The Survival Strategies Used By Old People Accessing the Senior Citizen Grant in Uganda a Case Study of Kyankwanzi District, Uganda
Author: Nakyazze Samalie Mukasa
Supervisor: Margaret Angucia
This study was carried out to examine the survival strategies used by the elderly accessing the Senior Citizens grant. Kyankwanzi District in Central Uganda was the case study. The objectives were to explore the views, experiences and perceptions of the elderly people enrolled on the cash transfer program; to examine social networks facilitating elderly peopleís abilities to support themselves and members of their households; to examine the impact of cash transfers on gender relations at the household and community levels; and to examine the opinions of elderly people on how the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment Program can be improved to meet their needs.
A qualitative research design was used to get an in-depth understanding of how and why regarding survival strategies used by the elderly accessing the senior citizens grants. 30 elderly people accessing Senior Citizensí Grants were sampled using stratified sampling and purposive sampling technique. Data was analyzed progressively using thematic qualitative analysis. Verbatim accounts have been used in presentation of data and a comparison with other studies has been made to put the study in context.
From the study findings, the programme has had both positive and negative facades as told by both the programme beneficiaries and implementers. Overall, the program has increased the sense of self-worthiness, self-esteem, self-confidence, dignity, and assertiveness, greater financial independence and control over their lives, with a more limited number using the transfer to invest in productive activities or access credit. However, challenges of long distances to pay centers, system breakdown, unreliable payment schedules, insufficient amount of money paid and long waiting time remain key barriers that need to be addressed.
In conclusion, Social Protection Programs such as Senior Citizensí Grants are very important in addressing the vulnerabilities of the elderly. The elderly today need protection since they are restricted in their opportunities.
The study recommends that governments take comprehensive reforms to increase long-life investments to build resilience of all individuals in their old age.