Social Policy, Advocacy and Evaluation

Establising equity-sensitive and child friendly policies, budgets and programmes

Children play in a wheelbarrow
UNICEF Uganda/2017/Adriko

The situation

In Uganda, more than half of under-five-year-olds and more than a third of school-aged children are living in poverty – experiencing two or more deprivations. In some regions, such as West Nile and Karamoja, poverty affects 68 per cent of younger children.

Child poverty is about more than just income, it is about growing up with good healthcare and education, a strong family and community environment. According to recent data from the Child Poverty Report, despite the fact that income poverty is dropping substantially, the question still remains - how are the children faring? 

“I eat only one meal a day, and in the afternoon I don’t understand what the teacher teaches because of missing a meal. I doze in class in the afternoon lessons.” Boy, aged between 11 and 14, Bundibugyo.

Poverty affects children differently than adults and when a child falls into poverty, it can last a lifetime. Child poverty sets the foundations into which their own children will be born, and the intergenerational cycle of poverty continues. 

Not only do children as a whole bear the burden of poverty, they also experience it differently, depending on where they live, what families they are born into or what life circumstances they find themselves in. 

Child poverty and deprivation are higher in rural areas, northern and eastern Uganda, in families where parents or the heads of households are uneducated and among orphans and fostered or adopted children.

Infographic - child poverty in Uganda
UNICEF Uganda

Solutions

Building on existing collaborations with academic institutions and the
Uganda Bureau of Statistics, UNICEF is working with Government and partners to construct a strong and rigorous evidence base on child poverty and inclusion. 

Through the development of robust analytical tools, and sustained investments in the capacity of national academic and other institutions to conduct high quality research, UNICEF will focus on ensuring national policies and interventions for children are equity-sensitive, have a sound empirical base and are in compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). 

Our interventions will also contribute to strengthen sub-regional level mapping of child poverty vis-à-vis rigorous assessments of the quality of basic services available to poor children and women across the nation.

As part of these efforts, in close partnership with policymakers, practitioners, investors, and donors, UNICEF is supporting the design and effective implementation of national policies through rigorous programme evaluations.

Working directly with key budget decision makers – especially through partnerships with the Ministry of Finance – this component of the programme aims to make children more visible in the national budget (Public Finance for Children) by promoting effective and equity-sensitive social sector spending and strengthening the linkages of policy and planning to budget allocations at both national and sub-national levels, thus contributing to improved outcomes for children.