UNICEF in Uganda

Keeping Children Alive, Safe and Learning

An Introduction
Uganda is making strides of progress after years of instability: more than a million people rose above the poverty line in the last five years, and the percentage of school-age children enrolling in primary school nationally has skyrocketed to over 96 per cent. Uganda’s achievements toward reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other development targets inspire hope. But the current rate of progress needs to be accelerated greatly to reach the MDG targets by the year 2015. More than half of Ugandans – over 15.5 million – are under the age of 15 years, underscoring just how important and urgent it is to improve the lives of children and youth, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized. With such a huge young population, the impact of Uganda’s achievements for children influences the progress of the nation. As the country strides forward economically creating new opportunities for some, the poorest children are left far behind. Compared to Uganda’s children living in the wealthiest quintile (20 per cent), children in the poorest quintile are more than two-anda-half times less likely to be birthed by a skilled attendant. They are less likely to have official birth registration or be immunized, and are more likely to suffer malnutrition. They are nearly two-and-a-half times more likely than their richest peers to be married before the age of 18, and eight times less likely to be using improved basic sanitation throughout life. These disparities and others are illustrated in a recent global UNICEF study, Progress for Children: More than half of Achieving the MDGs with Equity Ugandans – over – a snapshot of this study 15.5 million – are focusing on Uganda follows on under the age of 15. the next page. Like a marathon runner pushing toward the finish line, a sustained and focused effort is needed in Uganda to go the last mile toward reaching the MDGs and other important development targets. This will set the tone for the future beyond 2015, affecting the mortality, safety, and education of millions of Ugandan children.
All photos ©UNICEF Uganda

With the futures of millions of children kept close at heart, UNICEF Uganda is working with the Government and partners to accelerate progress to Keep Children Alive, Safe, and Learning. Three multi-sectoral programme components (Keep Children

and Mothers Alive, Keep Children Safe, and Keep Children Learning) form the core of the 2010-2014 Government of Uganda/ UNICEF Uganda Country Programme Action Plan. As a whole, the programme benefits from intersecting activity and crosscutting strategies. For example, Alive intersects with Learning where hygiene improvements affect school enrollment; Learning intersects with Safe where weaving child-friendly principles into national education standards reduces child abuse in schools. The goal of Keep Children Alive, Safe, and Learning is to have a dramatic, positive impact on the lives of Uganda’s children by the 2015 MDG target year, and beyond. Geographically, we are placing additional focus in areas of high disparities, such as districts in the northern, northeastern, and western-to-central areas. As of 2011, UNICEF is bolstering development efforts in over 30 additional districts around the country with the highest absolute mortality rates, in an effort to join our partners in having deeper impact in those underserved areas. It is within Uganda’s reach to save lives and improve the futures of millions of children a year. We must not wait until tomorrow: the time for us to accelerate progress is now.

