The study of poverty - situation, dynamics, and impact - has received
much impetus in the last 10 years in Uganda. Evidence from the
country's Household Surveys and the recently concluded Participatory
Poverty Assessment (PPA) has yielded much needed policy-relevant
information. Emerging evidence from the studies confirms an intrinsic
and mutually reinforcing link between poverty and disability. Chronic
poverty studies, however, are much more recent. Spurred by a growing
need to understand which categories of the population live in perpetual
poverty and the reasons behind their \"missing out\" on the benefits of
current development interventions the studies have recently focused
attention on specific themes and/or categories of the poor. This study
focuses on the relationship between chronic poverty and disability in
the country, and it argues that disabled people are not only among the
poorest of the poor in the country, but that they remain poor for very
long periods of time, and from generation to generation.
The study highlights some of the methodological challenges that still
exist with respect to isolating chronically poor from episodically poor
people, one of these being the lack of longitudinal studies that devote
attention to \"tracking\" poor people's situations, behaviour and
characteristics over time. Yet in the case of disabled people anecdotal
information is overwhelming in recognising that the two - long duration
poverty and disability are in the majority of cases interchangeable.
The purpose of this study, therefore, is to gain a deeper understanding
of the relationship between long-duration poverty and disability. The
Study is based on a review of existing literature and actual fieldwork
carried out in four districts of Uganda. It seeks to: (a) summarise the
current state of knowledge about disability and chronic poverty in
Uganda; (b) discuss the factors that disabled people in \"perpetual
poverty\"; (c) describe the efforts that are presently being made to
address longduration poverty among disabled persons in the country; and
(d) propose policy interventions aimed at greater inclusion of disabled
people in the country's development processes.
The study adopts Hulme and Shepherd's definition, taking chronic
poverty to be that poverty where individuals or households are trapped
in severe and multi-dimensional poverty for an extended period of time,
and where poverty is linked with the intergenerational transmission, so
people who are born in poverty, live in poverty and pass that poverty
onto their children (Hulme and Shepherd, 2001).
Evidence from the study confirms that disabled people, as individuals,
or the households in which they live, face a kind of poverty condition
that carries on for a long period of time - beyond five (5) years,
during which period, and regardless of different macro and micro
interventions, affected households or individuals are unable to sustain
themselves or to improve on their livelihoods.
Chronic poverty and disability in Uganda, presented at Staying Poor: Chronic Poverty and Development Policy, Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester, 7-9 April 2003. Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC), Manchester, UK, i + 36 pp.
Chronic poverty and disability in Uganda.