UNDP Empowers Uganda's Local Government Councils for Enhanced Governance and Service Delivery
September 20, 2023
In a significant step toward strengthening democratic governance and improved service delivery, the Ministry of Local Government, with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Uganda, commenced a Training of Trainers workshop holding the promise of creating a profound impact on local governance across the nation.
The training sought to equip Local Government councils with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively perform their roles and responsibilities. The seamless provision of services to the community lies at the heart of this effort, reinforcing the commitment to effective governance.
UNDP's Governance and Peace Team Leader Ms. Annet Mpabulungi Wakabi articulated the broad vision of the undertaking, aiming to build a critical mass of trainers who can support the induction of District Local Councils.
"It is envisaged that consequently you as the team of the core trainers should cascade the training and enable its reach to 34 out of 133 Districts councils in Uganda,” she said. “Under the 34 District Councils a total of 1,500 leaders are to be trained." She acknowledged the paramount importance of gender representation, gender-disaggregation and context of the respective districts as the training is cascaded to Local Councils.
District council leaders occupy a pivotal position in Uganda's democratic framework. Rooted in the decentralization policy, they bring decision-making and service delivery closer to communities. They shoulder responsibilities encompassing planning, budgeting, resource mobilization, representation, local legislation, conflict resolution, environment protection and community development. This forthcoming induction stands as a cornerstone to equip these leaders to efficiently undertake these multifaceted responsibilities.
Mr. Swizin Mugyema, Commissioner of the Local Council’s Development Department at the Ministry of Local Government, emphasized the crucial role of local government systems in achieving transformation and middle-income status through efficient service delivery. "One of the core objectives of decentralization is to bring power to the local level where service delivery is done so that people can be able to monitor and raise a red flag where things are going wrong," he highlighted. The training, he asserted, is a key mechanism to empower leaders to execute their mandates effectively.
During the inauguration of the Training of Trainers workshop, UNDP's deep commitment to this initiative was underscored. The UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Elsie Attafuah represented by Ms. Annet Mpabulungi Wakabi, extended her warm greetings to the participants, emphasizing the importance of this collaborative initiative. She recognized the Ministry of Local Government’s key role in enhancing local governance through effective implementation of the decentralization policy.
Ms. Ketty Kashmeire, Assistant Commissioner of the Local Council’s Development Department, commended UNDP for technical and financial support to the induction, noting its potential to address challenges within Local Government. She stated, "Conflicts have been a huge challenge in the local governments, so this training will help minimize these conflicts and also strengthen Governance."
The Training of Trainers workshop equipped trainers with expertise and training techniques that would ensure consistent quality of the training across the districts and to promote effective governance practices.
Participants expressed their satisfaction with the knowledge gained. Ms. Nampijja Prossie, Principal Urban Officer at the Ministry of Local Government, remarked "I have gained more knowledge on decentralization especially when it comes to planning, budgeting, equipped with knowledge to pass on to councils on how they can conduct their businesses legally and generate quality resolutions, policies, and resolutions."
Assistant Commissioner of Urban Inspection, Ministry of Local Government, Mr. Ntege Umar, highlighted how the training deepened his understanding of roles played by different stakeholders in Local Government including council executives, standing committees, technical staff and the community. He also stressed that the training equipped him with insights into the legislative processes, particularly the formulation of byelaws and ordinances.
This initiative signifies not only a partnership between the Ministry of Local Government and UNDP but also a shared commitment to advancing the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Uganda's Vision 2040, and the National Development Plan's priority programs. This training aligns with SDG 16 on peace, justice and accountable institutions, Uganda Vision 2040’s emphasis on the tenets of good governance and sustainable development, making it a cornerstone of Uganda's progress.