This article explores the nature of ownership in a reform of the multi-donor-funded agricultural advisory service in Uganda. We argue that although there was a long process of programme formulation in which all stakeholders were heard, ownership was not as encompassing as it first appeared. In essence, the agricultural reform programme represented market-oriented values that were not echoed in large parts of the Ugandan polity. The eventual reversal of policy, back to government-provided extension, and to a large programme of heavily subsidised input supply, testifies to that. In addition, key stakeholders, notably local politicians and officials in the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries (MAAIF), were shut out from the original programme and this threatened its viability. If a genuine analysis of the economic and political context had been carried out, the donors might have anticipated this. Instead, they were revealed as ill-equipped to counteract the politicisation and re-claiming of ownership by the Ugandan government.
Policy and Society, 2012, Vol 31, Issue 4, p. 319-330