A descriptive analysis of the institutional frameworks for disaster management in Uganda: structures, functions and gaps

R W Mayega, M R Wafula, V Woboya, M Musenero, A Omale, G C Orach, J Kiguli, G Kabagambe, W Bazeyo
East African Journal of Public Health 2013, 10 (2): 469-75

BACKGROUND: There is insufficient documentation of the institutional frameworks for disaster management and resilience at different levels in sub-Saharan Africa. The objective of this study was to describe the institutional framework for disaster management in Uganda, and to identify actionable gaps at the different levels.

METHODS: This was part of a multi-country assessment in which 6 countries in Eastern Africa developed and applied a common tool. The assessment was qualitative in nature employing a mixed methods approach including review of documents, interviews with key informants from agencies involved in disaster management in Uganda, group discussions with stakeholder and synthesis meetings of the assessment team.

FINDINGS: The Office of the Prime Minister is the lead agency for disaster management, but management of disasters of a technical nature is devolved to line ministries (e.g. epidemics by the Health Ministry and Epizootics by the Agriculture Ministry). A new policy spells out disaster management structures at national, district, sub-county, and village levels. Key challenges included coordination, more focus on prevention than risk reduction, differences in capacity between sectors and inadequate inter-sectoral collaboration. The new policy and structures have not yet been rolled out to districts and sub-district levels, and districts lack a line item budget for disaster capacity building.

CONCLUSIONS: The institutional framework for disaster management in Uganda needs to be strengthened at all levels through initiation of the relevant structures, training, and resource allocation so that they develop disaster management plans.

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