Achieving the MDGs with Equity: Focus on Uganda
A recent UNICEF study, Progress for Children: Achieving the MDGs with Equity, reveals deep economic disparities in terms of progress toward meeting the MDGs around the world. Strengthening the focus on achieving greater equity for children is both imperative and appropriate, and in some areas it makes more financial sense in the long run. Most significantly, the study found that an equity-focused approach will accelerate progress towards the health MDGs for children faster than the current path (in particular to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health), and will be considerably more cost-effective and sustainable. The disparities across wealth quintiles in Uganda suggest that even as the nation moves forward, the most disadvantaged and marginalized children are being left behind, especially in terms of health and child protection. Compared to their peers in the wealthiest 20 per cent (or quintile), children in Uganda’s poorest quintile are: • More than two-and-a-half times less likely to be birthed by a skilled attendant; • More likely to suffer malnutrition; • Less likely to receive immunization; • Eight times less likely to be using improved basic sanitation throughout life; • Less likely to have official birth registration; and • Nearly two-and-a-half times more likely to be married before the age of 18. Windows of Opportunity There are windows of opportunity that the Government, UNICEF and partners can use to reduce these disparities. For example, the antenatal care intervention: A relatively high percentage of women in the poorest quintile in Uganda receive antenatal care at least once during pregnancy (93% in Uganda, versus only 55% of women in the poorest quintile in sub-Saharan Africa). However, many of these women do not follow through with the recommended four visits. UNICEF is working to ensure that the large percentage of those who have one antenatal care visit have three more, an achievement that can have a profound influence on half of the disparities listed above (birth by a skilled attendant, malnutrition, and immunization). Another example is improving primary learning and gender equality: Uganda has achieved a high primary school enrolment rate as well as gender parity (the same amount of girls and boys attend). However, just over half complete primary school. A clear prerogative must be to ensure more girls and boys start early, stay in school, learn, and finish. To make this happen, UNICEF is supporting Early Childhood Development and helping the Government improve the quality and safety of primary schools. In addition, support to the widely successful Girls Education Movement is helping more girls achieve their right to attain the highest education of which they are capable – an achievement that can ultimately yield progress across all MDG targets.
Numbers In Uganda, with respect to: • Maternal health – delivery: 28% of births are attended by a skilled attendant at delivery for the poorest quintile, versus 76% of births for the richest quintile; Maternal health – antenatal care: 93% of women in the poorest quintile received antenatal care at least once, compared to 96% in the richest, and 55% of women in the poorest quintile of sub-Saharan African countries; Malnutrition: 21% of children under 5 are underweight in the poorest quintile, versus 8% of under five children in the richest; Immunization: 49% of infants in the poorest quintile received measles immunization, versus 65% in the richest quintile; Child Marriage: 62% of women in the poorest quintile are married before the age of 18, versus 26% of women in the richest quintile; Birth registration: 17% of the children under 5 in poorest quintile are registered, versus 26% of the richest quintile; Basic sanitation: 9% of the population in the poorest quintile is using improved sanitation facilities, versus 71% of the population in the richest quintile; Gender parity index: .99 for primary schools; and .94 for secondary schools.

Source: UNICEF: Progress for Children: Achieving the MDGs with Equity (2010).


Keep Children and Mothers Alive
top three killers of children under Today, over 520 children under It is within five – malaria, pneumonia and reach to reduce the age of five will die in Uganda. the mortality rate diarrhoea – within the communities Tomorrow, the same number of of Uganda’s underthemselves. We are helping children will die, and the next day, age-five children by increase the number of VHTs and the next. More than half of up to 30 per cent by and ensuring that at least two Ugandan children dying each day December 2014. per community will be trained to are under the age of one. With diagnose and provide treatment for the top nearly 190,000 children lost annually, Uganda three killers, as well as identify and refer is one of the 20 countries in the world with severe illness in newborns, children and the highest number of deaths of children mothers including severe acute malnutrition. under five years old. And while it’s difficult to comprehend a more vulnerable person than With tens of thousands of Uganda’s a child at the age of two or three years old, newborns dying each year, mainly in the first the most vulnerable of this vulnerable group 24 hours of life, as well as a high maternal are newborns. At least 45,000 newborn mortality rate, it’s clear that follow-up deaths occur each year in Uganda, and over antenatal care will make a critical difference half of these deaths happen during the first in keeping mothers and children alive. We’ll week of life, mainly in the first 24 hours. save lives by ensuring more mothers make the recommended four antenatal care visits, On closer look, these dismal statistics and ensuring more births are attended by a reveal a startling and hopeful truth: through skilled health worker. some basic interventions, we can save the lives of thousands of Ugandan children a Uganda continues to struggle with the year. Through a comprehensive approach ravages of HIV/AIDS, with 18 per cent of of disease prevention, promotion of good all new HIV infections occurring through health, and village-level care with timely mother-to-child transmission. Currently the follow-up, it is within reach to achieve an upprevention of mother-to-child transmission to 30 per cent reduction in the mortality rate of HIV (PMTCT) intervention exists in half of under-five children by December 2014. of Uganda’s clinics. By expanding the availability of PMTCT to more clinics, and by We can save lives by directly connecting encouraging pregnant women to be tested children and mothers to health, nutrition, for HIV and to access PMTCT if they’re and hygiene knowledge and services, and HIV-positive, we can keep thousands more by inspiring communities to practice healthy children alive a year. behaviours. Strengthening the role of Village Health Teams (VHTs) and other We must motivate communities community-based workers will to take an active role in child Combating the Top 3 Killers go far in helping directly reach A focus of Keep Children and survival. Proliferating consistent, children and mothers in their Mothers Alive is to work at the proactive messages throughout homes and other spaces of household level to combat the daily life (like primary schools, three top killers of children under communities – about healthy family practices, HIV, nutrition, five: malaria, diarrhoea and youth centres and places of pneumonia. Lives can be saved clean and safe homes, and other worship). VHTs listen to and engage children and mothers, through the promotion of healthy important issues – will help behaviours: Hand-washing transform health behaviours and and provide an important first reduces the chance of getting mobilize community members referral to a health centre, if diarrhoea; breastfeeding helps to actively participate in keeping protect a baby from diarrhoea needed. and ARIs; and a child that sleeps children alive and healthy. under an insecticide-treated Through Integrated mosquito net is less likely to get Across all programme areas, we Community Case malaria. Timely diagnosis and will use technology like mobile Management (iCCM), we are treatment (at the home or basic phones to cut down delays in clinic) will ensure a sick child expanding and improving lives. the transmission of actionable diagnosis and treatment in information. the case management of the 2

