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In close collaboration with the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) and UNICEF Uganda, the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) launched the on-line National Social Service Delivery Equity Atlas. The Atlas provides an intuitive approach to present outcome and financial data through a rigorous tool that openly speaks to equity, equality, efficiency and effectiveness.

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The launch of the Atlas, which took place on 16 January 2018 in Kampala, represents an important milestone in UNICEF’s efforts to support the Government to successfully transition towards results-oriented, programme-based budgeting, with special attention to identifying key areas of investment that improve the well-being and development of all children in Uganda, especially the poorest and most marginalized.

Leveraging on Government’s commitment to promote transparency and accountability in the use of public funds, this initiative aims to monitor the effective delivery of national programmes affecting children. Within this framework, the Atlas provides an intuitive approach to analyze the relationship between financial resources and sector outcomes.

This new approach provides an interactive platform to analyze budget trends at regional and district levels with a focus on the impact of public investments on social outcomes like school completion, antenatal care or hand-washing. In doing so, it provides a clear blueprint of where public resources are reducing socio-economic inequalities among children and improving children’s lives, and where they are not.

According to Mr Kenneth Mugambe, Director Budget, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED), the Atlas provides a significant contribution in reshaping the future of equity based financing in Uganda by strengthening Government’s current monitoring systems – moving beyond an accountability trail for budgetary resources to a system of tracking service delivery performance and impact. This is in line with the Government’s new focus on Programme Based Budgeting.

This visual communication can easily be understood by policy makers at various levels of government and, most importantly, by the public who will also have access to it. To illustrate with an example, the picture below displays the relationship between the proportion of pregnant women attending at least 4 antenatal care (ANC4) visits and local government allocations per capita in Uganda’s Lango sub-region. Notably, notwithstanding very similar levels of allocations per capita, performance in terms of the ANC4 indicator is remarkably different in Kole and Oyam districts. In FY 2016/17, 21% and 48% of women attended the minimum required number of 4 ANC visits in Kole and Oyam, respectively.

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The Atlas also allows users to analyze time trends by clicking on the time slider in the top right hand corner of the screen, and visualize the composition of local government allocations – as illustrated in the case of Dokolo district.

“We now need to utilize the vast mine of evidence contained in the Atlas to inform resource allocations in a way that will yield the greatest results for children and, as a result, enhance the productive potential of Uganda’s future labour force and accelerate Uganda’s socio-economic development” noted Dr Doreen Mulenga, UNICEF Representative in Uganda.

The tool is part of the “Rethinking Public Finance for Children: Monitoring for Results” joint initiative by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED), the Economic Policy Research Centre (ERPC), and UNICEF Uganda.

To access the online National Social Services Delivery Equity Atlas platform visit www.finance.go.ug and click on the ATLAS icon or link. The Atlas is also available on EPRC’s Uganda Children’s Portal website (https://www.eprcug.org/children/).