Options for the design of a Greater Kampala Metropolitan Authority

Project Cities

Around the world, metropolitan areas are some of the most important hubs for economic activity. In many developing countries, in particular, metropolitan areas are major contributors to the economic success of their countries but they also face serious challenges in terms of pollution, transportation gridlock, urban sprawl, deteriorating infrastructure, crime, rising poverty and urban slums, and widening income disparities. Furthermore, one of the major challenges, when it comes to metropolitan planning, is that these metropolitan areas often involve multiple jurisdictions. The result is that there is no overall plan for the metropolitan area and it is difficult to coordinate services across municipal boundaries. For these areas to realize their potential in terms of productivity and service delivery, it is important that they be well governed.

In the KCCA Act of 2010, the challenge of metropolitan planning was already anticipated and so it included the provision for the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Planning Authority (GKMPA) that is ultimately meant to form the foundation for a future overall Metropolitan Authority. However, it did not specify the form that this Authority should take.

This piece of research intends to work along four different dimensions:

  • The initial output for the project will be a commentary on the forthcoming World Bank’s Economic Competitiveness Report for the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area. This independent commentary, at direct request from the KCCA, will outline institutional considerations for the projects being proposed as this is currently not reflected as part of the report.
  • The second part will be to provide an overview and comparison of different models of metropolitan governance around their world and assess the pros and cons of their suitability with respect the Kampala Metropolitan context. These models include the agglomeration model, the voluntary cooperation model, and a two-tier structure. This research will also address the processes involved for how to get there, evaluating and comparing top-down and bottom-up approaches.
  • During a trip to Uganda, the PI will lead discussions with the different stakeholders in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area on why metropolitan governance matters and their assessment of the benefits and challenges are. Her visit will culminate in a roundtable workshop/discussion which brings all the main stakeholders to one table for a moderated discussion to start bringing them to the same page.
  • Finally, the working paper will assess the applicability of different models to the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area, based on data, such as the current allocation of resources, legislative documents, and feedback from stakeholder discussions, along the different dimensions of: Economies of Scale; Efficiency; Spillovers; Accountability and Access