Local Government Scorecard Report 2018/19: Kabarole District Council Emerges Best Performing Council

On 10th March 2020, the Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE) in partnership with the Uganda Local Governments Association (ULGA) launched the 8th Local Government Councils Scorecard Report for financial year 2018/19.

Launched under the theme: “The Next Big Steps: Consolidating Gains of Decentralisation and Repositioning Local Government Sector in Uganda”, the scorecard report is part of ACODE’s ongoing project, the Local Government Councils Scorecard Initiative (LGSCI), funded by the DGF.

Since its inception in 2009 in 10 districts, the LGSCI seeks to interrogate the delivery of services by local governments in sectors such as: education, health, infrastructure, welfare, among other areas. The project aims at enhancing responsiveness of the mandated central government institutions through strengthened governance structures and processes at the local government level.

The Scorecard Report assessed the performance of district local government councils, district chairpersons, speakers of councils and individual councilors in 35 districts across Uganda. The performance areas considered included planning and budgeting, legislation, accountability, monitoring service delivery, political leadership and constituency servicing. 

Speaking at the launch, Associate Professor Winstons W. Muhwezi, Director of Research at ACODE, explained that the assessment had a multi-layered verification process as a quality control mechanism to avoid bias. He noted that the scorecard assessment revealed a remarkable improvement in the performance of targeted district leaders in fulfilling their mandates.

The scorecard report revealed that Kabarole District Council was the best performing district council with 87 points followed by Gulu, Mpigi and Nebbi at 86, 80 and 79 points respectively. For individual district chairpersons, Hon. Richard Rwabuhinga, of Kabarole District Local Government (DLG) emerged the best district chairperson with 96 points followed by Hon. Martin Mapenduzi of Gulu DLG with 94 points and Alex Oremo Alot of Lira DLG with 86 points.

Hon. Stella Kyorampe of Kabarole DLG emerged the best rated speaker of council with 92 points followed by Hon. Charles Beshesya of Kanungu DLG with 77 points and Hon. George Opio Rashid of Lira DLG with 75 points. In terms of individual councilor performance, the findings showed that Lira district obtained the highest average score of 65%, followed by Kabarole at 64% and Rukungiri at 59%.

The guest of honour at the launch, Hon. Raphael Magyezi, the Minister for Local Government, noted that the Scorecard is central in improving delivery of public service, political accountability and responsiveness of Ugandans. “We should take advantage of the existence of an elected structure from the village l up to the district level and utilise it for our development as a country”, he said.

Hon. Magyezi proposed several recommendations to reposition the Local Government Sector.  These include: strengthening the legal and policy framework for decentralisation; improving financing of local governments, providing adequate and well trained staff; and strengthening transparency and accountability.

Hon. Hellen Kabajungu, one of the best female councilors from Rukungiri District, appreciated that the scorecard assessment enhanced capacity building of councilors, improved monitoring and accountability and through the scorecard diaries provided to them, they are now planning their tasks and responsibilities better.

The DGF believes the LGSCI project will contribute to deepening democratic decentralisation in Uganda while addressing the problem of poor service delivery. Conducting targeted governance research coupled with building capacity of existing local governance structures and advocacy at national and local levels will help lead to strengthened and responsive local governance systems.

The 35 districts that were assessed in the Scorecard report are: Northern Region (Agago, Amuru Nwoya, Gulu, Lira, and Apac districts), West Nile (Arua, Nebbi and Moyo districts), Eastern Region (Tororo, Amuria, Soroti Moroto, Nakapiripirit, Bududa, Mbale, Jinja, Kaliro, and Kamuli districts), Central Region (Mpigi, Luwero, Mukono, Lwengo, and Wakiso districts), Western Region (Kabarole, Kabale, Kisoro, Ntungamo, Rukungiri, Kanungu, Mbarara, Sheema, Hoima, Masindi and Buliisa districts).

To access the full report, please click: The Local Government Councils Scorecard Report 2018/19