Local Government Fiscal Discretion in Uganda

Client: Municipal Development Partnership of East and Southern Africa
Faculty: Paul Smoke, David Winder
Team: Steven Jean, Tiphany Lee, Katherine Malarkey, Jewells McMahon
Year: 2010
The Government of Uganda began a rapid decentralization process in the early 1990s, devolving service delivery responsibility to Local Governments in an attempt to reduce poverty under the national development framework. The devolution of responsibility later spurred the adoption of the Fiscal Decentralization Strategy (FDS), which seeks to strengthen the ability of Local Governments to achieve the goals of decentralization by strengthening local capacities and support mechanisms. Using the FDS as a benchmark, this project examined the level of de facto fiscal discretion at the local level. Based on fieldwork conducted in three Local Government Districts of Uganda - Kampala, Wakiso, and Kanungu - the Capstone team examined the level to which FDS policies are achieving successful outcomes in practice. The project highlighted some current successes, shortcomings, and constraints to local autonomy within these three Districts, and provided recommendations for next steps and future studies.