IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ags/eprcrs/101713.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Combating chronic poverty in Uganda: towards a new strategy

Author

Listed:
  • Ssewanyana, Sarah N.

Abstract

Using a panel of 3,572 households in the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF) region interviewed in 2004 and in 2008, the paper provides new evidence on chronic poverty in Uganda. While progress in reducing poverty rates has been impressive from 64.6 percent to 52.2 percent, the levels remain high with a significant number of persistently poor households. Four in every ten households are chronically poor of which 44.9 percent are living in extreme chronic poverty. About 37.8 percent of the households are living in transient poverty of which 67.4 percent escaped poverty during the panel period. The substantial movements out of poverty can perhaps be explained largely by the relative return of peace in the region that enabled households to engage in agricultural activities. While at the aggregate level chronic poverty is significantly more prevalent than transient poverty, a mixed picture is observed at disaggregated level. The picture at aggregate level mirrors itself in the sub-regions of West Nile and Karamoja; but the reverse is observed in Lango sub-region. Chronic poverty is as equally prevalent as transient poverty in Acholi and Teso sub-regions. Overall, chronic poverty is disproportionately high among the Karamajongs. This calls for different kinds of anti-poverty interventions and public support. The paper further demonstrates that the characteristics and determinants of chronic and transient poverty are not always the same. The chronically poor households suffer from multidimensional deprivation including low incomes, low human capital development, inadequate access to infrastructure (especially input markets, trunk roads etc), and inability to access non-agricultural employment. On the other hand, the findings have demonstrated that ensuring peace in this part of the country is necessary for sustainable poverty reduction. The key policy messages: first, the on-going anti-poverty interventions such the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP) and NUSAF II, among others, need to be refocused and targeted to ensure that the dynamic nature of poverty in this part of the country is taken into account. This will go a long way in improving the effectiveness of these interventions. Second, agriculture, whose productivity is low, remains the main source of income and employment to the households especially the chronically poor households. With the return of peace in the region, addressing the low agricultural productivity is likely to play a key role in the fight against chronic poverty. On the other hand, creation of employment outside the agricultural sector should be supported. There should be a deliberate strategy for investment in the poorest through asset accumulation – e.g. livestock re-stocking programme. The paper makes a case that chronic poverty should be recognized as a distinct dimension of poverty in government’s strategy against poverty if Uganda is to achieve MDG 1 by 2015.

Suggested Citation

  • Ssewanyana, Sarah N., 2010. "Combating chronic poverty in Uganda: towards a new strategy," Research Series 101713, Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:eprcrs:101713
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/101713
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Ssewanyana, Sarah & Kasirye, Ibrahim, 2012. "Poverty and inequality dynamics in Uganda: Insights from the Uganda national Panel Surveys 2005/6 and 2009/10," Research Series 148953, Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC).
    2. Buyinza, Faisal, 2011. "Performance and Survival of Ugandan Manufacturing firms in the context of the East African Community," Research Series 150477, Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC).

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:eprcrs:101713. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/eprccug.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.