Alive & the MDGs MDGs 4 & 6: When an early diagnosis and prompt, appropriate treatment for malaria, diarrhoea or pneumonia is accomplished, a child has a better chance of survival – and the child mortality rate goes down. MDGs 4 & 5: Through basic but crucial practices like keeping the baby warm and breastfeeding, a newborn baby has a greater chance of staying alive and healthy. MDGs 4, 5, & 6: When a mother accesses followup antenatal (prenatal) care, she is more likely to have a healthy birth – ensuring her own health and survival, and the survival of her baby. The maternal and child mortality rates will likewise be reduced, and the HIV rate lowered through the antenatal intervention that prevents mother-to-child transmission of HIV. MDG 7: By improving access to safe water and latrines, especially in rural communities and schools where these essentials are still lacking, Uganda will move closer to the achievement of MDG 7: Ensuring Environmental Sustainability/Increased access to safe water and basic sanitation. Internationally, Uganda is one of the countries considered likely to meet its MDG target of access to improved water sources.

Keep Children Safe
More than half of Uganda’s children live in vulnerable situations and are prone to human rights abuses. They are orphans or children living in households headed by another child or by an elderly person; they are homeless children, living on the street. They are children who’ve dropped out of school. They may be disabled, or forced to be labourers at an early age; they are girls who’ve become mothers before they’ve had a chance to grow up. Vulnerable children suffer violence, exploitation, and sexual abuse, and are at risk of HIV/AIDS, early pregnancy, dying in childbirth, and overall poor physical and mental health. They endure daily acts of violence at an alarming rate in homes, schools, urban streets, the justice system, and other spaces of daily life. And in homes and communities where violence against women is accepted and prevalent, invariably the rights of children are also violated. Without shared action to safeguard children from violence and exploitation, the vicious cycle of vulnerability and resulting human rights abuses will continue to rob them of the right to experience their childhood in dignity; to learn, grow, play and be healthy. The issues underpinning this vicious cycle connect to every one of the MDGs, affecting progress on these and other critical development targets in Uganda. With so much at stake, UNICEF Uganda is working with the Government and partners to Keep Children Safe. In particular, Keep Children Safe aims to: increase the registration of births – a first step in establishing a child’s identity, rights, and protection; prevent and respond to violence against children and women; and ensure the Government’s child protection framework, including the justice system, successfully provides adequate and gender-appropriate care and protection of girls and boys harmed or at risk of exploitation, violence and abuse. Birth Registration Birth registration – the recording of a person’s existence by the state administrative process – is fundamental to 3

