Non-state actors (NSAs) are offering social protection services in Uganda to address vulnerabilities associated with poverty. Information is limited on their adequacy and efficacy and how their governance mechanisms address gender concerns. This study aimed to fill that gap.
The research was conducted December 2012 to May 2013 in Katakwi and Kyegegwa Districts, selected for their levels of poverty and vulnerability associated with the civil war, cattle rustling and influx of refugees from neighbouring countries. The design was cross-sectional and used semi-structured questionnaires, key informant interviews, focus group discussions and case studies with NSA beneficiaries and representatives and opinion leaders.
Formal NSAs deliver mostly promotive services such as capacity building in farming and human rights sensitisation while informal NSAs provide mainly preventive services like savings and credit, and burial and moral support. The needs are great and the resources limited, so only the immediate problems are handled. For gender issues such services are only symptomatic treatment: what is needed are preventive and transformative interventions to deliver sustained reduction in gendered vulnerability. Large and formal NSAs depend on donor support, and community-based organisations on contributions, neither of which is sustainable.
The NSAs have governance instruments, but these are gender blind and broad in definition. Formal NSAs are accountable to the government and donors but not to their clientele. The contrary is true for informal NSAs.
A national policy that accommodates the local context is needed to support delivery of NSA services; to facilitate offering of transformative and preventive interventions of long-term and strategic nature; to guide NSAs to incorporate gender responsiveness as a guiding principle in their interventions; and to require NSAs to engage local communities in programme development. Gender should be integral to all policy and programming, supported by gender training at all levels.
Muhanguzi, F.K.; Muhumuza, F.K.; Okello, J. Governance of Non&#8208;State Social Protection Initiatives: Implications of Addressing Gendered Vulnerability to Poverty in Uganda. PASGR Working Paper 006. Partnership for African Social and Governance Research, Nairobi, Kenya (2016) 38 pp.