Fiscal decentralization and its impact on service delivery in local governments of Uganda : a case of Wakiso district local government
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The purpose of the study was to assess the impact of fiscal decentralization on service delivery in local governments of Uganda: A case of Wakiso district. Specifically, the study aimed at identifying the existing forms of fiscal decentralization in Wakiso district, establishing the challenges associated with service delivery, and examining the effect of fiscal decentralization on service delivery in Wakiso district. This study adopted a case study descriptive design in which a quantitative approach was used. A sample size of 384 was determined using Krejcie & Morgan, (1970) comprising of district officials, administrators, and service recipients. Convenience sampling was used to select the samples and data was collected by the use of a questionnaire. The quantitative data was cleaned, edited, coded, entered into the computer, and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The results in this study indicate that despite the fact that Wakiso district local government used three forms of fiscal decentralization, it has limited autonomy in practice which is evidenced by lack of adequate authority to undertake its expenditure, inability to address its local service delivery needs, political influence in allocation of expenditure, low local revenue collection among others. The study revealed unanimous agreement that Wakiso district is faced with several challenges pertaining to service delivery: these range from poor quality of health services in the district health centers, poor sanitation, unsafe water, high maternal mortality rate, drug stock-outs, demotivated health workers in district health centers, poor school facilities and amenities, poor road networks, limited benefits associated with government agricultural support, inadequate funds to undertake service delivery and widespread natural environment destruction in the district. Conclusively, the study revealed that there is a positive effect of fiscal decentralization on service delivery. Overall, fiscal decentralization contributed 67.4% to service delivery in Wakiso district local government. The study, therefore, recommends a need for Wakiso district local government to develop a formal criterion that is agreed upon by all stakeholders in the collection of taxes because local taxes have been shown by this study to have a significant role to play regarding the performance of Wakiso district local government.