February 07, 2020

Bringing disability inclusive livelihoods to people living in ultra-poverty in Uganda

Kampala, Uganda – 7th February 2020 –
BRAC, Humanity & Inclusion and the National Union of Women with Disabilities of Uganda (NUWODU) are delighted to announce the launch of a disability-inclusive poverty alleviation project  which will increase the socio-economic empowerment and resilience of ultra-poor households in Western and Northern Uganda using the Graduation approach.

The project is funded by UK Aid from the British people through a grant from the UK Aid Direct challenge fund which supports civil society organisations to achieve sustained poverty reduction, as well as the National Lottery Community Fund, Cartier Philanthropy and Medicor Foundation. It aims to engage 2,700 individuals aged 15 to 64, who are living in ultra-poverty; defined by the World Bank as those living less than $1.90 along with multidimensional factors such as geographic isolation, exclusion from financial and health services and being underserved by economic markets.

The project is also specifically supporting people with disabilities, who are too often excluded from both the implementation and design of large programmes. Of the 1 billion people living with disabilities globally, 426 million in developing countries live below the poverty line (UN, 2009). People with disabilities are statistically poorer, and experience more discrimination, exclusion and violence than the general population (ICAI 2018). In Uganda, 12.4% of the population are living with a disability (UBOS, 2016) and 80% live below the poverty line (UN Health Survey, 2006).

Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, Disabled People Organisations and their members have led participatory workshops to design this project, putting people with disabilities at the very heart of the program’s development.

As a result, fifteen percent of participants will be people with disabilities and seventy percent will be women. It will take place in four Districts of Uganda: Kiryandongo District (Western Region) & Gulu, Nwoya and Oyam (Northern Region). Participants will ‘graduate’ out of ultra-poverty through a combination of livelihoods, social protection, financial inclusion and social empowerment interventions.

The core components of the programme are built around BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation approach, which uses a comprehensive, time-bound, integrated and sequenced set of interventions that aim to enable ultra-poor households to achieve key milestones towards sustainable livelihoods and socio-economic resilience, in order to progress along a pathway out of extreme poverty. BRAC pioneered the approach in 2002 and is now one of the leading practitioners globally – with 16 years experience implementing in six countries throughout Africa and Asia, including Uganda, with average ‘graduation’ rates of 95%.

Humanity & Inclusion, who bring decades of experience in supporting organisations to be disability inclusive, will be providing technical assistance to BRAC to ensure the project successfully reaches and helps people with disabilities.  It forms part of a wider global partnership between BRAC and Humanity & Inclusion to test, replicate, adapt and scale disability inclusive programmes that bring economic inclusion to the worlds ultra-poor.

The National Union of Women with Disabilities of Uganda (NUWODu) will use a special focus on gender to ensure the participation and social empowerment of women living with disabilities. They will also engage in district and national advocacy, working closely with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.

Through building the capacity of existing poverty reduction and social protection actors and developing strong evidence and best practices, this project and more like it can help catalyse disability inclusive Graduation programming in Uganda and beyond in order to ensure no one is left behind in the effort to end poverty around the world by 2030.