Uganda stands at 20.8% _CoST Uganda’s 1st Infrastructure Transparency Index__Statement

December 9, 2021 8:43 am

Published by Olive Kabatwairwe

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Uganda stands at 20.8% _CoST Uganda's 1st Infrastructure Transparency Index__Statement

On 3rd December 2021 CoST Uganda launched results from its 1st Infrastructure Transparency Index (ITI). The index ran across 30 entities assessing 60 selected infrastructure projects and evaluating critical aspects of the national conditions for delivering public infrastructure projects.

The ITI's mission is to review the transparency and accountability of public infrastructure continuously. The ITI’s objectives are as follows: to assess the state of infrastructure transparency and the capacity of procuring entities to improve transparency in the country; to track and encourage progress and facilitate peer learning, all while assisting in holding procuring entities accountable; and to raise awareness of transparency while building on existing data standards such as the CoST IDS and the OC4IDS.

The index was guided by a methodology designed in the CoST International ITI Manual, which provides four dimensions: enabling environment, capacities and processes, citizen participation, and information disclosure. Each dimension is assessed against a list of standard indicators and sub-indicators under which each entity, project and dimension are measured and interpreted. In the first Index, the data collection process took a total of 88 days with the whole Index taking seven months, indicating the need to strengthen the appreciation of transparency in the sector. The major limitations the Index encountered was the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated challenges, the low levels of disclosure of infrastructure data and slow uptake of the index by public officials.

The index results reveal that the national ITI score in 2021 stands at 20.8%, representing the national enabling conditions and 60 projects and 30 entities across various sectors. Uganda’s performance in the enabling environment dimension is at 41.4%, information disclosure at 18.4%, citizen participation at 13.8% and capacities and processes at 13.5%. Local Governments performed least in the first Index with nearly all the thirteen assessed scoring less than 15%.

Three entities, including Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) and Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), emerged the best performing across the various dimensions in the first Index with scores 62%, 58%, and 48%, respectively. There are notable inconsistencies with data published across the official public access to information platforms such as the Government Procurement Portal (GPP) and respective entity websites. Only one out of every five entities discloses infrastructure data proactively. Public officials lack capacity to disclose data, but also, lack capacity on the legal and policy framework in relation to transparency and accountability.

The index presents a framework for improving the enabling conditions for delivering infrastructure projects, calling on Government through its respective line entities to demonstrate a stronger political commitment to enhance infrastructure transparency, revealing itself in bold actions and implementing sanctions and incentives for non-compliance with the legal and policy framework across the entities. Strengthen citizen engagement (barazas) and make them mandatory across all projects, train public officials on disclosure and the legal framework, enhance institutional capacity and human resources across Local Governments, standardize disclosure and recognize the Index as an annual national performance indicator in the sector.