporal distributions of benefits from conservation at Mount Elgon, and the effects of such distributions on perceptions and mobilizations related to environmental justice. In doing so, it identifies widespread expressions of resentment and hostility among local communities, as well as large inequalities in access to ecotourism revenue and other benefits both between and within them. To highlight a salient example, worst-off park neighbours received assistance equivalent to only 0.0085 USD per district resident over a nine-year period. The perceived injustices that arise from these inequalities exacerbate conflicts between conservationists and local people, and, consequently, result in ecological damage to protected forests. To alleviate both the environmental injustice and degradation entailed by these inequalities, the report concludes with a number of recommendations for universalizing sustainable access to collaboratively managed resources on Mount Elgon.

Income security for all Ugandans in old age

27 May 2016 04:13:33 GMT

Uganda has a rich tradition of care and respect for the elderly. But, as in all societies, this informal system of support – while still functioning for some – is, for many others, beginning to weaken as a result of poverty, migration, urbanisation and the impact of HIV and AIDs. In response, the government of Uganda – with support from the United Kingdom, Ireland and UNICEF – has taken the first steps in building a pension system for every citizen, with the aim of ensuring that no older person has to live in abject poverty. A pilot scheme – known as the Senior Citizens’ Grant (SCG) – is currently being established in 14 Districts to assess the feasibility of providing every older person with a regular and secure cash income. If successful, the government is considering expanding the scheme across Uganda.

This paper will discuss the value of establishing a universal pension in Uganda. It will begin by considering the challenges currently facing the nation’s older citizens, before moving on to an overview of universal pensions in other developing countries. The paper will examine the evidence on the impacts of these pensions, before briefly describing the SCG and assessing its potential benefits and costs if it were to be expanded to all older citizens. Finally, the paper will argue that it is important to ensure that the pension is accessible to all older people and that its implementation would be a popular and welcome initiative.

Poverty, vulnerabiity and inequality in Uganda

27 May 2016 04:04:44 GMT

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.

Influencing the development and integration of national standard Climate Change Indicators into the monitoring and reporting frameworks in Uganda

31 Mar 2016 10:02:50 GMT

This paper documents the results of the process of developing and selecting national standard climate change indicators for integration into two national monitoring and evaluation frameworks in Uganda: the Output Budgeting Tool (OBT) and the Local Government Assessment tool (LGAT). The OBT is used by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) to determine national development standard indicators that are monitored and reported across all sectors in the country.

The LGAT determines and annually assesses the minimum performance measures for all local governments in Uganda. Before the intervention of the Africa Climate Change Resilience Allicance (ACCRA) and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) as part of the Tracking Adaptation and Measuring Development (TAMD), both frameworks lacked standard performance indicators on climate change. This meant that local governments were not required to plan, budget or report on climate change.

The briefing draws out lessons learned from using a highly participatory and bottom-up process, as well as policy implications at national, sub-national and sectoral levels. It also highlights key prerequisites for successful development and integration of climate change indicators in existing monitoring and reporting frameworks of national states.

Learning Study on ‘The Users' in Technology for Transparency and Accountability Initiatives: Assumptions and Realities.

23 Mar 2016 05:31:35 GMT

This report presents the findings of a learning study which arose from the growing sense that not enough attention was being paid to the people expected to take up and use T4TAIs. Conducted in partnership by IDS (Dr Rosie McGee and Ruth Carlitz), Hivos’s Knowledge Progra and Amis Boersma) and ATTI (Africa Technology for T July 2012 and December 2012, the study addressed the core question: ‘Are the realities of these assumed users, and constraints that may stop them taking the action expected of them in response to T4TAIs, investigated and taken into account systematically enough, in respect of technology-based initiatives, or in the TAI field as a whole?’  

Two case studies are used, one of which one focuses on water resource management, specifically drinking water.

When refugees cannot return home: A conflict conundrum in Africa’s Great Lakes region

22 Mar 2016 12:18:28 GMT

The large number of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Great Lakes region poses immense challenges to peacebuilding processes within the countries affected, as well as in that entire conflict system. An influx of refugees impacts peace and security, citizenship considerations, as well as cross-border and ethnic confl icts, among others. A case in point, conflict is often triggered by competition for land and economic resources, and is exacerbated by the growing number of refugees in Africa’s Great Lakes region. The presence of refugees contributes to signifi cant security issue for several countries in the region. There have been reports of some refugees joining armed groups or terrorist organisations, occupying large territories to exploit mineral resources, attacking local communities to expropriate land, and acting as cheap labour, to the detriment of locals. These factors advance the perception among original inhabitants that crime, impunity and weapons traffi cking, among other scourges, increase with the settlement of foreigners in their communities and countries. On the other side of the debate are considerations that refugees bring important skills and knowledge into host countries, participate in entrepreneurship and development projects that contribute to local economies, and boost local markets due to increased demand for products and services.