WASH saves lives à Due to the water and sanitation challenges Uganda faces, a number of preventable illnesses persist, such as diarrhoea which can be deadly for children under 5. Less than half of Ugandans use improved sanitation facilities, and about a third live without access to safe drinking water. In schools, the pupil-to-latrine ratio is 54 pupils to 1 latrine stance, which is below the national standard of 40:1. Great disparities continue to exist in terms of water access; for instance, depending on where a Ugandan lives, the percentage of people with access to an improved water source ranges from 12 per cent to 85 per cent. And those who live near a source may not even be able to get water: at any given time, only about 80 per cent of the existing water facilities work.
In response to these challenges, UNICEF’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programme (WASH) is working to increase access to safe water and sanitation, and to promote healthy behaviours like hand-washing with soap. WASH also works to bolster national emergency coordination and response efforts. For example, when a 2010 landslide in Bududa district in the east killed 300 people and displaced thousands from their homes, UNICEF responded with life-saving interventions within the first 72 hours – most significantly, to limit the incidence of water and sanitation-related illnesses for the 5,000 displaced persons living in the camp, as well as 5,000 living with host families. WASH interventions are making strides toward the national delivery of improved water and sanitation, and contribute to the overall goals of all three UNICEF programme areas, Alive, Safe and Learning. WASH works with key Government Ministries at the national and district levels, as well as strategic NGO partners, and is an active partner in forums such as the National Sanitation Working Group and the National Hand Washing Campaign.

securing a child’s rights and practical needs, but currently only one out of five children is registered at birth in Uganda. Without being registered, a child’s existence, age, and citizenship can be called into question. This makes it difficult to protect her or him from childhood-robbing realities like child labour, underage military service, child marriage, and being unfairly treated as an adult when in conflict with the law. In a groundbreaking move to keep children safe, the Government with support from UNICEF Uganda and our partner, Uganda Telecom will implement across the country a cutting-edge solution called Mobile Vital Record System, or MobileVRS, which will make it possible to complete birth registration procedures in minutes, a process that normally takes months. Through MobileVRS and engaging with communitylevel “notifiers”, UNICEF aims to increase the birth registration of children under five years old from 21 per cent to 80 per cent by 2014. That means four times as many Ugandan children as today will have their birth rights secured by 2014, and that the Government will have sound data in order to plan for and provide protection, health, education, and other critical services. Preventing and Responding to Violence Keep Children Safe aims to both prevent and respond to the problem of violence in homes, schools, urban streets, the justice system, and other spaces of daily life. Our prevention efforts include raising awareness of violence and reducing the social acceptance of practices harmful to children, such as through a national “ZERO” tolerance to violence campaign. Part of this work includes inspiring community dialogue on sensitive issues like Female Genital Mutilation and child defilement, and increasing local demand for accountability on child protection. Through intersections with our Alive and Learning work, we are training teachers and Village Health Teams to prevent, report, and respond to violence. This ensures we’ll reach women and children in homes, healthcare spaces, and schools. 4

All children have the same rights. Keep Children Safe upholds basic human rights of children, as codified in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Among these rights are the right to be registered at birth; the right to be protected from economic exploitation and harmful work; and the right to be protected from all forms of sexual exploitation, abuse, and physical or mental violence.

We are mobilizing and training youth groups to contribute to the protection of children, helping them take action on these sensitive issues affecting their lives. Through this participatory effort, youth have a hand in effecting change in their communities. Through innovations that combine mobile phone technology with training to become social monitors, Girls Education Movement clubs, Girl and Boy Scouts, school management committees and others will have a more effective and instrumental role in keeping schools and communities safe. Shared action to prevent and respond to violence must reach homes and local communities, but also effect change at district and national levels. At the national level, we are supporting efforts like the adoption of legislation addressing violence, and helping the Government weave child protection into teaching curricula for those working in education, law enforcement, and social welfare. Child Protection Policy Framework

harmonize Uganda’s child protection policy framework, so the Government is able to effectively coordinate services and advance the protection of children, especially orphans and other vulnerable children. This includes working with the Government to include provisions for violence against children and justice for children in policies and planning.

