Johannes Prinsen

Doctor of Philosophy, (Development Studies)
Study Completed: 2011
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
The Decentralisation of Education & Health Servicesin Uganda & Tanzania from a Local Perspective & in a Historical Context

Since the 1990s, development policies favoured the decentralisation of education and health services in Africa. Mr Prinsen examined how this decentralisation affected the engagement of local management committees of schools and dispensaries with central government. His research included more than 400 members of 64 local management committees in Uganda and Tanzania. On balance, central government appears to dominate the institutional framework, but it is essentially and continuously responding to developments in local polities. In a historical perspective, dominance in the institutional framework between local polities and central government seesaws over periods of 15-30 years. In the course of time, the local resources flowing to government varied – ivory, coffee, votes – but typically had limited local value, while commanding high prices on the international market. This secured cash for government, but also a negotiating lever for local polities. The contemporary dynamic around local management committees is exemplary of that historical seesaw.

Professor Regina Scheyvens
Professor P Chabal
Dr John Overton