Promoting Public Sector Accountability in Uganda: Sharing Best Practices with Europe - Foundation Office Uganda and South Sudan
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Public sector accountability is at present perhaps the most dominant topic in the governance discussion in Uganda. The subject gains more relevance in the face of several widely publicised instances of public resources being misappropriated. A recent development in which significant amounts of public funds were discovered to have been mismanaged and consequently lost in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) is one of several examples in this regard. The subsequent response from the development partners in the form of aid cuts attracted diverging reactions from both, the government and the Ugandan public. While the donors clarified on not having an intention to ‘hurt’ the local citizens who are the targeted beneficiaries of the assistance given this consequence could not be entirely avoided as several externally funded projects were affected by the aid cuts. In some government circles there have also been questions as to whether the withholding of aid is to be seen as a new form of external control on the Ugandan state.
It is quite well-known that Uganda needs to significantly improve its anticorruption strategy to ensure appropriate utilisation of public funds. This is not just to be emphasised as a pre-requisite for the country to have comfortable relations with her development partners, but, most importantly because it is a pre-condition for achieving the transformation and development Ugandans aspire for.
It is this premise that the occasion of the EU day comes in: the European Union in combination with its individual member states undoubtedly constitute Uganda’s largest development partner. As part of the activities in the build up to the celebrations of the EU day the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) and Action for Development (ACFODE) are organising an intellectual discourse on the topic: “Promoting Public Sector Accountability in Uganda: Sharing Best Practices with Europe”. The event is being organised under the framework of the project: “Action for Strengthening Good Governance and Accountability in Uganda” implemented by KAS and ACFODE with support from the EU under the Democratic Governance and Accountability Programme (DGAP).
Among the questions to be discussed include the following:
-What are the major challenges to achieving effective public sector accountability in Uganda, and how can they be addressed?
-In what ways can development partners support Uganda develop an effective public sector accountability framework? What experiences or lessons can be learnt from Europe?
-How can an optimal relation between accountability enforcement actions like suspension of programmes and the need to continually provide basic services be achieved?
-What is the function and space of different stakeholders (including civil society) in the promotion of public sector accountability? How far has this space been guaranteed?