Participatory governance: Which way for Uganda?
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Participation of communities in development initiatives has been a key concern for countries world over. Through the decentralization policy, Uganda has over the years emphasized that participation of community members in development initiatives can lead to successful service delivery. This is made possible by ensuring that local leaders are involved in the mobilization of citizens to participate in their community governance initiatives. Participation by traditional leaders, civil society and local leaders in the planning process is limited by exclusion from annual planning and budgeting processes at all levels from village to district. The decentralization policy further highlights the importance of ensuring that community members, who are the benefi ciaries of government service delivery, should participate at all stages in the development process of their localities. Uganda is still facing a challenge that only Sub-county and District level councils have political authority and the resources needed to provide public services. There is therefore contention about participation and service delivery among various scholars that warrants further analysis of this phenomenon. This article analyzes the way forward for Uganda in the quest to promote participatory governance. Government of Uganda has for years emphasized the importance of service delivery but continues to register lackluster performance in the same area. This article concludes that dwindling participation of community members may lead to challenges regarding service delivery. There is need to enhance participatory governance by involving locals at all stages of the development process from needs identifi cation, prioritization, action planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and management of completed projects.