As part of its long-term policy to ensure political and social harmony, enhance economic growth and alleviate poverty, Government of Uganda embarked on a far reaching program of decentralization reform. The reform initiative, as introduced in 1993 was an outcome of a review of the erstwhile resistance council system and related statutory instruments, borne out of the desire to make local governments effective centers of decision making and public service delivery.
Objectives of the Decentralization Policy:
The primary objectives of this policy are to:
- Transfer real power to local governments and, thus, reduce the work load on remote and under-resourced central officials;
- Bring political and administrative control over services to actual delivery points, thereby improving accountability and effectiveness, and promoting people’s feelings of ownership of programmes executed in their respective local governments;
- Free local managers from central constraints and, among other things, allow them to develop organizational structures tailored to local circumstances;
- Improve financial accountability and responsibility by establishing a clear link between payment of taxes and provision of taxes; and
- Improve the capacities of the Councils to plan, finance and manage the delivery of services to their respective constituents.
- To promote Local Economic Development (LED) in order to enhance peoples’ incomes.
Overview of the Ministry
The Ministry of Local Government is in charge of coordinating the implementation of the decentralization policy. The paragraphs below highlight the vision, mission, mandate and functions of the Ministry.
The vision of the Ministry is to have democratic and accountable local governments capable of delivering efficient and sustainable services to the people, thereby bringing about socio-economic transformation in the country.
Our mission is to co-ordinate and support local governments in a bid to provide efficient and sustainable services, improve the welfare of the people and eradicate poverty.
The mandate is to guide, harmonize, mentor and advocate for all local governments in support of the vision of government to bring about socio-economic transformation of the country.
- Build human and institutional capacity in the Local Governments for efficient service delivery to the population.
- Ensure that Local Governments comply with the statutory requirements and adhere to national policies and standards.
- Ensure that Local Governments are transparent and accountable to the people in the use of public resources so that development takes place.
- Facilitate the implementation of the decentralisation policy and enhancing democratic governance in the country through developing and reviewing systems, structures, statutory instruments and guidelines on local governance.
- Promote Local Economic Development (LED) as the sixth pillar of decentralisation, in support of wealth creation at the household level, with the view of raising taxable incomes and reducing dependency.