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Analysis of the Impact of Uganda’s Third National Development Plan on the SDGs

The Government of Uganda launched a framework to guide Coordination of the implementation of the  2030 Agenda and its associated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2016 under the leadership of the Office of the Prime Minister. Despite, notable progress made on the implementation of this framework, challenges remain, in particular a lack of adequate evidence-base on “SDG accelerators” – interventions that would spur the achievement of other SDGs. Accelerators are therefore priority areas of action or intervention, where targeted investments could have a direct and positive impact on other development priorities, thus accelerating progress towards the SDGs.


Using the iSDG model customized to Uganda, Millennium Institute, in partnership with the National Planning Authority, UNECA, and UNDP, conducted an integrated assessment of the NDP III interventions to determine which NDP III programmes and associated interventions have the highest potential to be ‘SDG Accelerators’ and enable progress towards the achievement of NDP III and ultimately Vision 2040 goals, while ensuring equitable economic growth, social development and environmental protection.

Key Policies and Reccomendations

  • Interventions belonging to the broad categories of Governance, Environment and Industry were identified as SDG accelerators. The most progress is made towards the achievement of the SDGs when investments are spread across all of the interventions, since the interventions synergize and work together to achieve these goals. 

  • Assuming a scenario where additional investment after 2025 is halved, NDP III improves overall SDG attainment by 10.1 percent by the end of 2030. 

  • SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) improves the most of any goal under NDP III, from 40.4 percent in the Base scenario to 52.0 percent with NDP III. The improvement is driven primarily by investment into paved roads. 

  • SDG 1 (No Poverty) and SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) also show marked improvement under NDP III from 34.0 percent in the Base scenario to 41.1 percent for SDG 1, and from 36.1 percent to 45.4 for SDG 6. The improvement of SDG 1 is driven by a multitude of factors, including NDP III Programmes which emphasize interventions in the areas of Governance, Environment and Agriculture. 

  • The NDP III interventions are not enough to stem the anticipated decline in the Base scenario of SDGs 8 (Decent Work), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), 13 (Climate Action), and 15 (Life on Land). Although increased productivity increases SDG 8, it is driven down by increased material consumption that forms other indicators within this SDG. Even though there is some additional expenditure to terrestrial protection and reforestation, these are not enough to stem the declining trend of performance in SDGs 11, 13 and 15.

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