Uganda is one of the sub-Saharan African countries that has devolved the management of forest resources. Meaningful devolution, however, requires that local governments and other community organisations should have capacity in terms of adequate and competent human resources, finance, information, skills, and the appropriate legal framework to effectively deliver services. This paper examines the technical and institutional capacity in selected local organisations to manage decentralised forest resources in Uganda. We found that technical and institutional capacity to implement decentralised forest governance exists in local organisations through partnerships with other actors in the productive use of the available resources. Local organisations mobilised and managed human, physical and financial resources for decentralised forest management. They also demonstrated the capacity to make and implement integrated plans and budgets and formulated byelaws regulating forest use. Our findings, however, revealed that none of the organisations had either the legal mandate or sufficient human and physical resources to govern forest resources unilaterally due to inadequate devolution of decision-making powers and inadequate fiscal support from the central government. The findings suggest a need for local organisations to recruit more technical staff, strengthen internal sources of revenue and networking amongst organisations both at local and national government levels for effective management of decentralised forest resources.
Southern African Forestry Journal – No. 208, November 2006
Keywords: capacity; decentralisation; forest resources; local organisations; Uganda