Leadership Enhancement in Uganda - USAID Uganda Capacity Building Framework Design & Assessment of Leadership Enhancement Initiatives

Date of Publication: 
October 2010

Achest was contracted by USAID through Mitchell Group Inc and UMEMS to assess past, present and future leadership initiatives, to develop a comprehensive situation analysis, identify gaps and to make specific recommendations to fill the gaps. A framework was developed and used to review documents and interview key informants. This framework envisages continuous, non-ending process of capacity building, in a cyclic fashion.
The key findings were as follows:
1. Uganda has sound foundations of well educated technical leaders, enabling policies and structures that can be built upon for future Leadership Enhancement and capacity
building initiatives.
2. The political, social and cultural environment presents challenges for the proper exercise of leadership as reported in a number of districts. This includes political interference with technical work, nepotism and corruption. Leadership development interventions should take this into account.
3. There is a resources gap which is a major constraint to the performance of leaders. Uganda will continue in the foreseeable future to depend on external donor support and this should be taken into account in designing Leadership Enhancement initiatives. Sustainability of interventions by USAID and other development partners will need careful attention in the design of the interventions.
4. There are lessons from USAID past and current initiatives that could inform future interventions. In particular closer integration and stakeholder involvement in the design and implementation of projects. Regular and formal Stakeholder consultation at appropriate intervals in the project cycle. The use of foreign contractors as implementers is seen as a challenge in sustainability and the development of ownership and local capacity.

The gaps and issues identified in the leadership enhancement initiatives were:
Gaps in resources
Gaps in sustainability
Gaps in aid management
Issues in political, social and cultural environment
Gaps in the planning process
Gaps in the content of package of interventions
Gaps in implementation
Gaps in M&E

The recommendations that focus on the thematic areas identified by the review can be
summarised as follows:

1. Uganda has a well developed donor coordination mechanism with a mature Swap in the Health Sector. USAID leadership enhancement interventions as well as other projects should be developed and managed through this arrangement. USAID can contribute to one national plan, one implementation and one monitoring arrangement without the need to pool resources.
2. Leadership Enhancement and Capacity building is long term, slow and calls for commitment, patience for the long haul. It builds upon existing culture, politics and institutions which should be strengthened and not be bypassed. Uganda has sound foundations in leadership development including policies, structures and institutions that can form the basis for USAID support.
3. Systematic, comprehensive and consultative needs assessments should precede all interventions including those for leadership enhancement and capacity building. Lessons from past and present experience should inform the future.
4. Human resources are the single most critical resource and should be a key focus of Leadership or capacity building support. Systems support that facilitates the performance of leaders and their institutions should be included in leadership and capacity building interventions. Account should be taken of the operating environment including politics, culture and resources.
5. Implementation should be designed systematically and scientifically based on the 10 principles. In particular, there should be minimal external hindrances, resources to be aligned to expected outputs and outcomes, and there should be compliance with the plan and strategy. An implementation framework is proposed for leadership and capacity building.
6. An M&E framework is proposed covering all elements of leadership development in the context of capacity building.

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