The Uganda Bureaus of Statistics (UBOS) has asked the government to halt the roll-out of the Parish Development Model program (PDM), saying the statistical data required for its implementation isn’t readily available.
PDM is a government program aimed at improving the livelihood of Ugandans, especially the 39% living a substance lifestyle.
The government allocated Sh 1 trillion in the 2022/23 financial year for its implementation, saying each parish would receive Sh 17 million to prepare for the program, including collecting statistical data.
Addressing journalists at the UBOS headquarters Tuesday, Albert Byamugisha, the UBOS board Chairperson, said it would be of no use for the government to implement the PDM, when data, which is a fundamental pillar, and the cornerstone of the implementation is not fully accomplished.
According to Byamugisha, the data collection exercise, which started early last month, has been hampered by several inconsistencies including the lack of funds and the collection mechanism by the parish chiefs.
Although, with or without inconsistencies, the board chairperson is very optimistic that the bureau will deliver the data the required data depending on the availability of funding.
Byamugisha says that they have already communicated to the ministry of finance about the funds, and are in touch with the ministry of ICT to synchronize the little data they have so far collected.
At the same press briefing, Chris Mukiza, the UBOS executive director, said that previous government programs, which had been set for the same purpose of eliminating household poverty, failed due to the lack of baseline information on the population target.
“Right from prosperity for all, Entandikwa, Emyooga and so on. They have been good policies but they were constrained by the lack of benchmark or baseline information to target, hence failing,” Mukiza said.
According to Mukiza, the data collection exercise was rolled out on June 10th, 2022, and was supposed to last for 14 days.
He, however, noted that the data collection has not even started in most parts of the country, adding that those that started like Kampala have only collected only 1% of the required information.
Mukiza called for patience from the public to allow them to come up with credible data to ensure the success of the program, adding that at this point in time, they wouldn’t advise the government to roll out the program.
According to Mukiza, they thought they would be in the field, which wasn’t possible.
“We knew that districts would recruit from parishes chiefs who are the central data collecting points, and were supposed to pay the data collectors, and thought all districts had the money, only to find out that they had used the money for other purposes, not data collection. Some municipalities and some cities had no money at all, that’s where the problem comes,” Mukiza explained.