In the last twenty years, local government in Uganda has been transformed into one of power centers with authoritative actors. Within the existing constitutional structures local government is a host of powerful actors whose activities influence public policy decisions as well as determine the fortunes of local areas. The creation of new power centers has implied more avenues of influence. Both the political and institutional environment is continually under transformation. In this article, the dynamics of public policy decisions is explored in the context of a decentralised local government in Uganda. Using empirical data, it is critically examined how policy decisions are made, who makes them, for whom and for what purpose. Analysis is based on three areas—human resources policies, financing and public procurement. The use of power herein is referred to as micro-hegemony as opposed to formal institutions. It is argued that public policy decisions in Uganda’s local government arena are not only informed by constitutional provisions, rather external factors such as power play a decisive role. The interplay between actors’ application of their formal positions fused within power centres contained in LG structural design play together to produce micro-hegemony, making it a more decisive factor in public policy decisions.
Key words: Local government, decentralisation, micro-hegemony public policy decisions.
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