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Community Contribution

Grants Improve Decentralized Service Delivery: Evidence from Uganda

Ella Hoxha

The Strengthening Decentralization for Sustainability (SDS) Program is a 6-year USAID-funded project in Uganda. The program is USAID’s vehicle for empowering local governments in Uganda to drive the decentralization process, a necessary condition for sustained improvement in social sector services.

SDS grants aim at complementing resources needed for effective and efficient management of programs and services to facilitate strategic innovations that improve district leadership and sustainable financing of health services. The SDS grants portfolio comprises three grants: Grant A (coordination), Grant B (technical assistance), and Grant C (innovation). SDS decided to conduct a CLA study, specifically to assess the impact of two intervention approaches, Grant A and Grant B, on local government service delivery and system strengthening. In order to address issues of causality, we identified a comparison group and undertook a quasi-experimental design to compare the impact of both TA and Grant A in SDS partner districts vis-à-vis the selected non-SDS districts (within and between districts).


This case study was submitted as part of USAID's CLA Case Competition, held in August 2015. Taken together, this collection of submissions illustrates the diversity of ways collaborating, learning, and adapting approaches are being operationalized in the field. Stringent judging criteria was used to determine official CLA Case Competition winners, so not all submissions should be considered an official USAID endorsement of best practice. To view all entries, visit the CLA Case Competition page.

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