AfT believes that good policies are the cornerstone of good governance. Over the years, AfT has realized that Uganda’s policy processes overstate, under-look and sometimes over-regulates the public sector creating an implementation paralysis. Secondly, the quality of public policy and the implementation of public policy programmes in Uganda are significantly affected by the capacity of thestate and level of civic consciousness of the population. We believe that decision making in public spaces must be supported by robust evidence, research and policy analysis. There is a need to create and support a solid domestic evidence-base for decision makers in Uganda, with high quality research and analytical outputs. There are gaps in domestic long-term research capability, knowledge/data depository services and the analysis and interpretation of information, particularly related to agriculture and development. There is scope to promote policy change through innovation, capacity development, research and analysis to support evidence-based decision making and knowledge sharing (gathering evidence, best practices and dissemination). AfT will seek partnership with other knowledge producers like Universities and other research agencies – apply its innovations around information packaging, messaging and policy engagements to transform knowledge into public policy actions.
AfT work shall support policy makers to undertake technical assessments that determine whether policies & laws meet the dual goal of effectiveness and efficiency in delivery of services- and how society will be affected by the policy/law. Our intent is that eventually the work done by AfT feeds into policy change and results in enhancing a policy and regulatory environment for expansion of agriculture services and embed green growth. As shown in the display below, when issues are identified through our research, we shall attempt to try them out in the field as applied research and findings analyzed and communicated. This will provide an opportunity for policy makers to design better-informed programs.
Another aspect of our work is undertaking regulatory impact assessments (RIAs) which is an innovation that assesses whether existing policies would better impact on the relevant stakeholders. This process will include essentially ten steps: Assessment of the Problem; Policy Options; Looking at the policy intent proposals and anticipated effect – adequacy to address the problem; Assessment of Impact including the non-monetary impact; Distribution of impacts; Cost benefit analysis showing anticipated risks and benefits; Results of consultations during both the policy formulation and the RIA process; Enforcement and Sanctions; Review monitoring and evaluation and linking the policy to other policies as well as regional and international commitments.
According to the Global Corruption Perception Index (CPI), corruption in Uganda has been getting worse. Uganda was ranked 127th in 2010, 143 in 2011, 130 in 2012, 140 in 2013 and 142 in 2014 (in terms of CPI, the higher the corruption, the higher the raking). According the World Bank (2012), USD 300 million is lost to corruption per year. Transparency International’s 2013 East African Bribery Index ranked Uganda as the most corrupt Country in East Africa. Corruption has thus severely hampered effective governance and accentuated inefficient public service delivery. For example, Uganda’s government effectiveness ranks below Rwanda, Ghana, Ethiopia and Malawi in the Government Effectiveness Indicator (World Governance Indicators, 2012- see figure 1) partly due to vast lack of accountability and participation of the public and target beneficiaries of policies. Uganda is also ranked below Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania in the World Governance Voice and Accountability Indicator (World Governance Indicators, 2012- (see figure 2).
To improve governance effectiveness and efficiency Agency for Transformation (AfT) will expand and intensify focus on increasing accountability through messaging and organizing to stimulatemassive participation of youth, farmers and Private sector- Micro, Small, and Medium enterprises (MSMEs) in shaping and monitoring public policy in the agricultural, environmental and the business sectors due to the sectors’ paramount role for Uganda’s economy and citizenship. Beyond effective information provision, AfT will leverage networks of change, build their advocacy capability and stimulate the demand side of accountability.