National poverty maps represent a pivotal milestone for Uganda’s overall socio-economic development, especially as the country intensifies its pursuit of sustainable and equitable wealth creation, and inclusive growth in order to become an upper Middle Income Country by 2040.
While there is little dispute that Uganda has experienced remarkable economic growth with income poverty falling from 56.4% to 19.7% of the population between 1992 and 2012, income inequality remains high and widespread across the country.
In particular, individual experiences of poverty and deprivation in Uganda vary widely by region, geographic location and socioeconomic status.
On the basis that national level indicators often hide important differences between regions or areas, and mounting global demands to generate disaggregated data and analysis to monitor progress vis-à-vis Government’s ambitious post-2015 SDG agenda, the sub-county level poverty maps that were developed in partnership by UBoS, the World Bank and UNICEF represent an exemplary effort to deepen our understanding of the spatial distribution of welfare across the country.
Poverty maps are not new to Uganda. A similar effort was conducted over a decade ago to generate poverty maps using UNHS data from 2002 and 2005. Today’s renewed effort to update Uganda’s poverty maps, however, comes with a number of important innovations. To elaborate, it includes child poverty-specific estimates across all geographical regions. With close to 60% of the population below 18 years of age, and over 75% below the age of 35 years, Uganda’s vision to become a middle income country by 2040 remains highly contingent on Government’s ability to safeguard children’s right to grow to their full potential and contribute to national development.
This is especially the case in the face of emerging global challenges such as urbanization. In this regard, the updated poverty maps include a map of Kampala city that uniquely identifies pockets of poverty within Uganda’s capital at parish level.
Uganda's poverty maps offer a blueprint for how to improve the targeting of services as well as prioritize financial allocations so that poverty and children’s vulnerabilities are greatly reduced.