Commonwealth Local Government Forum

East Africa \ Local government in small states

SSmall states are defined as countries with less than 1.5 million inhabitants (including small island states and small island developing states - SIDS). Small states make up more than half of the 53 Commonwealth member countries. They face a particular set of challenges including governance, managing vulnerability and remoteness, dealing with limited economic opportunities, and dealing with the impact of climate change



Local level service delivery, decentralisation and governance: A comparative study of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania

This paper summarises key findings from a comprehensive analysis commissioned by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) of the nature of decentralisation in the three East African countries: Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.The specific objectives of the study were: Provide a basic comparative analysis of the forms and processes of decentralisation reforms in the three countries, analyse the specific modalities in the three countries for local service delivery planning and provision within the three sectors of basic education, primary health care and agricultural extension, with a particular emphasis on rural areas. TIDEMAND: Local level service delivery, decentralisation and governance: A comparative study of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania CJLG May 2009 145, and explore the impact of the specific forms of decentralisation and local level service delivery arrangements in terms of efficiency, accountability (transparency) and democratic process (participation).

Author: Per Tidemand Publisher: university of Technology, Sydney Publication year: may 2009

Local Governance and Local Democracy in Uganda

Uganda embarked in 1993 on radical decentralization, among other reasons, to enhance local governance and local democracy. The major focus of the decentralization policy was on empowering citizens to participate in decisions that affect their localities. This issue will be examined based on two major themes of the twelve principles of the Commonwealth’s ‘Aberdeen Agenda’ for local democracy – the enabling environment and participation. However, the paper argues that Uganda’s devolutionary decentralization can only foster local governance and local democracy if it is properly conceptualised, the facilitating conditions are given careful attention, and the institutional framework is sufficiently elaborate and effective to enable it to achieve its intended objectives. Short of these measures, the gap between intent and reality might be so great as to disable the decentralization policy from achieving real local governance and local democracy.

Author: John Kiyaga-Nsubuga, Yasin Olum Publisher: university of Technology, Sydney Publication year: January 2009

Foundations for Local Governance: Decentralization in Comparative Perspective

Various forms of decentralization are recently pursued in the world, including developing countries. However, there has not been a coherent framework to access these intended outcomes generated by decentralization measures implemented in Asian and African countries. This book provides such a framework based on comparative analyses of different experiences of decentralization measures in six developing countries, where the policy rationale to “bring services closer to people” originated in different socio-political backgrounds. Although decentralization measures are potentially useful for attaining both political democratization and economic efficiency, what is often packaged under the umbrella of “decentralization” needs to be disaggregated analytically. Successful reforms need coherent approaches in which a range of stakeholders would become willing to share responsibilities and resources in order to achieve the ultimate outcome of poverty reduction in the developing countries.

Author: Fumihiko Saito Publisher: Springer Publication year: 2008

New Aid Modalities and Local Government: Are they supporting or hindering processes of decentralization?

This commentary reviews contemporary changes in aid modalities and their impact on processes of decentralization. The main change in aid delivery and disbursement considered is towards a greater emphasis on general budget support (GBS) and sector wide approaches (SWAPs). This includes considering the broad questions of firstly, the impact of emphasising GBS on local government and governance systems, and secondly, the extent to which processes of decentralization can fit in with this new approach.

Author: Philip Amis Publisher: University of Technology, Sydney Publication year: 2008

The Commonwealth Local Government Forum: An Overview

The Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) was established in 1994, coinciding with rapid moves towards decentralisation at that time, especially in Commonwealth Africa. It uniquely brings together national associations of local government and individual councils, ministries responsible for local government, and training and research institutes with an interest in local government, on a common platform. This reflects an understanding that local government needs effective central government and vice versa if decentralisation is to be truly successful, and that research, training and practice need to be brought together in a constructive and creative way. CLGF’s developmental work can be divided into three main categories: Promotion and advocacy of local democracy and good governance, Exchange of experience and Capacity building.This article provides a brief overview of the activities and projects which CLGF has underway in respect of these objectives. It will be complemented by more detailed papers on specific programmes and projects in this and future issues of the Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance.

Author: Lucy Slack Publisher: Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance Publication year: 2008

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