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USAID launches programme to strengthen decentralisation

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd November 2010 03:00 AM

THE Government should partner with all stakeholders to reverse the country’s declining health standards, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has advised.

THE Government should partner with all stakeholders to reverse the country’s declining health standards, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has advised.

By Frederick Kiwanuka

THE Government should partner with all stakeholders to reverse the country’s declining health standards, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has advised.

Elise Ayers, USAID’s in-charge of the health, education and HIV/AIDS programme, said there has been an overall decline in the health standards of Ugandans for the last five years.

“Uganda’s national health indicators have not been doing well for the past five years. There has been an overall decline in the health of Ugandans. Together we can reverse this trend,” Ayers said.

She made the remarks during the launch of the Strengthening Decentralisation for Stainability programme in Luwero district on Thursday.

The five-year programme, which will be implemented in 45 districts, will enable local governments to access grants to strengthen management and proper accountability of resources, improvement of ownership, leadership, governance and innovation.

Ayers urged the implementers to develop sustainable and transition plans right from the beginning, instead of waiting at the last minute when things have gone out of hand.

Ayers noted that the past USAID programmes, which focused on capacity building of recipient communities to address key health areas, could not be sustained by local governments after those projects ended, due to the numerous challenges facing decentralisation today.

As a result, she added, USAID, in partnership with the ministries of health, local government and finance, set out to design a new approach that would lead to more effective, efficient and sustainable results.

She said the new design was based on lessons learnt from a number of local government evaluations undertaken by the Government and its partners.

The new programme, Ayers said, aims at bringing financial resources and support closer to the implementers and beneficiaries.

The programmes’ chief of party, Jaime Benavante, said the new decentralisation strategy would maximise the use of local government resources, while responding to the urgent needs of the districts.

USAID launches programme to strengthen decentralisation

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