Uganda is one of the few Sub-Saharan Africa countries that have made tremendous progress in improving democratic governance. This has been achieved through a number of policies, legal frameworks and institutional structures like the decentralization governance system. Decentralization transfers powers of decision making and promoting good governance to citizens- right from the village level. The system has also seen an increase in creation of districts and currently the country has 136 districts plus a capital city. Although this brings power nearer to the people, it pause an administrative burden to the country’s treasury.
Despite that decentralization allows citizens to have direct involvement in working on their issues (like setting priorities and monitoring implementing processes), people’s role in the development processes and decision making is continuing to diminish. This is because most local government systems offer few opportunities for citizens, particularly the poor, to participate and few mechanisms of accountability. Still, citizens have limited awareness of their power in directing development agendas and the extent of this power in promoting and demanding good democratic practice and accountability.
Through this theme, DRT sought to address some of the gaps that hinder citizens from actively participating in all development processes. The theme entails influencing local, national and regional social policy processes (law, policies, systems procedures, and practices) so that they promote inclusion and equitable access of chronically poor persons for sustainable development. DRT’s work in this theme is guided by a deep understanding and analysis of the risks and vulnerabilities that befall the poorest persons.