Published: 11 October 2021
A Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader at the University of Sunderland in London is leading a team of consultants working with the government of Uganda on their social care system.
Dr Patrick Igulot, an expert in the industry and head of the University’s health and social care courses, is running the ‘Developing the Operational Framework for Social Care and Support System for Uganda.’
An ex-pat himself, Dr Igulot and his team are being consulted by the Ugandan government on the best approach to creating a long-lasting system to help vulnerable, poor and socially excluded people in the country.
“We have a great team, made up of experts in strategic advice, governance, monitoring, evaluation, research and quality assurance, as well as specialists in psychological support, gender and disability,” Dr Igulot told us.
“Together, we’re able to advise the government on how best to approach rejuvenating the social care system.”
The project is part of a wider programme of advisors, looking to create a national framework of social change in the East African country.
Over half of Ugandans are under the age of 15, making it one of the youngest populations in the world.
When coupled with the fact that it hosts more refugees than any other country in Africa, taking care of its citizens poses some unique challenges.
The government have, through the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development, been developing Uganda’s social protection sector for the last 20 years.
In 2015, the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment programme was launched, giving people over 80 a monthly grant of 25,000 Ugandan shillings (or about £5).
But Dr Igulot and his team feel like much more can be done. The social care system, he says, stands to benefit disadvantaged people from a range of backgrounds.
47% of households suffer ‘multidimensional poverty’, a term used when people not only experience financial hardship, but reductions in education, health, living standards and much more.
3.4 million people have a disability, 11.5 million are poor children in need of social protection.
The programme Dr Igulot is leading is challenging itself to create solutions to these problems in a way that will outlast any one government and have a multi-generational impact on the citizens of Uganda.
“We can do that through services and intervention,” he says. “Social care is especially important.”
The government hopes to reduce social inequalities and poverty over the long term through their A Transformed Ugandan Society from a Peasant to a Modern and Prosperous Country within 30 years, programme, adopted in 2007.
Lasting six months, Dr Igulot and his team are hoping their work and advice can help play a significant role in improving the lives of vulnerable people throughout Uganda.