USAID SDS Local Government Councils Induction

Training of Ugandan local officials, man speaks at mic

Drawing on 50 years of experience in governance programs, Cardno has equipped Uganda’s new councilors with the skills and knowledge they need to better serve their communities.

Cardno provided nation-wide induction training of Uganda's newly-elected local government officials, with a focus on strengthening their ability to ensure county-level democracy and the sustainable delivery of public services. 

In 2010, the new constitution guided Uganda into a different system of de-centralized governance, bringing decision-making and resource planning to communities through locally-elected County Assemblies. Many of the County Assembly members elected in 2013 were entirely new to political leadership. 

Supporting the implementation of the new governance, USAID Uganda approached Cardno to build the capacity of these local government officials through a revitalized approach to training. The USAID Strengthening Decentralization for Sustainability (SDS) Program promoted innovative ways for improved social service delivery and also supported district government initiatives.

The program organized various training such as peer-to-peer learning workshops. This led to a major structured training for the induction of new Local Government Councillors (LOGIC). Our team provided a critical management structure of trainers (ToTs), logisticians and financial leadership to mitigate incidents of corruption. Our experts then implemented large-group training with overlapping teams of consultants to simultaneously train groups of targeted beneficiaries in a given set of districts. 

In total more than 33,000 local councillors and heads of department were trained within about four months, and have since benefited from the LOGIC inductions. The project also supported dissemination and discussions around the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act, all of these efforts were geared towards supporting and institutionalizing sustainable approaches in the social sector service delivery chain.

We focused on strengthening councilors’ ability to respond more efficiently and effectively to citizen demands. This included helping them debate issues productively, improving their knowledge and understanding of local government processes, streamlining council roles and responsibilities, and aligning them with Uganda’s National Development Plan. We also prepared councilors to provide political direction, financial planning and management, and exercise their legislative and judicial powers. 

In less than four months our team trained 23,264 councilors, 4,858 heads of department and 1,468 local governments in all 111 districts of Uganda. Of the councilors and heads of department who were invited to attend the training, the participation rates were 96 per cent and 95 per cent respectively, with participating councilors comprising 56 per cent males and 44 per cent females.   

The success of this program led USAID Uganda to commission Cardno for a further round of training (LOGIC II) for new councilors following the February 2016 national elections, which was successfully completed. Under this second phase, Cardno trained 5,103 participants over 30 days with 99 per cent reporting an improved understanding of their roles.