In Uganda, an estimated

One half of all children are vulnerable and prone to human rights abuses; 76% of children has experienced sexual violence; 48% of women has experienced physical violence at the hands of their husband or partner; One third of children aged 5-17 are working, some engaged in child labour.

Without legislation that protects children, the Government can’t provide adequate and gender-appropriate care and protection of girls and boys harmed or at risk of exploitation, violence and abuse. Keep Children Safe works to strengthen and


Keep Children Learning
Uganda has achieved an enrolment rate in primary schools of over 96 per cent (96% boys; 96.5% girls), nearing universal primary education. When we look at this valuable achievement alongside other positive efforts – like the expansion of learning opportunities for girls – an inspiring Percentage of Uganda’s students picture comes into in Primary 6 who are… focus: it is within Competent in literacy= 50.5% Uganda’s reach to (49.8% boys; 51.1% girls) achieve the MDGs Competent in numeracy = 55.4% for education. The (59.9% boys; 49.5% girls) achievement of MDG 2 (ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling) and MDG 3 (eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary schooling no later than 2015), will have a profound impact on the lives of millions of Ugandan children, and will have direct positive influence on all other MDGs and critical development targets. However, there are roadblocks keeping children from fulfilling their right to reach the highest level of education of which they are capable, and slowing Uganda’s progress to the 2015 MDG finish line. Approximately only one half of the students enrolled actually complete a full course of primary education. Out of the students who do finish primary school, only about one half go on to get a secondary education.
Girls Education Movement (GEM) clubs break down barriers to learning. GEM activities have directly reached over 14,000 people and helped more than 2,800 pupils who had dropped out of school return to their studies. There are nearly 1,800 GEM clubs in schools and communities across the country, and an aim of Keep Children Learning is to expand GEM clubs to all primary schools in Uganda.

shut out of the formal learning system on one hand, while lacking any employable skills or opportunities on the other. This complex set of challenges requires a unique, shared approach helping children start learning early, stay in school, and finish, while also creating learning opportunities outside the classroom. Early Childhood Development When students enter school, they may not have the basic skills, socially or cognitively, to learn. Many children don’t enrol at the right age – but timely enrolment, especially of girls, is often critical to achieving a full course of primary education. Keep Children Learning supports community-based and managed Early Childhood Development Centres (ECD centres) to help more young children from the ages of 3 to 5 years gain the tools to be ready to go to primary school, and help them enrol at the appropriate age. Through an early learning and preparation curriculum, ECD centres ultimately help children and parents take maximum advantage of primary school when the time is right. Improving the Quality of Schools and Learning The quality of teaching, and whether a school is child-friendly (safe, healthy, gendersensitive, learning-focused, and children’s rights-based) influences whether a student regularly attends class – or drops out or is pulled out by a parent. A child should never have to drop out of school for fear of being beaten by a teacher, for instance, or because she is embarrassed about menstruation.

Because so many children neither complete primary school nor move on to the secondary level, Uganda struggles under the weight of out-of-school children and youth who are themselves facing tough challenges to development and growth. An out-ofschool 8-year old child might be shuttled into the drudgery and abusiveness of child labour; and an inexperienced, outof-school 16-year old youth faces being


