DECENTRALISED PLANNING AND ITS EFFECTS ON SERVICE DELIVERY IN LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN UGANDA: A CASE STUDY OF SOROTI DISTRICT
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This study examined the effects of decentralized planning on service delivery in Local governments, using Soroti district as a case study. The study adopted multiple methods for data collection and in terms of analysis; both quantitative and qualitative data analysis techniques were used. Results were first examined for reliability and the Cronbach’s alpha for all the variables was found to be .814. The findings indicate that planning for services is done without setting targets/ goals which are a primary guide for effective service delivery. Priority identification is not done at the village level and local governments sometimes plan outside central government priority areas and what is implemented is not what is identified by the communities. The findings further indicated that, there is poor involvement of the stakeholders in the process of service provision. The study also discovered that whereas implementation of services is at all levels of service provision, its not equally distributed and greatly influenced by politics. It was also found that, there are various limitations that local governments face when trying to provide services to the people including: - limited finances, low capacity to formulate plans, poor feedback mechanism, frequent changes of guidelines and political influence that adversely affects the implementation of services. The study concludes that setting goals and reviewing them periodically is a comprehensive and efficient way of improving service delivery in local governments. Local governments undertake planning in isolation of their communities and this reduces the logic of bottom up planning and the identification of development programs by the targeted beneficiaries, stakeholder input is important for improved service delivery and L.Gs have conflicts and disagreements over implementation. Local governments should therefore, reach out to the community and solicit a dialogue with respect to major decisions and actions for local service delivery, peoples priorities should always be identified, appropriate strategies must be designed by local government to enable all stakeholders participate in planning process and Implementers need to take into consideration the associated management development processes.