Article Number: DRJSSES520951832
Vol. 7 (6), pp. 168-174, July 2020
Copyright © 2020
Author(s) retain the copyright of this article
Original Research Article
Participatory Budgeting in Local Governments in Uganda; Challenges of Responsiveness and Localism
The paper presents part of findings from a broad study carried out to assess the challenges of participatory governance for enhancing the quality of local governments in Uganda. Participatory governance was conceptualized as the deliberate involvement of non-state actors in local governance and was analyzed in the dimensions of participatory budgeting in the delivery of local priorities and the promotion of localism. The paper was premised on the theoretical assumption that local participation in budgeting enhances the responsive implementation of local choices and interests. The primary objective of the study was an assessment of the participatory governance framework in Uganda, as specifically analyzed in participatory budgeting and how it related to responsiveness in the implementation of locally identified interests. The methodology involved conducting an ethnographic study involving local government practitioners, elected leaders and members of civil society organizations covering three districts in Central Uganda. Participants were subjected to questionnaires, interviews, group discussions, documentary and literature review. Findings indicated that participatory budgeting increased public awareness and responsiveness to local problems and local ownership of government programmes. Implementation of local priorities was constrained by meager local budget revenues and rigid central government conditional grants. The study concluded, among others, that whereas participatory budgeting was an important tool for participatory governance, it did not result in increased responsiveness to local choices because of the several challenges facing local governments especially declining local budget revenues. The paper recommended more flexibility in local government conditional grants as well as enhanced local capacity building and empowerment prior to the creation of new local governments.
Keywords: Participatory budgeting, Responsiveness, Effective delivery, Local priorities