ECLT in Uganda
ECLT has been working in Uganda since 2006 to fight child labour and promote sustainable rural development. Working with project partners UWESO, projects have been aimed at supporting livelihoods, quality education and access to decent work.
In the past 5 years, ECLT has reach over 80,000 children and 30,000 adults with our Ugandan partners, UWESO, though programmes in 3 districts.
What has been the impact of our work on the ground? In 2018, ECLT set out to better understand what has changed in the lives of our beneficiaries from their perspectives. To do so, we used a Social Return on Investment (SROI) methodology.
Measuring Social Return on Investment.
Social Return on Investment (SROI) is a method to understand, measure and report on the changes that beneficiaries experience in their lives as a result of the project’s work. Unlike monetary return on investment, determining the social value created by a project is not a straightforward task. This is because there is a not a unit of measurement, like money, that can be used to understand both the investments and the results, changes or social value that the project creates. It is complicated to understand well-being, hope or happiness in terms of money, which means that these real benefits are often not taken into account when looking at how successful a project has been.
SROI methodology combines desk research with surveys and focus groups on the ground to assign a monetary value to changes that the project participants see. This value is then divided by the value of input to assess the value created and success of the project.
We used the SROI framework to estimate the value of the changes that Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) and Skills Training participants experienced as a result of their participation project aimed at improving livelihoods and access to decent work, between 2013 and 2016. This included understanding the changes or outcomes that the beneficiaries experienced, measuring the reach of these outcomes and estimating their financial value.
Village Savings and Loan Association members showed in individual interviews and through general data gathered, that they were able to earn extra income as a result of the project. Over 200 VSLA members told us that his extra money was spent on food for their families, schooling for children and relatives, health care and finally improved housing and savings. ‘As women, we did not have authority over household income. Now we have capacity to buy land and build homes’ shared a VSLA member.
The from our research show that for each 1 Ugandan Shilling invested in VSLA participants, 12 Ugandan Shillings of benefit were generated.
Skills Training graduates reported that participating in the programme improved their chances of employment. As a result, over 60 graduates told us they we able to gain a more stable and higher income which improved diet, housing, education of dependents and siblings and reported that they felt happier and more confident. 'I have made some money. I have savings. I can now support my siblings. I am now happier. I now have hope to establish my own garage’ a motor mechanics graduate told us. Findings from the SROI with job skills training beneficiaries revealed that for each Ugandan Shilling invested, 2 Ugandan Shillings were generated.
Both groups showed a positive return on investment, particularly amongst VSLA members, and tackle some of the root causes of child labour. Although the ratio of investment and outcome value is lower amongst skills training graduates, the impact on child labour is more direct.
According to the ILO, 24% of child labour is amongst children between the ages of 14 and 17. Job skills training offer young people between these ages a safe environment to learn practical skills and access decent work once graduated.
The SROI has showed that both VSLAs and Job Skills trainings are both effective programmes, whilst one has a high SROI ratio the other has a more direct impact on the incidence of child labour.