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Project Case Study

Reforming the Ugandan National Roads Authority

Enhancing the project development, procurement, implementation, and monitoring functions of UNRA

The Ugandan national roads system is experiencing a period of exceptional activity and promise. Once the best network in Sub-Saharan Africa, decades of neglect and spending inefficiencies had rendered it unfit for purpose. We are implementing a DFID-funded assistance programme to help restore the network to its former health.

Project info

Reforming the Ugandan National Roads Authority



  • DFID

Roads are a central issue for growth in Uganda, which is land-locked and has few navigable waterways. An improved road network would reduce transport costs, leading to greater export competitiveness and a rise in incomes. It would also enable the country to respond promptly to natural disasters, and avoid unnecessary deaths from everyday medical emergencies. Most importantly, improving national roads could accelerate pro-poor growth, as it would encourage developments in agriculture in line with urbanisation. This would directly benefit Uganda’s extensive rural poor population.

The Government of Uganda sought to usher in a new prosperous epoch in the Ugandan roads sector with the creation of the Ugandan National Roads Authority (UNRA) in 2008. This became the body responsible for planning and procuring the services of private firms for the building and maintenance of national roads.

Yet the sector remained plagued with inefficiency: in 2010, each national roads construction contract was, on average, completed almost nine months behind schedule due to lack of transparency in the procurement process, poor contract management and project monitoring inefficiencies. We are assisting the UNRA in reaching its target of halving the average contract completion delay by 2014.

Through a combination of technical training, soft skills capacity building, and the implementation of accountable and transparent systems, we have overhauled UNRA’s core functions to improve value for money throughout the lifecycle of procurement.

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