There are questions that are central to understanding the dilemma that is the ongoing refugee crisis in the Great Lakes region. How can the challenge of huge refugee numbers in the region be addressed? How best can long-term, sustainable and holistic political and humanitarian solutions be implemented to deal with the negative impacts of the refugee crisis? Why has the fl ood of refugees been such a long-term recurrent issue in the Great Lakes region, compared to other parts of the continent? This Policy & Practice Brief (PPB) analyses why refugees have been hesitant to return to their domiciles, even when there have been indications that relative peace had returned to their countries of origin. It also examines the impacts of refugee fl ows on peace and security, as well as on land and socio-economic control and access. It concludes by proffering recommendations on what can be done, from a regional perspective, to decrease the number of refugees, while simultaneously resolving the root causes of the various confl icts that the refugees have fl ed in the fi rst place.

The role of social protection programmes in supporting education in conflict-affected situations

21 Mar 2016 02:05:29 GMT

This background paper examines the role of social protection programmes in supporting education in conflict-affected contexts. It looks at the impact, design and implementation issues of social protection programme experience in conflict, protracted crisis and post-conflict contexts, including in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sierra Leone, Somalia, Nepal, Northern Uganda and Pakistan.

The paper finds that the costs of education are significant in conflict-affected countries – not only are the direct costs of schooling high, but also parents often have to contribute a significant amount to the school to keep it functioning. In a context of high rates of poverty and disrupted livelihoods and potentially high opportunity costs of sending children to school, the direct and indirect costs of sending children to school are often the most substantial barrier to children’s schooling.

Experience suggests that education subsidies and fee waivers offer important potential to offset costs and increase enrolment and attendance, but they have not been widely implemented. Education has remained mainly a secondary objective in social protection programming, for example in cash grant transfers, public works programmes and school feeding programmes. Longterm funding, institutional coordination and support for capacity building are needed to deliver sustainable social protection at scale which supports households to meet both the direct and indirect costs of education in conflict-affected contexts.

Women’s economic empowerment and care: evidence for influencing

21 Mar 2016 01:26:13 GMT

Care responsibilities is being increasingly identified as a factor restricting women’s empowerment outcomes, yet there is limited evidence on determinants of long hours or gender inequality in care work. To gain a clearer understanding of care work and pathways of change to promote more equitable care provision, Oxfam conducted a Household Care Survey in communities of rural Colombia, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Results highlight that gender inequality exists in all measures of care work, with women and girls doing significantly more primary and secondary care activities, and supervision of dependants, than men and boys. Key findings are presented in time use and work hours, and determinants of patterns of care work. In all countries, the research found that women have longer total hours of work than men, men spend more time on paid work than women, and women have longer hours of care work. The determinants of care are context-specific. Education and relative household wealth are less relevant as determinants of length, intensity or inequality in care hours than might be expected. Women’s paid/productive activities and access to labour-saving stoves and improved water systems are sometimes associated with decreases in women’s hours of care work. 

Adapted from authors’ summary.

Strengthening citizen agency and accountability through ICT: an extrapolation for Eastern Africa

15 Mar 2016 11:54:04 GMT

We investigated the role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT, namely mobile phones) in support of citizen agency and its potential in calling for authorities’ accountability. We focused on Eastern Africa and we used a mixed methodology, which allowed us to explore the current uses of ICT to strengthen accountability and to forecast the growth of mobile phones’ adaption in that region. Evidence from both analyses suggests that there are two main areas where citizen agency and ICT can reinforce each other in bottom-up and horizontal processes: participation and engagement of citizens, and the diffusion of information.

Mobile Phones and Rural Livelihoods: Diffusion, Uses, and Perceived Impacts Among Farmers in Rural Uganda

15 Mar 2016 04:17:15 GMT

To successfully use mobile phones to aid development efforts, understanding the impact of the social structure on mobile phone adoption, uses, perceived impacts, and reinvention of uses is invaluable. Interviews were conducted with 90 mobile phone-owning holders of small- to medium-sized farms— 50 women and 40 men—actively involved in agricultural development-based farm groups in Kamuli District, Uganda. Respondents indicated use of the mobile phone for coordinating access to agricultural inputs, market information, to monitor financial transactions, and to consult with agricultural experts. Over time, the number and variety of agricultural uses increased among all users, indicating that adoption occurs for a few key purposes, but that uses will be added or reinvented to fit changing needs. This study identified a number of unique uses, including storing local market trends in the calendar, using the speakerphone function for group consultation with agricultural experts, and taking photos of agricultural demonstrations.

