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UNICEF Uganda partners with Ministry of Finance to enhance effective delivery of government programs affecting children

With close to 60% of the population below 18 years of age, and over 75% below the age of 35 years, Uganda’s vision to become a middle income country by 2040 remains highly contingent on Government’s ability to safeguard its children’s right to contribute to national development.


Notwithstanding Uganda’s remarkable record curbing income poverty from 56.4% to 19.7% of the population between 1992 and 2012, child poverty remains high and widespread across the country. According to the Child Poverty and Deprivation Report (2014), with over 50% of children under five living in poverty, and 1 in 5 living in extreme poverty, children’s experience of poverty and deprivation in Uganda varies widely by region, geographic location and socioeconomic status. Poverty and deprivation in childhood represent potentially irreversible violations of children’s basic rights.

In a decisive attempt to enhance national efforts to safeguard children’s rights, the Budget Monitoring and Accountability Unit (BMAU) of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development together with UNICEF Uganda have embarked on an endeavor to generate comprehensive information that will help remove key implementation bottlenecks, enhance transparency and accountability, and ultimately improve service delivery for Government programmes affecting children.

This effort aims to institutionalize a process/mechanism for monitoring the implementation of programmes affecting children by integrating a child sensitive monitoring sub-component in BMAU’s existing monitoring framework. In particular, child sensitive monitoring has been integrated in BMAU’s workflow by drawing clear linkages and policy issues affecting children and child related outcomes through budgetary outputs.  

UNICEF conducted a training with over 30 Ministry of Finance monitoring officers.  During this training, through the gradual application of the issues based monitoring methodology developed over the past few months in partnership with the Ministry of Finance, pilot monitoring templates were also developed, linking child policy issues to monitorable budget outputs and child related outcomes through the scrutiny of sector and district approved work-plans.

This methodology is currently piloted in the Health, Water and Education sectors by the Ministry of Finance during the bi-annual monitoring visit.

There is a great scope for continuing to engage the Government in a number of very practical avenues to raise the visibility of children in the budget.

Investing in its young population will enable Uganda to reap an unprecedented demographic dividend. Put differently, over the next 30 years, today's children gradually transitioning into an already dynamic labour force hold the potential to transform Uganda's economy, and remodel the socio-economic future of the nation.

 

 
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