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n Journal of Public Administration - Citizen participation in local government and the process of rural development : the rhetoric and reality in Uganda

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Abstract

Citizen participation is acknowledged in the governance and development discourse, as a mechanism for building capacity in the rural poor in the quest for poverty reduction and good governance. This article synthesizes recent studies on Uganda's decentralised system of local governance and examines the extent to which participation in local programmes has enhanced the process of rural development. 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 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. This calls for political will from the central 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.

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/content/jpad/43/2/EJC51601
2008-06-01
2016-12-04
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