UNICEF Uganda works closely with the Government and partners to help improve the quality of primary school teaching and learning, to ensure schools are childfriendly, and to improve the management of the education system nationally. An overarching part of this effort includes helping the Ministry of Sports and Education to successfully implement its Basic Requirements and Minimum Standards (BRMS) for schools, which are child-friendly standards. For example, UNICEF supports a coaching and mentoring programme for Coordinating Centre Tutors and school inspectors with the aim of raising the quality of teaching in schools by improving curriculum delivery, lesson planning and teaching methods. In intersections with Alive and Safe programmes, we are helping the Government improve the quality and safety of the school environment. This includes increasing access to child-friendly water and sanitation facilities, and improving personal hygiene behaviours. To keep children safe, we are ensuring teachers are trained in safe school standards while simultaneously strengthening the effort to report violence against children in schools. Girls Education Movement Barriers like child marriage and pregnancy, difficult situations at home (such as a sick parent), and violence in and around schools cause Ugandan children to drop out of school and never return. And while Uganda’s primary education is free, costs associated with uniforms, books and other materials are unaffordable for some families – creating yet another roadblock to learning. In order to break down barriers to learning, we are working with our partners to expand the Girls Education Movement (GEM), a successful non-governmental organization already reaching more than 14,500 people in Uganda. In 2010, GEM helped more than 2,800 girls and boys who had dropped out of school return to their studies. These numbers are growing: an aim of Keep

Children Learning is to expand GEM clubs to all primary schools in Uganda. GEM clubs are helping both girls and boys stay in school and finish. Through GEM, girls are given a voice in their own education – for example, in discussion forums where they share concerns and ideas, an especially important outlet for children who come from homes where gender equality is not readily accepted. GEM also provides books and supplies to girls and boys who cannot afford them, partly paid for by community fundraising efforts like growing and selling vegetables. GEM clubs across Uganda are ultimately helping influence parents and communities to appreciate the importance of a child completing a full course of education. In this way, girls and boys are being encouraged by their families and peers, rather than discouraged, to stay in school.

Monitoring Quality & Safety using SMS Through a UNICEF-supported innovation already being piloted, GEM clubs, school management committees and others in the education sector will be able to monitor aspects of the quality and safety of schools using mobile phones. Acting as social monitors, participants will be able to send SMS reports to the Government on issues like teacher absenteeism, violence against children in schools, the use of textbooks in the classroom, functionality of water points, and other issues pertaining to the quality and safety of schools.


Youth Centres UNICEF Uganda is working with partners to enhance community awareness and involvement in education, and to bring both in and out-of-school children together in a safe place to learn, play and develop their skills. We are achieving this through the establishment of Youth Centres, physical spaces at the village or parish level where young people can learn, play, and access information. Part of this effort involves expanding access to information and services by installing innovative Information Access Points: rugged solarpowered computer kiosks that showcase dynamic multimedia content on health, job training, education opportunities and other government services.

Crosscutting Strategies
UNICEF Uganda’s Keep Children Alive, Safe and Learning programmes share crosscutting strategies. Some of these strategies are: • Use communication for development to bring about sustained behaviour changes in communities; • Ensure the protection of children through disaster risk reduction activities; • Strengthen key partnerships; • Strengthen supply chain systems; • Engage in policy development, law reform and planning/budget discussions at all levels of government; and • Generate knowledge to improve development planning, including knowledge from children’s voices on the key issues affecting their lives. UNICEF Uganda partners with the Government at the national and district levels, civil society, and other partners and contributes to the national-level impact toward meeting Millennium Development Goals, the objectives of the National Development Plan, and the planned outcomes of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework.

UNICEF Uganda’s Keep Children Learning programme supports the Government of Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sports Education Sector Strategic Plan 2010-2015, and supports key national policy initiatives, such as the finalization and implementation of the Gender in Education policy, the ECD policy, the Disadvantaged Children’s Policy, and the national Early Learning Development Standards. Keep Children Learning works closely with the Education Development Partners Group among other partners.


