Citizens’ political knowledge and the state of local governance interest determination in Uganda
Kanyamurwa, John Mary
Obosi, Joseph Okeyo
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The state of citizens’ political knowledge in shaping local governance interest formulation patterns has been identified as a vital mechanism in democratic systems for centuries. Nevertheless, political knowledge proficiencies remain remarkably scanty among ordinary citizens in the developing world, with significantly few studies directly engaging this local governance reality. The paper discusses how political knowledge influences the changing local interest determination dynamics to reinforce local governance functionality in Uganda. From a sample size of 99 respondents, the study used descriptive qualitative methods and techniques to collect data and analyze the responses. The study found out that notwithstanding institutional inconsistencies, local farmers were considerably more influential in local interest determination compared to politically erudite citizen groups. There were limited structures for citizen participation in decision-making processes, yet likewise found nascent progressive virtual platforms for local interests’ deliberations mostly based on digital and traditional media platforms. The nature of drivers which framed political knowledge were typically influenced by structural, political, economic and international dynamics. The study recommended that in order to address the local citizen participation constraints, profound local governance policy transformation interventions should be embarked on to reinforce local infrastructure, the local economy and expansion of education and the democratic space for civil society agencies’ operations.