Bringing learning to light: the role of citizen-led assessments in shifting the education agenda

09 Mar 2016 04:55:02 GMT

As governments and donors focused on increasing access to education in the wake of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the issue of learning received comparatively little concerted attention. Some organisations working in countries where access was rapidly increasing took notice of the fact that, while rising enrollment rates were being celebrated, there was little evidence of whether or not learning was taking place.

One of the results of this realisation was the emergence of the citizen-led assessment movement, initiated by Pratham in India in 2005. The movement is an attempt by civil-society organisations to gather evidence on learning and use it for two main purposes: first, to increase awareness of low learning outcomes and second, to stimulate actions that are intended to address the learning gap. 

In an effort to more deeply understand the citizen-led assessment model and to evaluate its ability to measure learning, disseminate findings, and stimulate awareness and action, Results for Development Institute (R4D) evaluated four citizen-led assessments between May 2013 and November 2014: the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) in India, Beekunko in Mali, Jàngandoo in Senegal, and Uwezo in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. This summary includes a subset of recommendations that draw on the key evaluation findings.

Gender equality as a pathway for sustainable development: lessons learned in Eastern and Southern Africa

04 Mar 2016 11:29:09 GMT

In order to advance sustainable development in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is necessary to address cross-cutting issues on gender, environment, and climate change simultaneously. Despite this, a key challenge remains in ensuring that such integrated approaches are prioritised and implemented in national, sector, and local budgets. That is the problem discussed in this gender brief by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), which draws on the experiences of an ongoing partnership between UN Women and the United Nations Development Programme. The brief includes examples of gender, environment, and climate change integration in policy and programming in Mozambique, research in Malawi and Uganda, and programming in Tanzania, as well as in areas concerning the strengthening of institutional capacities and knowledge sharing.


The key messages highlighted by the gender brief emphasise that addressing gender, environment, and climate change as cross-cutting issues can advance sustainable development and empower women, and that this will necessitate the strengthening of institutional and stakeholder capacities. Furthermore, data are needed to demonstrate the added value of integrating gender into climate and natural resource frameworks to convince decision-makers to take action. Additionally, proven climate- and gender-smart technologies must be quickly up-scaled.


The brief closes by presenting three key pieces of advice:


  • It is important to inform policy-makers and practitioners in the design and implementation of cross-sectoral, gender-sensitive climate and environment policies and programmes.
  • Concerted action and partnerships leveraging government, the legislature, civil society, and the private sector are needed to enact policies that can achieve the SDGs.
  • Partnerships between UN agencies and other multilateral organisations should be strengthened to increase support for the integration of gender, environment, and climate-linked concerns in policies, budgets, and programmes.

Women as agents of change in water: reflections on experiences from the field

04 Mar 2016 05:08:44 GMT

The Women for Water Partnership (WfWP) currently includes 26 women’s networks covering around 100 countries, predominantly in the developing world. This publication pays tribute to some of the work of women’s organisations involved in the WfWP, by qualitatively documenting some of the best practices displayed, and highlighting the specific contributions of women around the world toward the UN General Assembly mandated International Decade for Action ‘Water for Life 2005 - 2015.   The introduction explains the context the report in terms of the importance of studying the gender-water-sustainability nexus, Water for Life, and the status of water and sanitation as a human right. The majority of the report then examines examples of good practice from a number of case studies involving WfWP members. Each of the case studies provide background information on the contexts and organisations involved, and describes the role played by the primary women’s organisations in driving change. Also disucssed are their contributions to Water for Life, which together with the Dublin/Rio Principles for Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), underline the central role of women in the provision, management, and safeguarding of water. The case studies examined include women’s organisations cooperating in: efforts toward a transformative gender-water-sustainable development agenda in Tanzania; contributions toward the Protocol on Water and Health for the UNECE Water Convention in Armenia and Ukraine; the implementation of the human right to water and sanitation in Nepal; provision of social accountability for water access in Kenya; sustainable water governance at Lake Victoria in Uganda; and empowering women in Nigeria through water and sanitation interventions.   The role of women’s civil society organisations, and the value they add to sustainable development, is discussed next, before the report identifies a number of lessons learned through examination of the projects. In terms of barriers to the meaningful participation of women in the water sector, most stem from either the direct and indirect difficulties of working in large, remote areas with limited access to water, or where customary law is actively involved in water rights and the role of women in society. Cultural resistance to empowering women consumes time and effort to overcome, though drivers for change exist, including: the introduction of gender equality legislation; strong political leadership committed to gender equality, as evidence by the catalytic effect of a gender-sensitive water minister in Nigeria; support by local communities themselves, which can be highly effective in changing mind-sets; and the use of peer networks that can provide support, training, coaching, and backstopping. Small scale projects that account for cultural differences are often more successful than large [...]

