Participation without Negotiating: Influence of Stakeholder Power Imbalances and Engagement Models on Agricultural Policy Development in Uganda

Yami, M and van Asten, P and Hauser, M and Schut, M and Pali, P (2018) Participation without Negotiating: Influence of Stakeholder Power Imbalances and Engagement Models on Agricultural Policy Development in Uganda. Rural Sociology (TSI). pp. 1-26. ISSN 00360112

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Although the political context in Uganda exhibits democratic deficit and patronage, research and development actors have given little attention to the possible negative impact these may have on agricultural policymaking and implementation processes. This article examines the influence of power in perpetuating prevailing narratives around public participation in agricultural policymaking processes. The analysis is based on qualitative data collected between September 2014 and May 2015 using 86 in‐depth interviews, 18 focus group discussions, and recorded observations in stakeholder consultations. Results indicate that while the political setting provides space for uncensored debates, the policymaking process remains under close control of political leaders, technical personnel, and high‐level officers in the government. Policy negotiation remains limited to actors who are knowledgeable about the technical issues and those who have the financial resources and political power to influence decisions, such as international donors. There is limited space for negotiation of competing claims and interests in the processes by public and private actors actively engaged in agricultural development, production, processing, and trade. Thus, efforts to achieve good governance in policy processes fall short due to lack of approaches that promote co‐design and co‐ownership of the policies.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : East & Southern Africa
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Integrated Systems for the Humid Tropics
CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas
Uncontrolled Keywords: Engagement Models, Agricultural Policy Development, Uganda, Agricultural Policy, sub-Saharan Africa, Policy processes , policy design
Subjects: Others > Agriculture Policy
Others > African Agriculture
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2018 07:01
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2018 03:26
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: The study is part of a Policy Action for Sustainable Intensification of Ugandan Cropping Systems (PASIC) project funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Uganda. We would like to thank all the participants for their kind cooperation. We are grateful for the leadership and contributions of Victor Manyong in the research process. We also appreciate the support of Happy Providence, Elizabeth Asiimwe, Stella Nalule, and Richard Nabigunda in data collection, and Dennis Ochola for mapping the study areas. We would like to acknowledge the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Research Programs on Humid Tropics and Roots, Tubers, and Bananas for providing the institutional support and embedding the research.
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