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Ugandan policies lack strength to leave the shelves

Isa Senkumba

Ugandan policies lack strength to leave the shelves

It is important for government and policy makers to generated realistic, beneficial and people based policies through research and consultations. Policies should be tailored to serve the interests of the bigger population and not specific individuals who have the power to influence policy makers.

 

Since World War II, lack of funds, poor monitoring and evaluation.

There are a number of ways in which corruption especially in developing countries can cause plans to fail. Additional Fees: Often times corruption manifests by the addition of special fees and costs to get deals approved, laws altered, or any number of payments in excess of the proper price of the plan. In some countries, the additional moneys that must be paid to implement plans can be as much as an equivalent 40% tax.

Obstructionism: If a corrupt official does not want a specific plan to occur, regardless of whether the objection is rational or irrational, he can effectively prevent the implementation of the policy. Bribery and corruption continue to contribute greatly to the failure of policy implementation. For example, implementation problem may arise in a situation where huge amounts are earmarked for a project but the officers in charge of implementation steal such amounts or a substantial part of the amounts.

As we ask ourselves questions like why plans and policies fail in Uganda we must also remember that inadequate definition of goals makes a policy to lack clarity, internal consistency and compatibility with other policy goals with the result that the successful implementation of such a policy becomes problematic. This is a problem of communication. Goal definition varies because people disagree about the objectives of a given programme or because people do not care to define such objectives because the objectives are not to their advantage.

Disposition or attitude is another key factor that affects policy implementation. Most implementers can exercise considerable discretion in the implementation of policies because of either their independence from their nominal superiors who formulate the policies or as a result of the complexity of the policy itself. The way the implementers exercise their discretion depends, to a large extent, on their disposition toward the policy. Therefore the level of success will depend on how the implementers see the policies as affecting their organizational and personal interests. Where a policy will result in reduction of pay, low self- esteem, or loss of position to the implementers, the attitude/ disposition will be affected adversely.

On the other hand, if a policy will enhance the status, the pay or the self-esteem of the implementers, such implementers will be favorably disposed to it. For example, the very senior officers who currently enjoy the services of Chauffeur-driven cars, government quarters and other benefits have not favored the present monetization policy in Nigeria. For this reason, they may sabotage its implementation because the policy would deprive them of the benefits mentioned earlier on. They will now have to buy their own cars, maintain the cars, employ their own drivers as well as provide for their own accommodation.

Sometimes there could be implementation gap as a result of many factors, which could arise from the policy itself, the policy maker, or the environment in which the policy has been made. Implementation gap can arise from the policy itself when such a policy emanates from government rather than from the target groups.

By this, it means that planning is top-down. And, by implication, the target beneficiaries are not allowed to contribute to the formulation of the policies that affect their lives. It should be noted that for policies to be successful they should involve target groups and they should allow for participatory system, whereby policy makers plan with the people rather than for the people in meeting their felt needs. Such participation will give the target groups a sense of belonging as well as get them committed to the successful implementation of the policy.

 In some other instances, the policy makers assume that they know the needs of the target groups and therefore see no reason for clarity of goals. With regard to over-ambition in policy formulation, in developing countries like Uganda, many policies tend to be over-ambitious, sweeping and fundamental in nature. This is as a result of some of those countries being influenced by special conditions that affect how programmes and policy goals are decided

It is important for government and policy makers to generated realistic, beneficial and people based policies through research and consultations. Policies should be tailored to serve the interests of the bigger population and not specific individuals who have the power to influence policy makers. 

The policies have to be communicated and explained to have full support from the people before implementation is done. The policy implementers must be committed and ready to give accountability on the funds and other resources employed in the implementation process. There is a need to make a follow up on the performance of the policies and give a feed back to the authorities about the progress of the policy.

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