Uganda—Expanding Social Protection II (ESP II)

Client: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Duration: 2019-2022

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Uganda

Solutions: Governance

The Expanding Social Protection Programme Phase II (ESP II) delivered unconditional monthly cash transfers to people 80 and older across Uganda. With funding from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), IrishAid, and Government of Uganda, as of 2019, ESP II was delivering senior citizen grants in 61 districts of Uganda. In November 2018, Parliament and Cabinet committed to a national rollout of the grants in all 135 districts of Uganda by 2021.

Under ESP II, DAI managed a Fund Management Team, hosted by the ESP Programme Management Unit of the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development. DAI managed donor partner funds and provides technical and capacity development assistance to the Government of Uganda to enable effective implementation of the program nationally. DAI was also tasked with catalyzing the formation of a coherent and comprehensive social protection system in Uganda beyond the grant program.

Nine years after the first pilot payment, ESP officially reached all eligible beneficiaries in Uganda’s 135 districts. By the end of DAI’s management of the project, 379,801 people—218,205 women and 161,596 men—were receiving their entitlement of UGX 25,000 every month.

Sample Activities

  • Facilitate implementation of the National Social Protection Policy 2015.
  • Build local, regional, and national capacity to implement the grants and National Social Protection Policy.
  • Improve the delivery of reliable, regular payments of senior citizen grants on a national scale.
  • Increase public understanding of—and demand for—an accountable social protection system.
  • Strengthen social protection for people with disabilities.

Select Results

  • Rolled out senior citizen grants to all people over the age of 80 in all districts.
  • Procured and delivered motorbikes and IT equipment to all districts in the country.
  • Continued payments throughout the coronavirus pandemic, under COVID-19 standard operating procedures.
  • Submitted draft National Policy on Disability to Cabinet.


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