Version classiqueVersion mobile

Who Cares?

Aatif Somji

3. Case Study – Luwero District, Uganda

Texte intégral

Figure - Map of Uganda Districts, Luwero District Statistical Abstract 2012

Figure - Map of Uganda Districts, Luwero District Statistical Abstract 2012

Source: LDLG 2012

1Field research for this thesis was undertaken in Luwero District, Uganda over the Spring of 2018. The purpose of this chapter is to physically situate the research and provide an overview of the economic and social context. It begins by outlining the dual purpose of the research, which explains the choice of location and partner organisation. A brief summary of the national context is then provided before going into more detail specifically on Luwero District. The chapter concludes with a description and justification of the target population for this study.


2The purpose of this research is two-fold. Firstly, it seeks to address the specific research question of whether unpaid care and domestic work is a significant constraint on female microenterprise development. At the same time, it serves a practical purpose by aligning with a wider research project entitled: Child Care for Childhood and Business Development. This project aims to assess whether the provision of pre-school education for children of female micro-entrepreneurs can improve the latter’s business outcomes as well as the educational outcomes of their children (NHH 2017). It is being led by a team of primary investigators from across Europe and will be tested through a field experiment in Uganda, run in collaboration with the non-governmental organisation BRAC. In order to help contribute preliminary findings towards the broader research project, the case study for this thesis was therefore based in Uganda and conducted in partnership with BRAC.

3Uganda is a landlocked equatorial country in East Africa, bordered by Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. It is officially classified as a low-income country by the World Bank (2018), with a gross domestic product per capita in 2017 of 2,475,413 Ugandan shillings, approximately 680 US dollars (December 2017). The annual growth rate of gross domestic product in the same year was 4.0% (UBOS 2018a). According to the most recent official estimates, the population of Uganda stands at 37.7 million. Roughly eight million of these people are estimated to be below the poverty line for their region – a poverty headcount rate of 21.4% (UBOS 2018b).

4BRAC is a global development organisation originating from Bangladesh. Its key focus areas globally include providing financial services for the poor through microfinance, and targeting the ultra-poor through a graduation approach. The organisation also implements development programmes in livelihood, agriculture, education and healthcare, amongst others. BRAC Uganda was set up in 2006. Its operations are predominantly based around its microfinance service, which has disbursed over 85 million US dollars in microloans to around 200,000 women since it was established. BRAC’s second largest area of intervention by expenditure in Uganda is education, which includes the provision of early childhood development centres for children aged three to five (BRAC 2017).

5Given the potential for economies of scope, it was suggested that the wider field experiment be administered through these early childhood development centres to minimise the initial fixed costs of the project. Upon analysis of districts having a significant coverage of both BRAC microcredit clients and early childhood development centres, a provisional decision was made to focus the intervention on Luwero District – which therefore also served as the physical site of research for this thesis.

Luwero District

6Luwero District is located in the central region of Uganda, roughly 60 kilometres north of Kampala. The district spans an area of approximately 2,500 square kilometres (LDLG 2012) and its population at the most recent census was 456,958 (UBOS 2017). Luwero District is predominantly rural, with only 21% of district inhabitants residing in the three town councils of Luwero, Wobulenzi and Bombo (UBOS 2017). Disaggregated data reveals a very young population. Approximately one third of the district’s inhabitants are less than ten years old, while 60% are below 20 years of age. By contrast, less than 15% of the district population is aged 40 or above. The average household size is 4.2 (UBOS 2016).

7Regarding the social characteristics of Luwero District, 76% are of the majority Baganda ethnic group. Equally, 76% are of various Christian denominations, with the remaining population being mostly Muslim (LDLG 2012). The literacy rate for adults aged 18-30 is 90%, more than eight percentage points higher than the national average. Similarly, the primary school attendance rate is 86%, six percentage points higher than the national average, while secondary school attendance is 38%, a full ten percentage points above the corresponding national figure (UBOS 2018). It is interesting to note that attendance rates are considerably higher for girls compared to boys, particularly at the secondary level (UBOS 2017). Access to services appears generally good, with 95% of households within five kilometres of a primary school and 84% within the same distance of a health facility. However, household access to electricity is relatively low, at 27%, with almost half of all households instead using a tadooba, or paraffin candle lamp, as their main source of lighting. Sixty-three per cent of households use a bore hole as their source of drinking water (UBOS 2017).

8Economic activity within the district is dominated by agriculture: 81% of households engage in some form of agricultural activity, with subsistence farming the primary source of livelihood for 66% of households. Employment income is the second largest livelihood source and business enterprise is the third – both of which are substantially greater sources of livelihood in the urban areas of the district (LDLG 2012). Overall, 81% of adults are in employment (UBOS 2017). According to the most recently available statistics on poverty, the individual poverty headcount for the district is 18%. Poverty rates within the three town councils of Luwero District – Luwero, Bombo and Wobulenzi – are substantially lower at eight, seven and four per cent respectively (LDLG 2012). Inclusion in traditional financial services is low: only 23% of households possess a bank account (UBOS 2017). However, 69% of those aged 18 to 30 own a mobile phone (UBOS 2017) – a promising statistic given the availability of mobile money accounts that bypass traditional formal banking institutions and have been critical in improving financial inclusion across Uganda in recent years (Bank of Uganda, 2017).

9Overall, Luwero is a relatively rural, agricultural district that appears to be fairly homogeneous in terms of ethnicity and religion. It performs better than the national average across most social and economic indicators. The three town councils have the lowest rates of poverty within the district and are associated with greater livelihood opportunities in business enterprise.

Target Population

10In order to fulfil the dual purpose of the research detailed above, the target population for this study was determined as BRAC female microcredit clients in Luwero District with children aged three to five. This satisfied the key criterion of the target population being women micro-entrepreneurs – which would help in establishing whether and how unpaid care and domestic work constrains female microenterprise development. By further specifying the target population as BRAC microcredit clients with pre-primary age children, the findings of this study could also contribute to the wider research project by providing an insight into the individual, household and business characteristics specific to those female micro-entrepreneurs targeted by the field experiment.

11A rough census of all the microcredit groups within the district, carried out as part of this research, returned an estimated total target population of 1,315. The research sample for this study was selected from this population, further details of which are set out in the next chapter.

Table des illustrations

Titre Figure - Map of Uganda Districts, Luwero District Statistical Abstract 2012
Crédits Source: LDLG 2012
Fichier image/png, 2,0M


Le texte seul est utilisable sous licence CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Les autres éléments (illustrations, fichiers annexes importés) sont « Tous droits réservés », sauf mention contraire.


Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search