UNICEF Uganda, supported by a unique Technology for Development unit, is working closely with the Government, private sector companies, and local non-governmental organizations to develop and implement innovations to keep Ugandan children alive, safe and learning. These innovative solutions use widely available technologies like basic mobile phones and text messaging, and are making it easier to do things like keep track of medicine stocks at health centres, upload and share information on the quality of community services, quickly register children’s births, and help the Government plan for better service delivery. UNICEF Uganda works to identify, test and expand the use of the most promising innovations across the country. Through this effort, we will be able to: • • Improve the Government’s delivery of essential health, protection, and education services; Help communities and especially the most vulnerable children and youth access information and social services; and Engage people, especially youth, to take an active role in the development of their communities.
Help communities and especially the most vulnerable children and youth access information and social services.

Information Access Points – Rugged Solar-Powered Computers
Many Ugandans do not yet have access to critical information and resources across areas of health, education, job training, and protective services. The poorest, most isolated and vulnerable children and youth are hit hardest from this lack of access when they do not benefit from crucial services and resources that could improve their health, safety, and future. In response, UNICEF is developing rugged solar-powered computer kiosks, some made out of simple locally available materials such as metal drums, which will serve as information access points aimed at youth and their communities. Dynamic multimedia content on health, job training, education opportunities, and other government services will be available for free, and interactivity will be built into the interface so that eventually communities can contribute their own information and content to the package. These information access points are part of UNICEF’s support to create community resource centres and spaces for young people – physical locations at the village level where children and adolescents can play, learn, collaborate, and access services and information.

Ureport – Social Monitoring and Harnessing the Wisdom of the Crowd
UNICEF Uganda has launched a social monitoring initiative called Ureport that currently engages over 700 Girl and Boy Scouts from across the country to report on health and development issues in their communities. Because the young reporters can generate low cost, real-time information directly from a community, it is an attractive alternative to traditional monitoring systems. Ureporters reach out to others to become social monitors and use the system in their areas, virally building the network and expanding its reach. The goal is to have at least one Ureporter in each village, and starting in 2011 UNICEF will launch a Ureport TV, radio and newspaper campaign to bring the voice of these young reporters into the national dialogue.

DevTrac – Tracking the Development of a Nation
UNICEF and partners are developing DevTrac, a simple, publicly available knowledge management tool that will merge information on socio-economic conditions, government services and development projects with data collected directly from stakeholders in the field. When fully operational, DevTrac will enable the Ugandan Government and its development partners to share information and prioritize interventions. By having the impact and results of development work in the field openly shared and made more transparent, this will be a valuable tool for advocacy and accountability. In 2011, UNICEF Uganda will be submitting field reports to DevTrac including photos and voice recordings to be shared with partners.

MobileVRS – Increased Birth Registration
Currently only one out of five children is registered at birth in Uganda. Without being registered, a child’s existence, age, and citizenship can be called into question, opening the door to child labour, underage military service, early marriage, and being unfairly treated as an adult when in conflict with the law. UNICEF and Uganda Telecom are helping the Government implement the Mobile Vital Record System (MobileVRS), which uses mobile phone technology to complete birth registration procedures in a matter of minutes, a process that normally takes months. By using MobileVRS and engaging with community-level ‘notifiers’, UNICEF aims to increase the amount of children under five who are registered from the current low rate of 21 per cent to 80 per cent by 2014. That means four times as many Ugandan children as today will have their birth rights secured by 2014, and the Government will have sound data in order to plan for and provide protection, health, education, and other critical services to the population. Improve the Government’s delivery of essential health, protection, and education services.

Engage people, especially youth, to take an active role in the development of their communities.

Monitoring the Quality and Safety of Schools using SMS
In 2011, UNICEF and the Ministry of Education will engage with community-level advocates such as the Girls Education Movement, school management committees, faithbased community groups, and others in the education sector to monitor aspects of the quality and safety of schools using mobile phones. Acting as school monitors, participants will be able to send SMS reports to the Government on issues like teacher absenteeism, violence against children in schools, the use of textbooks in the classroom, functionality of water points, and other issues pertaining to quality and safety. The information collected will make it easier for the Government to target their interventions, and will provide greater accountability to communities in terms of the quality of education available to their children.

