Study and Information Program

Assessment on the State of Political Pluralism and Democracy at Local Government Level in Uganda

Data Collection Concluded in Seven Districts

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Data collection for the assessment on the state of political pluralism and democracy at the local government level in Uganda has ended. The build up to this stage has been a very participatory process which started with key actors (civil society, media and councillors) meeting in December 2009, in a joint workshop in Kampala where they deliberated and agreed on the issues to be assessed and the indicators and methodologies to be used. Thereafter, consultative workshops were held in each of the seven districts to discuss the assessment tools and methodology with a multiplicity of stakeholders involving the district political leadership including councillors, central government representatives, civil society actors, media representatives as well as religious and traditional/cultural leaders.

It is now three months to the end of the one and a half year EU funded project on strengthening civil society, media and local council’s capacity to promote political pluralism, democratic participation and representation at the local government level in Uganda, implemented by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) and the Uganda Media Development Foundation (UMDF) in seven districts of Arua, Gulu, Kasese, Masaka, Mbale, Mbarara and Soroti.. Among the activities successfully completed under this project include the training of district councillors, civil society members and media representatives on the key concepts of political pluralism, democratic participation and representation at local government level. Earlier on under the project, a handbook on the concepts which was highly welcomed by the target groups and other stakeholders had been published.

The assessment is one of the key project components. It is a self-assessment being undertaken and led by district level actors. KAS and UMDF supported the formation of research teams of five members comprising civil society, local council and media representatives as the assessment groups in each of the respective districts. These underwent a comprehensive training on conducting governance assessments and in particular on how to use the tools that had been especially developed under this project. In all the districts, the research teams undertook fieldwork from March 16th – 27th 2010. Activities included holding of focus group discussions (community dialogues) and the administration of quantitative and qualitative questionnaires. After the completion of the ongoing data analysis and finalisation of the reports, the findings from each district are to be presented through three regional dialogues before a national report shall be compiled and launched in Kampala.

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Uganda Office