UGAMOD - simulating tax and benefit policies for development in Uganda

UGAMOD model is freely accessible for non-commercial research use. You may request access to the model here.

UGAMOD, the tax-benefit microsimulation model for Uganda, is a highly versatile yet easy to use tool for policy makers and researchers alike. It allows the user to analyse and compare the effects of different benefit policy scenarios on poverty, inequality, and government revenues. The model applies user-defined tax and benefit policy rules to micro-data on individuals and households and calculates the effects of these rules on household income.

With UGAMOD, users can simulate hypothetical reforms of the tax-and-benefit system. They can estimate, for example, the number of beneficiaries and analyse the characteristics of the prospective recipients of a hypothetical benefit. UGAMOD also allows users to implement hypothetical income tax and social security reforms and calculate their effects on the government budget.

UGAMOD can answer for example following questions:

  • Do the prospective recipients work in the formal sector or not?
  • How much would the proposed policy cost?
  • How could tax rates be increased to offset additional expenditures on social protection?

Possible policy reform simulations in UGAMOD include:

  • a scaled-up senior citizens grant,
  • a universal child benefit,
  • a universal old-age pension, and
  • a youth unemployment benefit.

UGAMOD has been developed in co-operation with the Uganda Revenue Authority (URAMakerere University and Southern African Social Policy Research Insights (SASPRI). UGAMOD is based on the Uganda National Household Survey (UNHS) 2016-17 allowing for representative results on the national and sub-national level. Policies are simulated for 2016 through 2019 (based on updated household level data from 2016-17).

The model was launched in 2019, and the first training course took place back to back with that event. Despite the novelty of the model, UGAMOD has been used to simulate excise duty taxes in Uganda and the preliminary results were presented in the policy workshop in Kampala, Uganda. An analysis of the distributional impact of excise duty in Uganda using UGAMOD was published in June 2020.


User manual v1.1
Country report v1.4
Technical Note: How to implement sub-national poverty lines in a SOUTHMOD country model using conditional constants. The case of UGAMOD