Influence of the External Environment on Development Projects in Uganda

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The Influence of the external political environment of Uganda on Development projects

By Susan Ajambo( Student: Masters in Development Management; University of Agder Norway) Abstract
Political factors outside the mangers direct control significantly influence development projects. This paper examines Uganda’s political context and the influence it can have on a project on rural electrification. Such a project can benefit from state support at governmental level in addition to support in identifying key external stakeholders of the project. On the contrary though, it can be hampered by bureaucratic regulations; weak public sector Management and administration and corruption at various levels of the government Effective management therefore would involve strategies to maximise the benefits and at the same time deal with the inhibitors.

Table of contents

Table of contents3
Description of key terms4
The project on rural electrification4
The Political environment4
Relevancy of the political environment to development projects generally5 How Uganda’s political environment might affect the project on rural electrification6 Facilitating Effects6
Value placed on rural and renewable electrification6
Identification of external stakeholders and partners6
Inhibiting Effects7
Bureaucratic Regulations7
Weak public sector Management and administration7
Corruption at various levels of government8

An analysis of the political factors in Uganda revealed that their influence on a project on rural electrification would be largely negative affecting the way the project would operate, the culture it would adopt and the how it would define itself. This paper examines how political factors are likely to affect a project on rural electrification in Uganda. It is imperative for managers to understand factors outside their direct control (external environment) which can facilitate or inhibit performance of their project, (Lasthaus etal, 2005). Finkelstein (2003, cited in Boddy, 2011:78) argues that how well managers understand, interpret and interact with those factors affects their performance. Factors in the external environment are categorized as; political, economic, socio-cultural, technology, natural environment and legal however this discussion focuses on only the political factors in the context of Uganda. Description of key terms

The project on rural electrification

This is a project in initial design stages and its mission statement is: “To foster the provision of rural electrification that is affordable, reliable and renewable that contributes to sustained socio-economic rural development; through empowering the local communities and by providing technical expertise, training, and facilitating financing”. The Political environment

Boddy (2011) and Lusthaus etal, (2005) define the political environment in slightly different but non-contradictory ways: According to Boddy (2011:89, 90) it comprises government regulations/policies specifying government priorities, the conditions necessary for establishing interventions and the charges among other things. Hence it focuses on political decisions: how they are made and implemented. Lusthaus etal, (2005) on the other hand defines it in terms of the relationship between government strategy/ development plans and the development project. In their view, it considers; the extent to which government and its bureaucracy supports and contributes resources to the project; the extent to which the political system is stable and whether the political environment directly involves the legal environment.

The latter perspective is basically broader and inclusive of the former definition and as such this discussion integrates aspects from both perspectives as the political environment

Consequently, the political environment of Uganda includes several aspects which are likely to affect a...
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