Participation of Workers’ and Employers’ Organizations in Poverty Reduction Strategies in Uganda
Karyeija Kagambirwe, Gerald
Basheka, Benon C.
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It is now over a decade since poverty reduction strategies were embraced by Uganda as a one of the preconditions to reach the debt relief completion point associated with Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. Between 1997 and 2008, the Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP) was the overarching planning framework for the country. The PEAP has been Uganda’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), guiding policy formulation and program implementation. In 2007, a review of the PEAP was done culminating into the National Development Plan (NDP), 2010/11 - 2014/15. It has been observed that while the PEAP was being formulated and implemented, the participation of the civil society (including workers and employers organisations) was limited to very few organizations, with no full-time engagement. This was founded on the premise that policy formulation was a preserve of government and the social partners had no business in the process of national planning. The engagement and participation of workers and employers began in 2002, when PEAP was being reviewed. However, the engagement was weak because it had no clear institutional framework. There was commendable participation during the recently concluded National Development Plan. In this article, we used a qualitative case study mainly involving key in-depth interviews and documentary analysis. The participation of workers and employers’ organisations’ (Note 1) involvement in the poverty reduction strategies since 1999 is presented in four parts. First, an overview of the socio-economic development trends in Uganda is outlined. Second, the concept of social dialogue is outlined. Third, the state of social dialogue in the country is highlighted. Fourth, we analyse the social partners’ participation in the country’s national development planning process.