Influence of Youth Participation under Decentralization in Local Governments in Uganda

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume V, Issue IX, September 2021 | ISSN 2454–6186

Influence of Youth Participation under Decentralization in Local Governments in Uganda

Shaft Nasser Mukwaya, Dr. Richard Asaba Bagonza, Dr. Grace Lubaale
Kampala International University, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, P. O. Box 20000, Kampala, Uganda

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Abstract: This paper investigated the Influence of Youth Participation under Decentralization in Local Governments in Uganda. Using a mixed methods approach, convergent and parallel designs were adopted on a sample of 464 participants including 80 respondents for the interviews. Document analysis guides, interview guide and survey questionnaires were the main instruments of data collection. Quantitative results revealed a positive and significant effect on decentralization in Uganda local governments. The results are in agreement with the interviews and document analysis. This study recommends that; The Government of Uganda in line with the provision of Article 32 of the Constitution should empower the youth economically in order to address their historical marginalization and vulnerability, Cooperation, collaboration and partnership should be established between the state and all the non-state actors in the areas of youth development in order to build synergy, share best practices and conducive environment for youth empowerment in all spheres of life consistent with the global trend of private –public partnership, and The state and the non-state actors who are involved in youth development should adopt the strategy of youth mainstreaming and youth inclusion in all policies, programmes, project, laws and other initiatives in order to ensure that the contemporary interests and concerns of the youth are planned for by all the national, regional and local players.

Keywords: Youth Participation, Decentralization, Local Governments.


The phenomenon of youth participation in Local governance rooted in both the global and national historical archives. Castel (1995) makes a historical analysis of youth participation in by asserting that the struggle for the youth to participate in governance process is as old as modern industrial societies.
In Uganda, right from pre-colonial periods, the youth have been struggling to have their voices heard amidst opposition from elders on account of social-cultural bias against their participation in public affairs (2). Further, In Uganda, participation is associated with the current decentralization policy, which was adopted in 1992. Uganda’s decentralized system of local governance was built on a major assumption that local citizens including the youth, would participate effectively in making decisions on local development and would be able to enforce responsiveness and accountability from their leaders. It was also assumed that elected leaders would serve the best interests of their electorate, but the reality on the ground shows mixed results (Francis and James, 2003; Kiyaga­ Nsubuga and Olum, 2009).