Uganda
Voluntary National Review 2020

VNR MESSAGES FOR UGANDA 2020

Uganda’s development journey has been guided by a deliberate and well-planned effort to transform it from a peasant to a modern, industrial and prosperous society. Since adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, Uganda has been steadfast in its efforts to realise the aspirations of her people. Since 2018, the economy registered strong recovery and was projected to grow at 6.0 percent in 2019/20, before the COVID 19 outbreak. Income per capita increased from USD 833 in 2016/17 to USD 891 in 2018/19, and Ugandans are living longer with an average life expectancy of 63.7 years. Gains have been registered in the education sector as manifested in improved literacy levels and increased enrollment at all levels.

Government recognises the need for high-quality and inclusive development planning to consolidate gains and advance achievement SDGs. The 3rd National Development Plan (2020/21-2024/25) underwent a wide consultative process and will be a vehicle for accelerating SDGs and Vision 2040. Using integrated SDG modeling approaches, the Government has fully mainstreamed the SDGs, identifying key accelerators based on their relative return on investment. In addition, Sectoral and Local Government plans and policies will also be enhanced to address inclusiveness, a key principle of the 2030 Agenda.

The Government has continued to strengthen institutional coordination for SDGs implementation. As part of efforts to operationalise the national SDG Coordination Framework, the President appointed the Minister in charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister as Cabinet Focal Point Minister in charge of SDGs.  A fully-fledged national SDG Secretariat has been established to support the SDG Coordination architecture to ensure that Uganda stays on track in implementing the SDGs. While Government is enhancing statistical capacity to monitor and report progress, it is also building strong institutions at subnational level to accelerate the implementation of SDGs through localisation and voluntary local reviews  

To strengthen efficient development planning, resource utilisation, and enhance cross-sectoral synergies, Programme Based Budgeting (PBB) was adopted during NDPII and advanced further in NDPIII. Uganda has developed a comprehensive Public Finance Management (PFM) Reform Strategy (2018-2023) that acknowledges several financial management challenges and presents recommendations to address them. A Domestic Revenue Mobilization Strategy (2019/20-2023/24) was completed and efforts are under way to prepare an Integrated National Financing Framework in line with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda--this will boost innovative mobilization and utilization of resources.

As Uganda advances the implementation of its plans, it is committed to ensure no one is left behind. Government has put in place laws and policies to support inclusion of vulnerable persons. For instance, the PFM Act (2017) ensures gender and equity responsive budgeting. The Government increased funding to livelihood and special grants for youth and women. The Social Assistance Grant for Empowerment program has improved social security and reduced vulnerabilities for older persons aged 65 years. Uganda continues to support over 1.4 million refugees through a globally acclaimed programme Refugee model.

As the Government  fast-tracks progress on the 2030 Agenda, it has embraced the global wave of digital transformation which presents significant opportunities.  This is through strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation as well as the National Information Technology Authority to minimize possible exclusions that could be posed to some population segments  with limited capacity to embrace it. Whereas the 2030 Agenda is strongly anchored on environmental integrity and sustainability, there are increasing effects of climate change reducing Uganda’s natural capital. Therefore, the NDPIII sets out ambitious climate actions through the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted Uganda’s progress in some sectors but has also given impetus to the country’s industrialization drive. As a result, growth projections are down to 3.9 percent for fiscal year 2019/20. The toll that the pandemic has had on jobs, hitherto promising sectors could significantly impact on efforts to reduce poverty, vulnerability, and inequality. However, it has awakened the discourse on how Uganda build its systems to generate the required resilience to withstand such shocks.

Moving forward, the Government will sustain and strengthen collaboration with all actors and commits to the regional integration agenda as a means of accelerating efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda.

Voluntary National Review 2016
Review Report on Uganda’s Readiness for the Implementation of Agenda 2030

Background

Following the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals development framework and the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015, Uganda has embraced the principles for sustainable development, namely; people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnerships, to ensure that “No One is Left Behind”. Accordingly, Uganda is among the first countries to localize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and has volunteered to conduct a National review under the auspices of the first High Level Political Forum in July 2016.

Uganda actively pursued the sustainable development agenda since the early 90’s when it gained ascendancy as a development paradigm. This pursuit has unfolded in three distinct transition phases: post war reconstruction (1986 – 1997); poverty eradication (1997 – 2009); and social economic transformation (2010 -2020).

