The Ugandan Strengthening Decentralization for Sustainability (SDS) Program is a USAID-funded initiative that aims to strengthen district and subcounty coordination, improve district management of resources, and stimulate innovation—all in support of better social sector service delivery. SDS has assisted its 35 partner districts to prepare District Management Improvement Plans (DMIPs), which identify gaps in social service delivery and basic district functions (e.g., finance, procurement, planning, and coordination) and set forth priority interventions to address these gaps. The program also provides its partner districts with grant funds to help implement these interventions.
The DMIPs include measures to help districts augment their local revenues and thereby reduce their dependence on central government grants and increase their discretionary resources for improving local service delivery. By law, Ugandan district governments prepare and update Revenue Enhancement Plans in conjunction with the adoption of their annual Budget Framework Papers. These plans often contain a well-conceived set of measures. However, typically, they are too comprehensive and all-inclusive to serve as a practical guide for prioritizing and acting on a discrete set of revenue enhancement measures in a disciplined and effective manner.
During 2013, the SDS Program conducted three-day revenue enhancement “clinics” for lead counterparts from the program’s 35 partner districts. These clinics were designed to help local governments identify and collect revenues from sources already covered under the law but not currently being collected—that is, “low-lying fruits.”
A large team of consultants was engaged in the preparation of these materials and in the training during workshops. The final output was a set of resolutions focusing on strategies for revenue enhancement and better overall management at the local government (LG) level.