Democratic deﬁcits and public conﬁdence in public institutions in Uganda: Implications of accountability on public conﬁdence in the Uganda Local Government Institution
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There is a general belief by scholars and practitioners alike that the notable declining public conﬁdence in public institutions in developing countries like Uganda is a consequence of democratic deﬁcits in institutional governance. This belief is more so, because democratic deﬁcits like deﬁciencies in accountability systems, stiﬂes capacities of democratic systems to evolve and reform into effective and legitimate agents of citizens. Accountability is a fundamental virtue of good governance and an important cornerstone in democratic systems. The paper analyzes the impact of accountability on public conﬁdence within the context of Uganda’s local government Institution. The analysis of accountability practices and experiences suggests that public conﬁdence in the institution of local governments in Uganda is on the down ward trend. This is partly due to the inherent democratic deﬁcits with respect to accountability deﬁciencies in local government institutions. The paper concludes that: the widening gap between citizen preferences and services delivered; the big social service backlogs; the mockery of citizen participation; and high levels of corruption are already having a big toll on citizens’ trust and eroding public conﬁdence in the local government institution. The paper recommends that developing countries like Uganda should demonstrate commitment to social accountability by strengthening the citizen voice and support meaningful engagement of non-state actors alongside formal government systems.
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