Government through the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has launched the National Single Registry for Social Protection, ushering in a new dawn of planning, implementation and monitoring of social protection programmes in the country.
The Registry is a digital platform that consolidates information on all the social security schemes in the country for purposes of improved coordination.
Speaking during the launch at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala on Thursday, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development noted that the facility had already incorporated Management Information Systems (MISs) of the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) with data of over 304,000 beneficiaries and the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF-3). The other interventions onboard are Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) and the Gender Based Violence (GBV) database.
“This platform will assist government eliminate duplication and ensure proper planning and coordination of social protection interventions, while allowing data sharing which has all been addressed through data privacy agreements and ensuring data privacy.” The Minister said.
He added that the system has been built with the ability to allow the incorporation of new social protection interventions and programmes as they get developed. He implored other social protection programmes to link to the Single Registry for shared benefits.
The Permanent Secretary, Mr. Aggrey David Kibenge noted that the development of the National Single Registry is anchored on the Social Protection Policy (2015), the Uganda Vision 2040 and the National Development Plan III which underscore the importance of social protection in addressing risks and vulnerabilities.
“Through this system, we are able to consolidate, store, and share data and information across the various social protection programmes.” He said.
He revealed that work has been ongoing for the last three years through a multi-stakeholder collaboration across government comprising among others, The National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) for the verification of social protection beneficiaries; the Uganda National Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) for use of a single geo-master list of administrative units in the country, the National IT Authority – Uganda (NITA-U) for integration of IT Services and Office of the Prime Minister to integrate the NUSAF MIS and the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.
He said they had also worked closely with the World Food Programme (WFP) that have done tremendous work in developing and maintaining a community register in the Karamoja Region.
He outlined the benefits of the Registry to include; creating order, better coordination in the sector and ensure that resources are channelled to where they are most deserved, ability to identify and prevent benefit fraud and double dipping, applying a potentially more equitable approach to distributing resources based on objective and comparable information, and enabling an assessment of the effectiveness, impact and sustainability of social protection interventions.
DFID/UKAID, Irish Aid; the World Bank and the World Food Programme (WFP) were commended for providing the necessary technical, financial and human resources that enabled the development of the Registry.
The event was attended by among others; the British High Commissioner, the Deputy Ambassador Embassy of the Republic of Ireland who is also the Chairperson Social Protection Donor Group, the Country Manager, the World Bank Group, Country Representative, World Food Programme, Deputy Representative, UNICEF and the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister.
The Executive Directors of National Information Technology Authority – Uganda, Uganda Bureau of Statistics, National Identification and Registration Authority and Uganda Retirements Benefits Regulatory Authority also attended.
In 2015, Cabinet approved the National Social Protection Policy and alongside it a Programme Plan of Interventions. The policy was launched by H.E the Vice President on 2nd March 2016. Part of the commitments in the policy was developing a Single Registry for Social Protection as an instrument for enhancing coordination and reducing duplication in service delivery. The Registry is therefore a land mark achievement for stakeholders in the Social Protection sector.