Social Development refers to the process of empowering communities to harness their potential through cultural growth, skills development and Labor productivity for sustainable and gender responsive development. Social Development entails protecting vulnerable persons from deprivation and livelihood risks and also nurturing a value based system on national identity, faith, customs, traditions and patriotism.
Government has heavily invested in social development to build a cohesive society, alleviate poverty & vulnerability and foster inclusive growth. Government’s goal is to advance social inclusion and empowerment through promotion of employment and productivity, positive cultural values and rights of vulnerable groups. Uganda’s Social Development agenda envisions five broad outcomes: civility & dignity; cultural identity & values, social inclusion, community empowerment and social cohesion. The main public services that Government provides to this effect include employment training, institutional childcare, inspection and certification of workplaces for occupation health and safety and administration of social grants.
Some of the policies to drive this agenda include: The National Social Protection Policy 2015; National Employment Policy 2011; National Youth Policy 2001 and Decent Employment Programme (2013 - 2017). The Uganda National Cultural Policy provides strategies to enhance the integration of culture into development. Culture is an important dimension of identity which when well harnessed, can help to move people out of poverty. The Community Mobilization Empowerment Strategy is also in place to guide coordination of mobilization activities in the country. The strategy empowers Community Development staff to support all sectors in mobilization of communities, especially for water and sanitation, health, wealth creation and community participatory planning to ensure that Government programs respond to community needs. In terms of global commitments, Uganda is signatory to the Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972) and the 2003 UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity and Cultural Expressions.
The need for social protection is motivated by two factors: poverty and vulnerability. A number of initiatives and programs have been put in place to support vulnerable groups including youth, Persons with Disabilities (PWD) and women. Expanding Social Protection Programme (ESP) has been implemented to develop a comprehensive social protection policy and strengthen government leadership, commitment and investment in social protection. A key part of the Programme includes a cash transfer scheme, the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) that has been rolled out in about 61 districts. Beneficiaries receive regular monthly grants of Ugx 25,000. Progress has been registered in the institutionalization of gender planning in all sectors to strengthen gender equality and women’s empowerment. The Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP) is another youth empowerment strategy that has been put in place to respond to existing challenges of unemployment among the youth to enhance financial inclusion and promote entrepreneurship development. To enhance community mobilization and empowerment, Government revitalized the community development function in the Local Governments.
- Uganda’s labor force stood at approximately 10 million people in 2016/17 from 8.8 million in 2012/13
- About 1.3 million people are in formal employment. The growth rate of formal employment in Uganda stands at 12.9% as of 2017/18
- Uganda’s unemployment rate has significantly declined from 11% in 2012 to 9.2% in 2017
- The formal sector accounts for only 10% of Uganda’s labour force
- The incidence of physical child violence in 2019 is 59% (girls) and 68% (boys)
- The youth unemployment rate stood at 13% in FY 2016/17
- The incidence of chronic poverty was 8.5% in FY 2016/17
- The Share of Uganda’s workforce covered by the pension sector was 14% in 2018.