Development of a Costed Multi-Sectoral National Strategic Framework for Adolescent Girls in Uganda
Over the last two years, Uganda has undertaken a national policy shift toward embracing Adolescent Girls (AGs) as part of the country’s economic, political, and social development. In response to this, The Bassiouni Group (TBG) was commissioned to provide technical, strategic, and facilitative support to enable the development of the nation’s first costed Multi-Sectoral National Strategic Framework for AGs (NAGF). Through establishing cooperation and the harmonization of policy and interventions at the national level, the Government of Uganda, in partnership with UNICEF, tasked TBG to develop a NAGF that aims to eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against all AGs, including the most marginalized and vulnerable groups, in order to advance their social and economic participation in Uganda.
Despite Uganda’s overwhelming success in tackling some of the more pressing targets of the Millennium Development Goals, there remains a number of underlying structural causes that contribute to the lack of realization of children’s rights for young girls at both the community and family level. These challenges include: early and forced marriage, early pregnancy, domestic violence, sexual exploitation including Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C), as well as limited access to education, health, and social services. One of the primary goals of this project was to build on the UNICEF-supported Uganda Adolescent Girls Vulnerability Index (AGVI) to assess the needs of Uganda’s young female population and create appropriate policies and programmes to address those challenges.
TBG’s Project Team traveled to Uganda to conduct Key Informant Interviews with government counterparts, INGOs, NGOs, FBOs, CSOs, as well as key UN and UNICEF staff. The entirety of the project was guided by a gender-equity approach and, following the Team’s data collection, a blend of two conceptual approaches was utilized, namely the Ecological Model (EM) and the Sara Longwe Women’s Empowerment Framework. The EM model was applied to theoretically examine the “Adolescent Girls Vulnerability Index report” while serving as the overarching framework for the study design. Sara Longwe Women’s Empowerment Framework facilitated the Team’s analysis and informed the NAGF for Uganda.
The NAGF included a Budget Framework which indicates sector-specific contributions for AGs as well as a clear definition of the unit cost for each AG to receive the minimum package of services; a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework with clear and detailed indicators to track the government’s progress; and, a plan for the division of labor, implementation, and referrals between sectors to adopt the NAGF.
The successful development of the NAGF is a major milestone for the Government of Uganda, UNICEF, TBG and, most importantly, all AGs across Uganda. By examining the vulnerabilities facing young girls, and tackling the underlying social causes, the NAGF will go a long way to strengthening viable strategies to harmonize specific interventions targeting vulnerable AGs, and facilitate the development of more effective programmes to eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against AGs in the future.