Nearly three decades on from the first United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in 1992, Uganda remains steady in its commitment to sustainable development. Results from the 2014 National Population and Housing Census reconfirm that this commitment is yielding desirable results. Between 1991 and 2014, life expectancy rose from 48.1 to 63.3 years; infant and under-five mortality rates dropped from 122 and 203 deaths per 1,000 live births to 53 and 80 respectively; orphan hood levels dropped from 11.6 to 8.0 per cent; literacy levels rose from 54.0 to 72.2 per cent; income poverty declined from 56 to 19 per cent; access to electricity – a factor that impacts heavily on the environment in Uganda – increased from 5.6 to 20.4 per cent; and the proportion of the national budget that is funded from domestic sources has increased, from 64.7 per cent (FY 1991/92) to 82 per cent (FY 2014/15).

Despite the above progress, Uganda still has significant room for improvement in the sustainable development agenda. The economy is still heavily reliant on natural resources and agriculture; the current demographic structure implies a high dependency ratio and low domestic savings; there is continued pressure on the forest cover because of limited access to modern forms of energy; inequality though falling remains high; vulnerability among different segments of the population is also still significant; and the economy remains in need of deeper and broader economic integration, especially at regional level.

Leadership and Ownership

Uganda has accordingly sustained active commitment to development cooperation at regional and international levels. The most recent manifestation of this commitment was the leadership role in shaping the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted in September 2015 and the adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda in July 2015, which provided the framework for financing of the agenda, under Uganda’s Presidency of the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Uganda’s leadership at both political and technical levels embraced sustainable development right from the time of promulgation of the National Constitution which integrates key principles of balanced and sustainable development. The leadership of the country further demonstrated commitment to sustainable development through its strong support and approval of Uganda’s Vision 2040, the East African Community’s Vision 2050 and Africa’s Agenda 2063 – all of which strongly feature within Uganda’s second and current National Development Plan (2015/16 to 2019/20) whose overall goal is to transition Uganda into a lower middle-income country by 2020, through strengthening Uganda’s competitiveness for sustainable wealth creation, employment and inclusive growth. Localization of the Agenda for Uganda is accordingly being cascaded to sector and local government planning and implementation frameworks. The Manifesto of Uganda’s newly re-elected Government whose term of office runs from 2016 to 2021, is aligned to the second NDP and has also embraced the principles of Agenda 2030.

The second NDP’s preparation coincided with the deliberations and adoption of Agenda 2030 which resulted into the country being the first in the world to mainstream the SDGs into the national planning frameworks. In recognition of the importance of review and follow-up mechanisms, Uganda’s leadership is working to strengthen the implementation and communication strategy for the current NDP and the Sustainable Development Goals mainstreamed in it. Key efforts in this regard include national and local level consultations on localization of the 2030 Agenda; National Information, Education and Communication campaigns; high-level policy dialogue engagements; institutional capacity development; and revitalised engagement with the private sector.

Principles, Policies, Planning, and Programming

The adoption of 2030 Agenda has nationally been interpreted as embracing principles of sustainable development that promote prosperity for all people and protect the planet from degradation so that it supports the needs of the current and future generations.

The localization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires innovative approaches and adaptive programming of its interventions. On this note, Government of Uganda has commenced implementation of a range of new social programmes based on enhanced targeting capabilities with the aim of ensuring that no one is left behind. Notable among them are: Operation Wealth Creation; Universal Primary and Secondary Education; the Youth Livelihood Program; the Higher Education Students Loan Scheme; the Social Assistance Grant for Empowerment for the elderly; the Legal Aid Programme, the Women Entrepreneurship Program; Community Tree Planting Project; and the Skilling Uganda Program. National Capacity

Over the years, Uganda has made efforts to enhance its national capacity to formulate and implement development policies, plans and programmes. However, the ambitious and comprehensive nature of the 2030 Agenda requires further enhancement of national capacity on how best to steer inclusive development across time, sector, and regions of the country. Key among these are: strengthening institutions; financing mechanisms; rallying the private sector, civil society, citizens and other partners towards implementation; and public private partnerships.

Uganda has developed a National Standard Indicator Framework to track progress towards attainment of middle-income status by 2020. This framework builds on the National Monitoring and Evaluation Policy and the Integrated Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy. Through these instruments the implementation of SDGs will be monitored, evaluated, and reported on. Already, Uganda has established that out of 230 indicators in the global indicator framework for SDGs, only 80 indicators have data readily available in its current national statistical framework. There are efforts however, to develop and integrate other indicators that cover all the relevant SDG targets.

Means of Implementation

The existing legal, policy, and institutional frameworks provide an enabling environment for the implementation of the 2030Agenda. For example, Uganda has introduced a number of reforms and pieces of legislations that will facilitate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Chief among them is the Public Finance Management Act (2015), the Public Private Partnership Act (2015), Public Procurement and Disposal Act (2014) the Financial Institutions Amendment Act (2015), and the Registration of Persons Act (2015). Furthermore, Uganda has prioritized increasing domestic revenues as a proportion of GDP, investment in public infrastructure, efficiency in service delivery, use of technology and innovation, reforming the public procurement, debt management, and partnerships with development partners, private sector, academia and citizens.

