Gemma Ahaibwe is a Research Fellow at the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC). She received her undergraduate degree in Quantitative Economics at Makerere University, and completed her postgraduate studies in Development and Natural Resource Economics at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) in Norway. At EPRC, she works under the microeconomics department.

Gemma’s research focuses on health, poverty, governance and labour markets with a strong bias towards the youth. In partnership with the World Bank/DFID and the Inspectorate of Government, she was part of the research team that worked on the three issues of the annual report on Corruption trends in Uganda using the Data Tracking Mechanism produced in 2011, 2012 and 2014. With the Global Development Network (GDN), Gemma was one of the Uganda based researchers under the Strengthening Institutions to Improve Public Expenditure Accountability (SIIPEA). The major research activities included program budgeting, cost-effectiveness, and benefit incidence analyses, as well as policy simulations and major budget reform proposals in health, education and water sectors. In collaboration with UNICEF, she worked on the Situation analysis of child poverty and deprivation in Uganda. Gemma has worked with the ILO in developing the policy influence plan to support change facilitation in the area of youth entrepreneurship policies and interventions in Uganda, and has also produced blogs, op-eds and policy briefs on Youth Unemployment in Uganda in partnership with the Brookings Institution-AGI. Currently, Gemma is one of the researchers working on the Northern Uganda Human Development Report for 2015 under the UNDP, Uganda office.

With qualifications from The Abdul Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL) and ILO as well as the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford; Gemma is well grounded in undertaking impact evaluation of interventions using Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) and is well versed with the concept of measuring multidimensional poverty. Accordingly, Gemma’s research has been presented at various international conferences including the CSAE conference on Economic Development in Africa, Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa (YESSA) conference organized by IDRC, and the International Conference on Youth Unemployment in Africa organized by CODESRIA. Gemma’s research paper on “Creating Employment through Entrepreneurship Financing: Evidence from the Uganda Youth Venture Capital Fund was voted the best paper during the PEGNET conference on “Employment Strategies in the developing world: How to create sufficient, productive and decent jobs” held in Lusaka, Zambia in 2014. 

Gemma Ahaibwe: publications

Overcoming the reproductive health challenges to young women’s employment prospects in Uganda

This brief identifies possible ways in which to enhance the employment prospects of young people in Uganda. It is based on a qualitative survey conducted in four districts of Uganda—Masaka, Namayingo, Yumbe and Kampala.

Education, Marriage, Fertility and Work Choices of Young Women in Uganda

Despite the existence of several policies and laws aimed at empowering women to participate as equal partners in development, a number of challenges remain in Uganda. This policy brief explores links between educational attainment, age of marriage and childbirth, and labour market among young Ugandans (15-24 years of age).

In light of the likely negative impacts of gambling, the industry needs to be strictly controlled, well regulated and effectively policed. Presently, the gambling industry is regulated by the National Lotteries Board (NLB) and is guided by the National Lotteries Act of 1967, the Gaming and Pool Betting (Control and Taxation) Act of 1968, and an addendum of statutory guidelines introduced in 2012/13.

Ensuring healthy lives through access to essential, affordable, quality health care for ‘all’ is the cornerstone of sustainable development and is what proponents of Universal Health Care (UHC) advocate for. Although Uganda has made some progress towards UHC, challenges remain with persistent inequality in access to maternal and child care services.

Socio-Economic Effects of Gambling: Evidence from Kampala City Uganda

The paper explores the socio-economic implications of the gambling industry on welfare and the economy, level of participation and adequacy and effectiveness of the regulatory framework in Kampala City.

Gemma Ahaibwe

Gemma AhaibweResearch Analyst


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