Chasing civil society? Evaluation of Fredskorpset

01 Mar 2016 04:30:26 GMT

The evaluation has assessed FK Norway’s approach and strategy when it comes to strengthening civil society in developing countries. This is one of FK Norway’s overarching objectives and core activities, as stated in the instructions for the agency.

The evaluation has answered four main questions, in accordance with the terms of reference:

  1. Is the current strategy and approach of FK Norway optimal when it comes to developing and strengthening the civil society in developing countries?
  2. What is the comparative advantage of FK’s strategy, approach and work compared with other Norwegian funded means for developing and strengthening of the civil society in developing countries?
  3. What are the possible future options for FK when it comes to approach, set-up, programs and partners?
  4. What is the added value of FK’s programs for the civil society organisations, in particular those that receive other kind of Norwegian assistance?

The evaluation covers the period 2006-2015. It is based on data collected in Norway and two main case countries, Tanzania and Thailand, in addition to limited data collection in Uganda, South Africa and Cambodia.

The evaluation was conducted by Chr. Michelsen’s Institute in collaboration with Nordic Consulting Group, commissioned by the Evaluation Department in Norad.

Rebuilding health systems in conflict-affected states: northern Uganda

15 Feb 2016 10:28:13 GMT

This case study examines whether health system reconstruction in northern Uganda has promoted equality and created a health system that is gender equitable. Measuring the health system against the World Health Organization’s six health system building blocks, the case study highlights that northern Uganda needs a post-conflict recovery plan which is sensitive to gender concerns. What little has been done for the survivors of gender-based violence has not been linked to overall health systems strengthening: this constitutes a missed opportunity. Gender equitable finding mechanisms and action to consider the health workforce from a gender perspective are identified as key.


SASA! | Raising Voices

10 Feb 2016 05:50:35 GMT

SASA! is a community mobilisation intervention developed in Uganda to prevent VAW and HIV/AIDS. SASA! is an evidenced-based methodology that takes a gender relational approach by working at multiple social levels with a range of stakeholders. The approach moves beyond having a focus only on individual relationships, which has shown to impact the wider community rather than being limited to individual participants. The SASA! website provides various strategy, learning and advocacy resources. There is also a video called “Condom Commandos” that presents soldiers in the Angolan army and women living beside the barracks using the SASA! approach, which can be seen here:

Women’s Rights Online: Translating Access into Empowerment

10 Feb 2016 03:00:04 GMT

This research, based on a survey of poor urban men and women across nine developing countries, found that while the majority of men and women own a mobile phone, women are still nearly 50% less likely to access the Internet than men in the same communities. Internet use is reported by just 37% of women surveyed and, once online, women are 30-50% less likely than men to use the Internet to increase their income or participate in public life.

Among the reports key findings are:

  • Lack of know-how and high cost are the two main barriers keeping women offline. Women are 1.6 times more likely than men to report lack of skills as a barrier to Internet use, while one gigabyte of data costs as much as 76% of monthly poverty line incomes in the countries in the study.
  • Women’s access to education is a strong determinant of Internet use. Controlling for other variables, urban poor women with at least some secondary education were six times more likely to be online than urban poor women with lower levels of schooling.
  • Maintaining existing family and neighbourhood ties through social media is the main Internet activity for urban poor women, with 97% of male and female Internet users surveyed using social media.
  • Only a small minority of women Internet users surveyed are tapping into technology’s full empowering potential. Controlling for other variables, women are 25% less likely to use the Internet for job-seeking than men,and 52% less likely than men to express controversial views online.
  • However, the research also identified a group of women digital trailblazers. Women who are active in offline community life are three times more likely than others to speak out online on important issues, controlling for education, age and income.
  • Young people were most likely to have suffered harassment online, with over six in 10 women and men aged 18 – 24 saying they had suffered online abuse.

The full report, summary, infographics and data sets for each country are available to download. 

