The Government of Uganda has today launched an Atlas that helps to monitor the delivery and impact of basic services for children and other vulnerable groups across Uganda.
Dubbed as the Social Service Delivery Equity Atlas, Uganda’s first-ever publication that maps key results versus public expenditures for children, the tool is part of the “Rethinking Public Finance for children: Monitoring for Results” initiative by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, the Economic Policy Research Centre (ERPC), and UNICEF.
“This initiative represents a fundamental milestone in our efforts to strengthen Government’s current monitoring systems – moving beyond an accountability trail for budgetary resources to a system of tracking service delivery performance and impact,” says Keith Muhakanizi, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.
The Atlas specifically provides analysis on the impact of public investments on social outcomes like school completion rates, antenatal care visits and improved water source functionality, among others, enabling government and its partners to track decentralised allocations across the priority sectors of education, health and water.
“Much of the information that has been generated through the Atlas shows that poor outcomes are not necessarily the result of insufficient inputs, but sometimes the lack of complementary investments in key areas such as social protection or behaviour and social change interventions,” says UNICEF’s Representative in Uganda. Ms. Aida Girma.
During the one-day conference that launched the Atlas, experts discussed both the Atlas and Public Finance for Children (PF4C) policy briefs focusing on education, health, water, sanitation and hygiene.
According to Dr. Ibrahim Kasirye of EPRC, “the Atlas disaggregates service delivery and identifies gaps in the critical sectors by region, which together with the policy briefs provide direction on where and what effort is required.
By doing so, he noted, “government can move away from the traditional ‘one size fits all’ approach to tailored solutions, which may not necessarily be through increased financing. It is an opportunity for Uganda to improve effectiveness and efficiency in service delivery, especially in the face of resource constraints.”
And, Margaret Kakande, Head of the Budget Monitoring and Analysis Unit within the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (BMAU) explained, “this initiative builds on our existing monitoring framework by bringing performance monitoring up to a higher strategic outcome level.
“In order to meet new community demands, monitoring efforts now need to be slightly re-oriented from purely focusing on the effective delivery of key outputs to the actual impact public investments are having, which this does.”
With 56% of its population below 18 years of age, the effective investment of Uganda’s resources into the optimal development of children’s capacities and talents – Uganda’s future human capital – is vital to the achievement of Uganda’s Vision 2040 of becoming an upper middle income country by 2040.
Distributed by APO on behalf of UNICEF Uganda.