Review of Gender Budgeting at Sub National Level in Uganda: Insights from Mbarara, Mukono and Soroti Districts
These are the findings of the study that analysed gender responsiveness in budgeting at sub-national level in Uganda. It studied how gender was mainstreamed in the budgets for health and agriculture in three districts, namely, Mukono, Soroti, and Mbarara. The study found that mainstreaming gender into budgets at sub-national level was minimal. Focus was largely on budget formulation with little emphasis on stages of budget execution, evaluation and audition. At the same time, mainstreaming gender at budget formulation stage was beset by significant limitations. Thus, gender responsiveness of budgets at sub-national level remains low. This paused serious challenges in efforts to alleviate the plight of women who were faced with various forms of marginalisation, calling for gender mainstreaming in budgeting. The findings underscore the implications of overdependence of districts on conditional grants from central government for Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) in Uganda. The common view among respondents was that, sub-national governments do not have sufficient discretion to implement GRB. Also, stringent financing of local governments made undertaking participatory processes untenable further constraining GRB at subnational level. Furthermore, the guidelines and information for GRB at district level were inadequate. Nevertheless, the meager information available, such as, sex-disaggregated data, was hardly used in planning and budgeting at that level. On a positive note, the study found that there was a high level of awareness of guidelines for GRB among respondents and were highly appreciative of gender inequality as an important development issue at district level. There was also a good understanding of gender issues in the agriculture and health sectors at that level, in conformity with the National Development Plan (NDP II), and the gender compacts for agriculture and heath sectors.