ECLT Foundation

Image © ECLT Foundation

Sustainable Development goals

About the project

The ECLT Foundation is committed to collaborative solutions for children and their families that combat the root causes of child labour in tobacco-growing communities. Between 2019 and 2020, the ECLT Foundation conducted SROI analyses of six of its programmes across Uganda, Tanzania, and Malawi. The SROIs covered a range of different types of programme and child labour reduction strategies, including skills training programmes, poverty reduction programmes (Village Loans and Savings Associations, or VSLAs) and direct child labour remediation programmes. This case study focuses on the two SROIs in Uganda.


The key findings from the six SROI studies are as follows:

  • ECLT’s programmes demonstrate good value for money, address the root causes of child labour, and create significant value for stakeholders,
  • The programmes have a major impact on the life chances of those affected by child labour, and on the well-being of the wider community,
  • This is particularly true of community investment programmes such as the Village Savings and Loans Associations,
  • The programmes have a significant impact on women and girls in particular,
  • The programmes have SROI ratios of between 2:1 and 12:1, meaning that they create between $2 and $12 for every $1 invested.

"We have focused mainly on child labour reduction. And what we’re not capturing was the other aspects of peoples’ lives that we’re impacting… Of all the things that we are doing, what is making the most difference? SROI is the perfect methodology to show that.”
Innocent Mugwagwa
Executive Director, ECLT Foundation

Learnings and challenges


The SROIs found that there are differences in the values of the outcomes for skills training graduates engaged in different trades. Professions usually chosen by males (e.g. motorcar and motorcycle maintenance, plumbing, construction) generally made considerably more money than professions usually chosen by female participants (e.g. catering, tailoring and hairdressing). A key lesson learnt, therefore, was that gender norms play a fundamental role in the value created through the project outcomes. 

As such, future project efforts should aim to increase female participation in high income trades such as motorcar maintenance, plumbing and welding. The literature shows that when females have higher incomes, they invest more in children and household improvements than male participants.1 Therefore, a shift female participation towards high-paying trades is likely to improve outcomes for children as well.


1: See, for example:

  • Duflo, E. (2003). Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old-Age Pensions and Intra-Household Allocation in South Africa. The World Bank Economic Review, 17(1), 1–25
  • Thomas, D. (1990). Intra-household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach. Journal of Human Resources, 25(4), 635–664


Communities that ECLT Foundation and its implementing part work with usually have low levels of literacy and operate in a low cash economy. As such, it is a challenge to get participants to think of the value of project outcomes they experience in monetary terms. As a result, the evaluation team had to spend extra time and effort to enable the participants to come to a common understanding of the monetary value they placed on changes experienced as a result of the project.

There were also some data limitations. For example, the data showing the impact of education on future earnings was limited, and varied from country to country. The SROIs drew on the best data available in each country, but this was not always consistent and meant that different calculation approaches were needed.

SROI results and learnings

See how ECLT used SROI to understand the value of their work in Uganda, and how the learnings were shared with local stakeholders.

Using the Results

The ECLT Foundation contributed to spreading best practice and local capacity building by hosting a a course on Measuring Impact using Social Return on Investment in Kampala, Uganda. The course was free for participants, and was facilitated by Envoy Partnership. It involved participants from the government, development partners, private sector, community sector organisations, and researchers. The course used ECLT’s two SROIs in Uganda as case studies. 

ECLT also began the SROI process with an SROI training course for the ECLT team.

ECLT shared the results with stakeholders in each of the countries, and made the full SROI reports available. (The reports are on the ECLT website and at the end of this case study).

The results of the findings and conclusions of the SROIs have led ECLT to review its programmatic approach. The SROI process is also complementing ECLT’s ongoing monitoring and evaluation methods going forward.

ECLT is now exploring ways to apply some of the SROI thinking and findings to develop common industry indicators, which will then feed into national reporting systems on progress against child labour.


The study followed the evaluative SROI methodology. The main features of the methodology are outlined below.

A total of 123 people were interviewed in the qualitative research in total.

For the SROIs in Uganda:

  • Four focus groups were conducted, involving 30-50 VSLA members, and 10-20 Skills Training graduates, in each of four sub-counties,
  • Four focus groups were conducted with children who were withdrawn from child labour and those benefiting from the school feeding programme,
  • In-depth interviews were conducted with three Community Based Trainers.

The research team consisted of members of the ECLT head office and local delivery partners.

The qualitative research was used to develop a Theory of Change, identifying the outcomes that were material for stakeholders and that were then measured in the quantitative research.

“We are what we eat. Poor nutrition leads to many illnesses, especially among children. With the VSLA money and income from my projects, I have a balanced diet and no one in my family gets sick frequently.” [Woman in VSLA group]

“I am recognized by the Uganda Education Board as a skilled welder. For someone who did not complete secondary school, I am proud to have this certificate. I am making money. I have built two houses already. I am renting out one of them. I am now able to look after my mother and siblings. I feel like a man.” [Welding graduate]

Individual face-to-face interviews were conducted in all sub-counties in January 2019. In total, 236 VSLA members and 66 skills training graduates complete surveys, and an additional focus group of 20-30 people was also held.

The research team consisted of members of the ECLT head office, local delivery partners, a representative from Envoy Partnership, and translators. The surveys were self-completion, but a member of the research team explained the survey to participants in a group, to ensure that the survey was understood and to address any questions.

  • Education and skills outcomes were valued by projecting future earnings. This combined secondary research showing how education level affects income – and primary research showing the increase in educational attendance among participants and their children.
  • Health and wellbeing outcomes were given a monetary value through a healthcare economics approach, drawing on techniques used by the World Health Organisation, World Bank, and others. Health and well-being outcomes were converted into Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) or Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs). These were given a monetary value equivalent of 2 x Gross National Income per Capita.
Researcher explaining survey to group of participants
A member of the research team explains the survey to research participants. Image © ECLT Foundation