PARTICIPATION OF NON STATE ACTORS IN THE DECENTRALIZED PLANNING AND BUDGETING IN LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN UGANDA: THE CASE OF SOROTI DISTRICT
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This study set out to assess the participation of Non State Actors in the Decentralised Planning and Budgeting in the Local Governments in Uganda: the case study of Soroti District from 2002/03 to 2007/08 Financial Years. The objectives of the study were: to establish the attendance by non state actors of the decentralised planning and budgeting meetings, examine their contribution of resources, identify the role they play in implementation, monitoring evaluation; of programme activities and above all to explore ways of strengthening their participation in these processes. The study used cross-sectional survey methodology, and was conducted at the District Headquarters, six (6) rural Sub Counties and two (2) Divisions of the district and the Municipality respectively. The study relied on data collected from 233 respondents through qualitative and quantitative methods. The findings of the study revealed that participation of NSAs in the LGs meetings remain passive, let alone the fact that most of the respondents had little knowledge about the requirement for the NSAs to participate and facilitate these meetings. There are also exist staffing gaps in the LGs hence failure to have the work plans and budgets of the NSAs integrated into that of the LGs, but in the LLGs where the NSAs have been active they have been able to augment their efforts hence their work plans and budgets are integrated into that of the LGs. Conclusively, while it’s a generally held view that LGs are willingly and prepared to work with the NSAs in service delivery, this study revealed that the NSAs live uneasily with the LGs. The study recommends that for participation of NSAs in decentralized planning and budgeting to be effective, there is need to have political will and commitment, collaborative partnerships and support between the two actors. There is need to have a coordinated mechanism to promote dialogue and partnership, sensitization on their roles and confidence building amongst the LGs and NSAs.