Uganda is a unitary republic in Eastern Africa. The country’s intergovernmental architecture is based on directives principle and provisions contained in the 1995 Constitution, which indicates that the State “shall be guided by the principle of decentralisation and devolution of governmental functions and powers to the people at appropriate levels where they can best manage and direct their own affairs.” The constitution further specifies that the local government system is based on district units, under which there shall be such local governments and administrative units as provided for by national legislation.  In practice, local governance in Uganda is structured across five levels, ranging from the District and City Councils level (immediately below the national government) to Villages and Cells closest to the people. Local governments deliver a wide range of basic services, including primary education, healthcare, roads, water supply and agricultural extension services. In practice, however, local governments in Uganda have limited autonomy, due to the central government maintaining significant budgetary and administrative control over their activities, as well as through sector policies, standards and intergovernmental grant arrangements which are prescriptive and significantly limit local discretion.

Subnational government structure

Nature of subnational governance institutions

Functional assignments

LoGICA Assessment

LoGICA Intergovernmental Profile: Uganda 2023 (Excel)

Selected resources

Uganda Country Profile (World Observatory on Subnational Governance and Investment, OECD/UCLG)

The Local Government System in Uganda (Commonwealth Local Government Forum)

Local government country profile: Uganda (UN Women)

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Last updated: December 29, 2023