RapidSMS – mHealth (mobile health) for Faster Reporting and Response
Uganda’s front-line health promoters, Village Health Teams (VHTs), are being trained to send real-time reports via SMS (Short Message Service, or text message) on community health issues like disease outbreaks, pregnancy rates, and malnutrition levels. In comparison to filling out paper health reports, this innovation significantly cuts down the time in transmission of vital information that helps the government plan and respond, ensuring quicker coordination by relevant officials. Through the RapidSMS mHealth package, UNICEF and partners predict the Ministry of Health could be receiving SMS health reports from 900 health facilities and 4,000 VHTs in 30 districts by 2012.

RapidSMS – Real-time Monitoring of Essential Medicine Supply
In order to contend with monthly stock-outs of six essential medicines in northeastern Uganda’s health centres, the non-governmental organisation FIND Diagnostics launched a pilot programme in two districts (Gulu and Kabale) in early 2010 training health facility workers to submit their weekly government reports by SMS, including real-time data to map the facility stocking of essential medicines like the anti-malarial drug ACT. Today, working with the Ministry of Health and FIND Diagnostics, UNICEF Uganda is using the RapidSMS system to replicate and expand this programme across Uganda. Through this innovation, the Ministry of Health will have real-time information on medicine stocks, and district health offices will be able to successfully lobby the National Medical Stores for resupply based on their ability to present reliable and timely data.

INDICATORS BASIC INDICATORS Population, 2009 Young population (under 18 years old), 2009 Population annual growth rate, 2000-2009 Human development index (HDI) GNI per capita, 2009 People living below the poverty line of US$1.25/day, 1994-2008 Total fertility rate, 2009 HEALTH AND NUTRITION Under-five mortality, 2009 Under-five mortality rank worldwide, 2009 Neonatal mortality rank (first 28 days of life), 2009 Maternal mortality, 2008 Skilled attendant at birth, 2005-2009 Life expectancy at birth, 2009 Stunting (percentage of children under 5), 2003-2009 Wasting (percentage of children under 5), 2003-2009 Children under 5 sleeping under an insecticide-treated mosquito net, 2006-2009 HIV AND AIDS Adult HIV prevalence rate (ages 15-49), 2009 Children under 15 living with HIV, 2009 Children orphaned by AIDS (ages 0-17), 2009 Women over 15 years old living with HIV, 2009 HIV prevalence among young people (ages 15-24), 2009 WATER AND SANITATION Use of improved drinking water sources, 2008 Use of improved sanitation facilities, 2008 EDUCATION Net primary school enrolment rate, 2005-2009 Net secondary school enrolment rate, 2005-2009 Completion – percentage of children who reach the last primary grade, 2005-2009 Internet users, 2008 Literacy rate among youth (ages 15-24 years), 2004-2008 CHILD PROTECTION Birth registration (percentage of children under 5), 2000-2009 Child labour (percentage of children ages 5-14), 2000-2009 Child marriage (percentage of women 20 to 24 years old married before age 18), 2000-2009 DATA


March 2011

32.7 million 55.9% 3.6% 143 US$460 52% 6.3 children/per woman 128/per 1,000 births 19 30/per 1,000 births 430/per 100,000 live births 42% 53 years 38% 6% 10%

6.5% 150,000 1.2 million 610,000 Female: 4.8%; Male: 2.3% Total: 3.6% 67% of population 48% of population 96% boys; 98% girls 22% males; 21% females 32% (UNESCO data) 8/per 100 of the population 89% males; 86% females 21% 36% 46%

Sources: All numbers from UNICEF’s The State of the World’s Children 2011, except: HDI (from UNDP Human Development Report, 2010).

































L a k e A





AMOLATAR Lake K yoga








































































United Nations Children’s Fund
Plot 9 George Street, P.O. Box 7047 Kampala Uganda Tel. : +256 417 171000 Fax. : +256 417 171001 www.unicef.org/uganda