The Socio-economic Impact of Post-conflict Recovery Programs in Northern Uganda. A Case Study of NUSAF, Abia Sub-county, Alebtong District
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This study was designed with the sole intent of establishing the effect of the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF), as a post-conflict recovery intervention, on the socio-economic conditions (economic empowerment, infrastructure accessibility and social cohesion) among the people of northern Uganda. Therefore, the outcome variable was socio-economic conditions and the explanatory variable was perceived NUSAF performance. The study was confined within the geographical boundaries of five (5) Parishes that were selected from Abia sub-county, Alebtong district. The study also considered a sample size of 96 households. However, it registered a response rate of 87.5% an implication of a reduction in the sample size to 84 households. Study findings from descriptive statistics revealed that NUSAF registered a moderate level of performance (Mean = 3.13, S.D = 1.068). Similarly, all indicators of socio-economic recovery considered registered moderate levels. That is, economic empowerment (Mean = 2.79, S.D = 0.989); infrastructure accessibility (Mean = 3.14, S.D = 1.339) and social cohesion (Mean = 3.03, S.D = 1.032). Into the bargain, results from inferential statistics of correlation and regression analyses revealed the existence of a statistically significant positive relationship between NUSAF and two socio-economic aspects; economic empowerment (r = 0.437, p-value = 0.000 < 0.01); (β = 0.437, p-value = 0.000 < 0.01) and social cohesion (r = 0.329, p-value = 0.002 < 0.01); (β = 0.329, p-value = 0.002 < 0.01). However, this was not the case for social cohesion were results were very weak and statistically insignificant (r = 0.086, p-value = 0.435 > 0.01); (β = 0.086, p-value = 0.435). From the study results, recommendations were therefore made to rid NUSAF of implementation challenges such as corruption and nepotism so that the program may have greater effect on the socio-economic conditions of the people of northern Uganda. NUSAF was also advised to strengthen stakeholder engagement and impart entrepreneurship skills onto the beneficiaries of the projects among others.