The Role of Community Participation in Improving Social Services to Rural Communities in Uganda: A Case of Decentralized Health Services in Butambala Health Sub-District - Mpigi District

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Kampala International University,Masters in Development Administration and Management of Kampala
The study mainly set out to analyze the role of community participation 111 improving social services to rural communities in Uganda. The researcher based the study on the fact that, most deaths in the community are due to conditions that could otherwise be preventable . This would be reduced through meaningful community participation and the belief was that decentralization would offer an environment for such participation. It was mainly a field survey of a sample county /Health sub-district in Mpigi District. The main objectives of the study were to identify the effects of the management structures on community participation, to assess the quality of service delivered under a decentralized frame work, and to establish the impact of community participation on health service delivery. A number of research instruments were used in the study ranging from questionnaires, interviews, observation and review of related literature. The Sampling techniques used were: simple random sampling and the stratified random sampling lo ensure that all the population Sub groups were fully and objectively involved in the study. The quality of health services was measured against their accessibility, affordability, availability to the population and the level of community awareness of the service. The major findings of the study are that, though decentralization offered the opportunities for community participation, the community is still not fully involved. This is partly clue to community ignorance pl us the domination of lower level Health Management structures by District level representatives. The study also revealed that the quality of health services delivered is much higher in preventive and promotive services compared lo the curative services largely due to the level of accessibility to these services These challenges demand restructuring and strengthening the lower level health management structures, to ensure that there is capacity and capability to respond to health and social needs. Thus, attention should be drawn to processes that involve community participation but with special attention to vulnerable groups especially the rural poor, women and children Consequently, it is critical to re- examine policy at the national level so as to align it with overall population welfare. It means creating and operationalising a mechanism where PHC and activities in other sectors re-enforce each other.
A Thesis Submitted In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for a Degree of Masters in Development Administration and Management of Kampala International University
Social Services to Rural Communities, Decentralized Health Services, Mpigi District