SDI-Education and Health Services in Uganda_Nov_2013

The SDI initiative is a partnership of the World Bank, the African Economic Research Consortium and the African Development Bank to develop and institutionalize a set of robust measures of service delivery.

The Service Delivery Indicators provide a set of metrics for bench-marking service delivery performance in education and health in Africa. The overall objective of the indicators is to gauge the quality of service delivery in primary education and basic health services. The indicators enable governments and citizens to identify gaps and track progress within and across countries over time.

As stated in its Vision 2040 blueprint, Uganda aims to transform its society and provide citizens with a better standard of living by focusing on improving the quality of health and education services. However, this is easier said than done. While Uganda has made significant progress in reducing poverty, enrolling more children in school, and raising the child survival rate, serious challenges remain. These include ensuring that children learn basic language and mathematics skills in primary school, and that mothers and infants have access to skilled health care, so that tragic and untimely losses of life are prevented. Achieving these goals is not only intrinsically important for all Ugandans, but also necessary for Uganda’s structural transformation.

The Service Delivery Indicators (SDI) aim to construct a set of benchmarking metrics that captures critical dimensions of service delivery, including the knowledge and effort of providers. The indicators fall into three categories: (i) the availability of key infrastructure and inputs, (ii) the effort exerted by providers, and (iii) the knowledge of providers.

The Service Delivery Indicators for Uganda are based on surveys of about 400 primary schools and 400 health facilities, and nearly 5,000 teachers and health providers. The indicators provide evidence that basic inputs and infrastructure—with the notable exception of textbooks and drugs—are largely available at schools and health facilities. But they also show that attention needs to be paid to the level of knowledge and effort among providers. Importantly, they uncover large regional inequalities in service delivery.