Final Millennium Development Goals Report for Uganda 2015: Results, Reflections and the Way Forward
In the final year of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) era, this report assesses the results of Uganda’s efforts in pursuit of the Goals over the last 15 years. The country’s experience implementing the MDGs is reflected upon to draw lessons for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and a way forward is proposed to integrate Uganda’s unfinished MDG business into the national post-2015 development agenda.
Uganda’s overall MDG results are impressive, although progress has not been uniform across all the goals. Excluding the goals that are the responsibility of the whole global community,1 and those with insufficient evidence to make an assessment,2 Uganda is expected to achieve six targets; significant progress has been made towards a further three, although the targets may be reached slightly after the deadline; and four targets have not been achieved.
Uganda’s most important success is under MDG 1- income poverty- which was reduced by two thirds, surpassing the 50% reduction specified by Target 1A. Households with higher income levels are better able to meet the direct and indirect costs of accessing education and healthcare, so this progress has contributed to many of the other goals. Uganda’s poverty reduction was driven by broad-based economic growth, enabled by strong macroeconomic management, public investment in infrastructure such as feeder roads and rural electrification, regional integration and trade, and rapid urban growth. Nonetheless, Government continues to implement various measures to support the 6.7 million Ugandans who are still in poverty, and the further 14.7 million who remain vulnerable.
Another important achievement has been in controlling the spread of malaria – the leading cause of under-five mortality. The malaria prevalence rate among children fell by more than 50% in just five years between 2009 and 2014, mainly due to the large-scale dissemination of insecticide-treated bed nets. The burden of other diseases such as measles and tuberculosis has also been reduced significantly. These achievements have helped to halve Uganda’s child mortality rate, representing significant progress although the ambitious MDG target is likely to be missed narrowly.
Government’s investment in rural water supply has brought significant progress – the share of the rural population using an improved drinking water source increased from 52% in 2001/2 to 72% in 2012/13. Access to safe water is much higher in urban areas but there has been limited improvement over the MDG period, with the rapid growth of Uganda’s towns and cities often overwhelming urban planning capacity. Improving awareness and changing sanitation practices. among the population also remains a major challenge, and is particularly important given that sanitation tends to have a larger impact on health outcomes than access to safe water alone.
The unfinished MDG business is not understood simply as the targets Uganda has missed, but the underlying constraints that must be addressed to accelerate and sustain progress – in particular the effectiveness of Government service delivery. Download the Report to find out more..
- Uganda has achieved 33% of targets, three times higher than the performance recorded in the MDG 2013 report.
- Income poverty reduced by two thirds, surpassing the 50% reduction, five years ahead of schedule.
- Malaria prevalence rate among children fell by more than 50% between 2009 and 2014.
- Share of the rural population using an improved drinking water source increased from 52% in 2001/2 to 72% in 2012/13.
- External debt service requirements fell from 23% of export earnings in 1999/2000 to 5.2% of exports in 2013/14.