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Improving the Government of Uganda’s Responsiveness and Accountability to Citizens

Helping the government of Uganda to improve government responsiveness, service delivery and stewardship of resources.

The Strengthening Systems and Public Accountability Activity (SSPA) helps to advance community-driven accountability and reduce corruption. The project supports open, inclusive, and accountable governance at both national and sub-national levels.

In Uganda, widespread corruption and weak governance and accountability are key barriers to development that is inclusive of the most vulnerable. Despite the proliferation of anti-corruption and investigatory bodies and a promised focus on anti-graft efforts, meaningful improvements in accountability and anti-corruption have not materialized.

This USAID-funded activity will help to improve the government’s responsiveness to citizens, service delivery, and stewardship of resources through strengthened accountability, deepened public participation and oversight, and reduced corruption in public service sectors.

Our team works with local governments and national institutions across Uganda, including in Kampala, Northern Uganda and the Albertine region, to strengthen public sector leadership and accountability. The project also supports citizen, civil society and private sector engagement on corruption. Our work strives to improve systems and practices in local government and national anti-corruption and accountability institutions and change norms and behaviors that enable the abuse of public office for private gain. Additionally, the project is piloting creative approaches to curb corruption in targeted sectors, including the extractive industry, refugee response, education funding, countering wildlife crime, and others as opportunities arise.

The three primary project objectives are:

  1. Increasing citizens’ voice, coalition building and public engagement to reduce corruption and increase accountability. The project supports a broad range of non-state actors, including civil society, the private sector, and media, to build sustained demand for accountability to hold government to a higher standard of integrity and performance.
  2. Strengthening local government systems and practices for improved public accountability. Our team seeks to strengthen mechanisms for citizen engagement with local governments, utilize Business Process Redesign to improve service delivery and reduce risks of corruption, and build officials’ capacity on planning, budgeting and procurement.
  3. Improving key systems, practices, standards and norms of targeted national anti-corruption and accountability institutions. We work with targeted national and sub-national institutions to build the capacity of auditors and procurement oversight officials; provide leadership training and mentoring to selected accountability officials; strengthen systems for handling corruption complaints; improve systems for administrative sanctions and rewards; streamline internal controls; and support the EITI Secretariat with data collection and reporting.

SSPA also pilots initiatives to change social norms and attitudes around corruption, emphasizing role models behaving differently, new reference groups for people to join, group deliberation and reflection, public commitments and declarations, and social norms marketing.

This project builds upon MSI’s extensive experience over 25+ years working hand-in-hand with donors, governments and civil society organizations to combat corruption and promote the rule of law, transparency and accountability. USAID/Uganda has supported accountability efforts for several years; this activity is the next iteration of the Mission’s evolving approach.