Indignity in Cash Transfers

The Senior Citizen’s Grant in Uganda

in The International Journal of Social Quality
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  • 1 Makerere University
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Although development policy approaches in Uganda and elsewhere have changed over time, many of them share a failure to consider and respond to the potential for shaming, given the persistent presence of social norms and practices shaped by poverty. Research evidence of the lived experiences and practices of the providers and beneficiaries of the Senior Citizens’ Grant (SCG) antipoverty measure had spaces and a process of dignity building and shaming. The overriding policy implication that antipoverty policymakers need to be aware of is that antipoverty policies that create spaces for poverty shaming are counterproductive and less than optimally effective in achieving antipoverty objectives than policies that impart a sense of dignity in the participants. The latter kind of policies has a greater capacity to deliver on antipoverty objectives by recognizing the participants’ rights and promoting their human dignity, equitable participation, social inclusion, political voice, and individual or collective agency.

Contributor Notes

Grace Bantebya Kyomuhendo is a Professor in the School of Women and Gender Studies at Makerere University Uganda, a distinguished social anthropologist, and an experienced trainer researcher and advocate for gender equality and social transformation. She has published widely, including the collection, coedited with Elaine Chaste, Poverty and Shame: Global Experiences (Oxford University Press, 2015).

The International Journal of Social Quality

(formerly The European Journal of Social Quality)

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