An Assessment of the Special Grant Progamme on the Livelihoods of People with Special Needs. Case Study: Dabani Sub County, Busia District.
Author: MALOBA FRANKLIN WANYAMA
Supervisor: Hatangimana Gilbert
Despite impressive economic gains made by Uganda in the last 10 - 15 years, current evidence suggests that at least 2.4 million disabled people remain poor. Many disabled people lack education and skills training; hence they cannot easily access employment. This study was carried out to analyze the contribution of the Special Grant Progamme on the livelihoods of people with Special Needs in Dabani Sub-County, Busia District; the guiding objectives of the study were to a) to find out the coping mechanism of people with Special Needs to better their livelihoods before the implementation of Special Grant Programme? b) To examine the contributions of the Special Grant Programme to the People with Special Needs? And lastly; C) to find out the challenges faced by the People with Special Needs benefiting from the Special Grant Programmes.
This was a qualitative study that explored both the lived realities and portrayed the social world of the Special Grant Programme and wellbeing of People with Special Needs as the major aim was to gain insight into the experiences of respondents about its experiences. In this specific study, it involved a total of 105 respondents; including one FGD having 8 participants and a total of 87 interviews for People with Special Needs from eight groups reached at convenience until the researcher reached to a point of saturation where data collected was repeating its self and there was no need of collecting further information. Other interviews included one CDO, group leaders and the participating official of the Special Grant Programme in the District who were purposively selected.
The study findings explored the coping strategies that people with Special Needs in Dabani Sub-county, Busia-districts were using to deal with the vulnerabilities and challenges they encountered in their everyday life before the introduction of Special Grant Programme. They mentioned a range of them turning to close family members especially in extended family system and social networks for help to providing casual labor, borrowing, and withdrawing children from school to provide farm labor and vendor goods as a way for household‟s earning. It was revealed that most of the coping strategies seem to be common to village members, though with certain small modifications. At the time of the study it was revealed that money amounting to 2,000,000 million shillings had been disbursed to eight groups in the sub-county each having a maximum of twenty-five members and the Special Grant Programme coordinator in the sub-county revealed this is a government programme that costs it a lot of money with little impact to the beneficiaries. The spill overs for the grant that binds people together and share ideas was reported to benefit women in terms of greater sense of economic and social empowerment, reflected having control over regular financial resources, and improved participation in intra-household decision-making. Few People with Special Needs beneficiaries stated that the cash from goat sales had improved their self-esteem, status and empowerment as well as enabling them to be active members of their households and communities, rather than burdens within villages. Despite the positive experiences of the Special Grant Programme, respondents identified some important implementation shortcomings of the programme, being publicized, dependence and the breakdown of family ties.
The recommendation of the study are to enhance the technical capacity of implementers, the need for rigorous impact evaluation, increment of the amount of the fund transferred and the need to link beneficiaries to relevant contemporary services and programmes.