To strengthen implementation and improve institutional functionality, Uganda has undertaken a number of reforms; including, the establishment of the A Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, the Government Evaluation Facility, institutional coordination mechanisms, the issuance of certificates of compliance of the national and budgets to the NDP, certificate of compliance to gender and equity, and is gradually shifting from output-based to programme-based budgeting.

Conclusion

The Government of Uganda re-affirms its commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and recognizes the remaining challenges that require concerted efforts and partnerships to facilitate attainment of the desired development goals and targets. Uganda intends to partner with the international community in delivering this global development agenda.
Focal point
Mrs. Christine Guwatudde Kintu
Permanent Secretary ,
Office of the Prime Minister,
P.o. Box 341
Kampala, Uganda

Documents & Reports

National Reports
Report Topics covered Process
National Report - Uganda Rio+20;

Partnerships & Commitments
The below is a listing of all partnership initiatives and voluntary commitments where Uganda is listed as a partner or lead entity in the Partnerships for SDGs online platform
Global LPG Partnership

Global LPG Partnership: Accelerate transition to LPG for cooking by engaging public and private sectors in holistic policy, investment and end-user engagement.

Partners
Governments of Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda; OPEC Fund for International Development (Under Discussion); World Bank; New Ventures Fund.
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC)

The Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation is a multi-stakeholder platform to advance the effectiveness of development efforts by all actors, to deliver results that are long-lasting and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The work of the Global Partnership is based on four principles of effective development co-operation including country ownership, a focus on results, inclusive partnerships, and transparency and mutual accountability. These principles were agreed in 2011 by more than 160 countries and 50+ organisations in the Busan...[more]

Partners
The Busan Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation, giving birth to the Global Partnership, was endorsed by 161 countries and heads of multilateral and bilateral institutions, and representatives of public, civil society, private, parliamentary, local and regional stakeholders. From 2017-2018, the Global Partnership is led by 3 ministerial-level co-chairs from the Finance Ministry of Ba...[more]
Sustainable Development Goals
Saving Mothers, Giving Life

Saving Mothers, Giving Life (SMGL) is a five-year initiative to rapidly reduce maternal and newborn mortality in low-resource, high-burden sub-Saharan Africa countries. Launched by Secretary of State Clinton in 2012, this public-private partnership strengthens health services by increasing demand, facilitating access to quality, lifesaving care for the most vulnerable women, and strengthening health systems at the district level. The initiative was given the ambitious goals of reducing maternal mortality by 50% and perinatal morality by 30% in 8 pilot districts in Uganda and Zambia, and then s...[more]

Partners
Founding partners: USG (USAID, CDC, OGAC, DoD, Peace Corps), Government of Norway, Government of Zambia, Government of Uganda, Government of Nigeria, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Every Mother Counts, Merck for Mothers, Project C.U.R.E. Other stakeholders: Swedish Sida, Lafarge Foundation Zambia Zamnet, ELMA Philanthropies
Sustainable Development Goals
Uganda Organic Agriculture Standards and Policies

The Ugandan government has taken several important steps in transforming conventional agricultural production into an organic farming system which prohibits the use of synthetic inputs, such as drugs, fertilizers and pesticides. For example, in 2004, Uganda adopted the Uganda Organic Standard. Source: World Resources Institute (2011) A Compilation of Green Economy Policies, Programs, and Initiatives from Around the World. The Green Economy in Practice: Interactive Workshop 1, February 11th, 2011 The Ugandan government has taken several important steps in transforming conventional agricultura...[more]

Partners
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
YOUNG AFRICAN LEADERS INITIATIVE - RLC EA

Africa's large youth population presents a complex problem that requires strategic investments in education, health, energy, skills, economic reforms and good governance. At a time when sub-Saharan Africa is going through significant changes in economic, social and political, technological and environmental frontiers, some youth across Africa are being left out. YALI is set out to equip the next generation of skilled young African leaders. The objective in this partnership is to proactively engage, develop, and support the young leaders, exposing them to leadership tools, models and diversit...[more]

Partners
USAID, MasterCard Foundation, Kenyatta University, Deloitte East Africa, Kenya Commercial Bank Group, Microsoft, Dow, Citi Group, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Statements
12 Jul 2017
22 Jun 2012
7 May 2010
6 May 2010
3 May 2010
13 May 2008
11 May 2007
10 May 2006
5 May 2006
22 Apr 2005
29 Apr 2004
2 Sep 2002
United Nations