The Ministry of Public Service 1994 Pension Act and the 1985 National Social Security Fund Act are the main instruments of the Ugandan legislation and policies for social security and social protection, the first being related to retired civil servants and the second to a contributory scheme for workers in the formal sector. At present, however, the country’s social security legislation provides far more for workers in the formal sector than those employed in the informal sector and the unemployed.
The Contributory Social insurance includes: an Old-Age Benefit, a Disability Benefit, and a Survivor Benefit.
The social security sector is regulated through the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, and is currently undertaking the National Strategic Programme Plan for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children: 2005-2010.
Other important policy guidelines related to children include the National Child Labour Policy.
Other social security-related policies being developed include the Social Health Insurance and Community Health Insurance schemes by the Ministry of Health, and cash transfers for the poor by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, for which a pilot scheme has been designed but not yet implemented. As well, the country has projects including distribution of vouchers for inputs and microfinance.
Uganda’s Poverty Reduction Action Plan (PEAP) defines social protection as a cross cutting issue designed to help address risk and vulnerability and to protect the vulnerable and poor from sinking deeper into poverty. PEAP is a government led programme for social protection which prioritises access to basic services, including the provision of adult literacy.
According to the latest draft of the new National Development Plan: “During the plan period, government will focus on implementation of cash transfer programmes to the elderly, persons with disability and the poorest quartile of the population. In addition, cash for work programmes will also be designed and implemented especially for the vulnerable youth.”
Following from this plan, a pilot cash transfer programme is under design phase.
Uganda has achieved a significant reduction in poverty over the last decade due to improvements in access to education and improved health services. Improvements in education and health care can be correlated with improved labour productivity and economic growth.