Community participation in the implementation of Local Government Development Program II: a case study of Karujubu and Kiryandongo Sub-Counties, Masindi District, Uganda
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The study set out to analyze the level of Community Participation in the implementation of the LGDP II which was development program designed as a successor program to LGDP I that was implemented from October 2000 to June 2003. Under LGDP II, the Government of Uganda received funds from the World Bank and Bilateral Donors which were accessed by the Local Governments (LGs) in form of the Local Development Grant (LDG) and Capacity Building Grant (CBG). The LGDP II aimed at contributing to the CAS goal of improving delivery of basic services to engender economic growth and poverty reduction, improve Local Government Institutional Performance for sustainable, decentralized service delivery in accordance to the Government decentralization policy. It was conducted in Masindi District with a particular emphasis on Karujubu and Kiryandongo sub-counties. It examined the extent of community participation in the implementation of LGDP II activities in Masindi District, investigated the constraints to community participation in the implementation of LGDP II activities under decentralization and identified opportunities for enhancing community participation in implementing decentralization activities. Emphasis was placed on analysis of the level of community participation in problem identification, consultation, involvement, decision making, project ownership and sustainability. The research undertaken was agrarian in nature and the study design was cross-sectional. It covered 152 (one hundred and fifty two) respondents, among them were: NGO workers, government representatives, religious leaders, civil servants, women, PWDs and children in the selected communities of Karujubu and Kiryandongo sub-counties. It was carried out using a self administered questionnaires and an interview guide. It utilized a case study survey design in which both qualitative and quantitative techniques were used in the collection and analysis of results. Primary information that was collected was analyzed by the application of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The study found that citizen participation was acknowledged in the governance and development discourse as a mechanism for building capacity of the rural poor in the quest for poverty reduction and good governance. This study synthesizes recent studies on Uganda’s decentralized system of local governance and examines the extent to which participation in local programs has enhanced the process of rural development. According to the findings, it is argued that, while some participatory framework exists as a result of devolving some powers and functions to local government units, the structures and processes remain feeble and do not support a genuinely participatory system. This is mainly due to the excessive central government whims and the local elite capture. While the central and donor-conceived plans may still be necessary for the rural poor, such strategies should be integrated into the rural schemes to enable freedom of choice, action and decision in order to attain strong local ownership and empowerment. The study recommends the need to have political will from the central and local government leaders and the need to strengthen capacity for the local forces and social groups to infiltrate the hierarchies of officialdom associated with the local bureaucracies to realize exhaustive community participation in development programmes.