Management Regimes established for REDD+ and their Adaptability to the Institutional and Ecological Conditions: A case of Ongo Community Forest, Masindi District, Uganda

24 Jan 2016 06:19:30 GMT

This  report is one of the outputs of theproject “Man and forests – an  evaluation  of  management strategies for reduced deforestation” which aimed at evaluating the different  management strategies  undertaken  to  obtain  reduced  deforestation  in  tropical  forests  and  hence  maintain  the various ecosystem services delivered. One component of this project focused on characterizing the management regimes established in the REDD+ pilot area and how well the REDD+ regime is adapted to the local institutional and ecological conditions. The site under investigation is a communally owned forest known as Ongo community forest, where the Environmental Conservation Trust of Uganda (ECOTRUST), is piloting REDD+ activities. The investigations entailed discussions with the implementing agent the ECOTRUST, local council leaders, forest management committee members, Masindi district technical staff and the local community members. The key findings indicated that Ongo is a low-stocked Tropical High Forest under the governance of community  members,  from  the four villages  surrounding  the  forest.  The  forest  has  continued  to face deforestation and degradation with the main drivers including agricultural encroachment and harvesting  of  poles.  With  regard  to  governance  and  governance  structures,  there  were  several organizations  and  institutions  established  prior  the  REDD+  regime  including the District and several NGOs. The REDD+ project activities  were initiated in 2010 and some of the key achievements to date include the formal registration of Ongo Communal Land Association, initiating the  process  of  acquiring  a  land  title,  forest  boundary  survey  and  mapping,  more  community sensitization  and  awareness  about carbon  trading and  the  need  for forest conservation;  review  of the  constitution  and  the  forest  management  plan  to  fit  the current  conditions,  and  community training about benefit sharing. Some of the challenges encountered included the bureaucratic process of acquiring the land ownership document; allegations of land grabbing by some of the community members, which disrupted several awareness and sensitization sessions; resistance during the boundary survey process and demands for compensation by those individuals who had cultivated along the forest boundary; and the continued ill[...]

The SASA! study: a cluster randomised trial to assess the impact of a violence and HIV prevention programme in Kampala, Uganda

14 Jan 2016 04:20:52 GMT

SASA! is a community mobilisation intervention that seeks to prevent violence against women and reduce HIV-risk behaviours. The SASA! study was conducted between 2008 and 2012 in two administrative divisions of Kampala (Makindye and Rubaga). It incorporates four elements: a cluster randomised controlled trial; a nested qualitative evaluation; operations research; and an economic costing of the intervention.

The findings are extremely positive. SASA! reduced the reported social acceptance of physical violence in relationships among both women and men, and also increased the social acceptance of the belief that there are circumstances when a woman can refuse sex from her partner.

A number of stakeholder-specific policy recommendations have arisen out of this study.

  • for the Government of Uganda, the study highlights the importance of their continued support to the implementation of SASA! in Busoga in eastern Uganda, as well as for a longterm, nationwide campaign to shift social norms linked to violence against women. This will require adequate funding of implementing ministries and agencies and would be aided by mandatory training for all government service providers, and the implementation and enforcement of relevant legislation that supports gender equality in Uganda
  • for organisations that work to prevent violence against women, the study has highlighted the value of investing in social norm change interventions at the community level. While this has been shown to be achievable within project time frames, it requires high-intensity programming through a combination of communication channels, and must be preceded by a process of internal reflection by staff, so they are able to support community activists in implementing SASA!
  • for development partners, community mobilisation interventions require longer-term funding and support for this type of intervention, and should only be provided with this understanding in mind
  • for researchers, rigorous studies and evaluations should only be applied to strong, wellarticulated interventions that build on the synergies developed through meaningful partnerships between research and programme teams


Expanding lessons from a randomised impact evaluation of cash and food transfers in Ecuador and Uganda

14 Jan 2016 03:56:59 GMT

There is now substantial evidence that periodic cash transfers to poor households as a form of social protection, particularly when conditional on complementary investments in child schooling and health, can lead to substantial and sustained improvements in household welfare, household food security and child schooling. Similarly, food transfers can lead to substantial improvements in household food security and may have persistent effects on household expenditure and food consumption. However, there is very limited evidence directly comparing impacts of the two modalities in the same setting.

This study draws from a unique set of integrated social protection experiments conducted in two countries to compare the relative impacts of cash and food transfers on household behavior in side by side comparisons in starkly different contexts: Ecuador and Uganda.

The study addresses the following research questions:

  • How does social protection affect intrahousehold conflict and intimate partner violence (IPV) in Northern Ecuador?
  • What lessons can we learn from a mixed methods qualitative and quantitative investigation on the impact of cash and in-kind tranfers on intimate partner violence in Northern Ecuador?
  • How do cash and food transfers linked to early childhood development (ECD) centers affect child cognitive development in Uganda?