This report, part of a broader research project on ‘Poverty Knowledge and Policy Processes’, concerns the poverty reduction policy process in three Ugandan districts, Bushenyi, Lira and Tororo. It is based on an understanding of policy as a series of complex, dynamic, political processes, rather than as a linear progression from formulation to implementation.
In the first section, we discuss the diversity of understandings of poverty that are acted upon in the policy process at the level of local government. We continue by examining key issues which mediate the participation of both government and civil society actors in poverty reduction policy processes. Finally, we turn to look at some of the spaces in which the policy process is enacted, arguing that a range of spatial practices are a mediating factor in the inclusion and exclusion of particular actors.
Our conclusion examines several key areas of disconnection between lived experiences of poverty and the policy process, between differently positioned actors who experience difficulties communicating with each other, between what should happen and what does happen, and between citizens and their representatives. These disconnections present important challenges in the development of more responsive and accountable processes for poverty reduction policy.