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Decentralisation in Uganda: Exploring the Constraints for Poverty Reduction

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  • Susan Steiner

    () (GIGA Institute for Ibero-American Studies)

Abstract

It is often claimed that decentralisation is effective for the reduction of poverty due to in-herent opportunities for higher popular participation and increased efficiency in public service delivery. This paper is a qualitative assessment of the potential of the Ugandan decentralisation reform for poverty alleviation. The Ugandan government initiated an am-bitious decentralisation reform in 1992, which represents an example of full-fledged devo-lution with the transfer of far-reaching responsibilities to local governments. However, several shortcomings, such as low levels of accountability, insufficient human and finan-cial resources, corruption, patronage, and central resistance to decentralisation, constrain the proper implementation of the reform, putting improvements in participation and effi-ciency at risk and ultimately jeopardising the intended impact on poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan Steiner, 2006. "Decentralisation in Uganda: Exploring the Constraints for Poverty Reduction," GIGA Working Paper Series 31, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:wpaper:31
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    File URL: http://repec.giga-hamburg.de/pdf/giga_06_wp31_steiner.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Francis, Paul & James, Robert, 2003. "Balancing Rural Poverty Reduction and Citizen Participation: The Contradictions of Uganda's Decentralization Program," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 325-337, February.
    2. Deininger, Klaus & Mpuga, Paul, 2005. "Does Greater Accountability Improve the Quality of Public Service Delivery? Evidence from Uganda," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 171-191, January.
    3. Ellis, Frank & Bahiigwa, Godfrey, 2003. "Livelihoods and Rural Poverty Reduction in Uganda," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 997-1013, June.
    4. Ritva Reinikka & Jakob Svensson, 2004. "Local Capture: Evidence from a Central Government Transfer Program in Uganda," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 679-705.
    5. Ritva Reinikka & Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Fighting Corruption to Improve Schooling: Evidence from a Newspaper Campaign in Uganda," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 259-267, 04/05.
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    Cited by:

    1. Independent Evaluation Group, 2008. "Decentralization in Client Countries : An Evaluation of World Bank Support, 1990-2007," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6543.
    2. Lessmann, Christian & Markwardt, Gunther, 2012. "Aid, Growth and Devolution," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1723-1749.
    3. Van Alstine, James & Manyindo, Jacob & Smith, Laura & Dixon, Jami & AmanigaRuhanga, Ivan, 2014. "Resource governance dynamics: The challenge of ‘new oil’ in Uganda," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 48-58.

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    Keywords

    Decentralisation; Uganda; poverty reduction; participation; efficiency;

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