This study investigated the monitoring role of local governments (LGs) in view of the institutional factors that influence LGs’ performance of this role. In Uganda, under the decentralisation policy, LGs are mandated to monitor the implementation of decentralisation programmes to ensure that they are efficiently and effectively implemented. In spite of this mandate, several reports have continued to indicate that the programmes are not implemented efficiently and effectively. The reports attribute this to LGs’ failure to execute their monitoring role. While the reports have relentlessly condemned LGs’ failure to execute their monitoring role, there has hardly been any investigation of LGs’ performance of their role in view of the institutional factors influencing their performance. The assessment of the performance of LGs in view of the institutional factors influencing their performance has bridged this gap. The assessment was based on two major fronts: the efficiency and effectiveness of LG’s performance in executing their monitoring role; and the influence of institutional factors on performance of LGs. The institutional factors include the degree of LGs’ autonomy in exercising decentralised powers; the capacity building in local governments; the intergovernmental working relationship; and the partnership between LGs and civil society organisations.
The study employed a qualitative methodological approach, a case study research design, an interpretivist paradigm and an exploratory conceptual model. The methods of data collection included individual interviews, focus group discussion, documentary analysis and direct observation. Qualitative data were supplemented by elements of quantitative data. Analysis and interpretation of findings were done using inductive approaches of analysis.
The study established that the LGs’ efforts to monitor the implementation of decentralisation programmes have been less efficient and less effective owing to the influence of institutional factors. The problems associated with institutional factors that include insufficient autonomy, inadequate capacity building, poor intergovernmental working relationships and LGs’ ineffective partnership with CSOs have greatly limited the performance of the local governments.
The thesis argues that both central government and LGs need to urgently address the problems that are associated with the institutional factors if LGs are to effectively and efficiently execute their monitoring role in implementing the decentralisation policy.