Master of Arts Local Governance and Human Rights

Programme coordinator:

Mr. Kabiito Benedicto


The Master of Arts programme in Local Governance and Human Rights aims at deepening the student’s capability to analyse and have a research based approach to issues in local governance and human rights.  Through the programme students are able to articulate more deeply issues of decentralisation and human rights and their importance in the attainment of equitable and sustainable development. By this, they are helped to get a better understanding of local government and to ably participate in the process of decentralisation, upholding the fundamental human rights, to make a contribution to the field of good governance and upholding human rights.


Modules of this programme place emphasis on increasing students understanding of the managing local government activities and issues of decentralisation. Further they help students to understand the scope and limits of international human rights principles and institutions. Students will gain capacity to think analytically about the further implementation decentralisation and human rights in their professional setting, and research. The Masters programme takes a total of 92 credit hours including 12 credits unites of the dissertation. To complete studying the module and the reader totals to 8 contact hours for each module.



The programme focuses on providing local government officials with much-needed opportunities for training, increase their capacity to make research and in a general way to upgrade their professional standards, skills, and knowledge. By doing this, this programme tries to bridge the gap between theory and practice ensuring that it is need-oriented.  The programme further aims at training human resource already involved in local governance and those who intend to join local governance and to allow them give the civil society opportunities to participate in governance and decision making.


General Objectives

  1. To strengthen the capacity of administration and service delivery in districts;
  2. To enhance students’ understanding of human rights at the domestic, regional and international levels;
  3. To increase ability to conduct research in this field of local government and human rights;

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the course successfully will acquire:

  1. Improved skills in local governance and administration;
  2. More knowledge on partnership management;
  3. A critical understanding of the principles and institutions of international human rights, including their origins, assumptions, contents, limits and potential;
  4. An improved ability to think analytically about the implementation and development of international human rights and to apply them in their own professional and national setting;
  5. An improved ability to conduct research on Local government and international human rights.

LGHR 301: Local Government Management and Administration

Public administration is the study of management and policy. The module will focus mainly on the management side of public administration, however it should be recognised that policy and management are frequently overlapping fields. Organizational structures can often determine the success or not of policy objectives. This module aims to give the students the tools they need to be effective managers at the local government level.


LGHR 302: Introduction to Human Rights

Human rights are essential to human dignity, yet no nation has a history without the abuse of human rights. This module introduces students to the historical development of current human rights throughout history. It will also introduce the students to the development of international human rights law through an examination of the UN system.


LGHR 303: Environmental Management

Environmental management is important to ensure that resources being developed will still be available in the future, that people remain healthy, and that the earth is not destroyed. Knowledge of environmental management is important to ensure that development projects will be sustainable. The module will introduce the basic environmental principles and the management of resources. It will address the issues of rural and urban development and sustainability.


LGHR 304: Research Methodology

Research is at its most basic, the gathering of information and the evaluation of that information. There are many ways to gather data which can be split into two basic approaches: quantitative which deals with numerical data and the statistics and qualitative which deals with subject sources such as texts and interviews. This course will provide students with an introduction to traditional research methods as well as participatory research models.


LGHR 305: Procurement and Contract Management

Many organizations fail to avoid the pitfalls of poorly administered procurement and inadequate contract management. This can often lead to unnecessary costs, poor quality, unsatisfactory service and ultimately crisis and disorder. All too often organizations award contracts and then fail to manage subsequent contractor performance in order to ensure that the quality of goods and services are delivered in accordance with the contract scope and price. The module aims to improve individuals’ contract negotiation skills and contractor partnering skills, provide students with a clear understanding of the principles upon which an effective procurement cycle and contract strategy are based.

LGHR 306: Human Rights Advocacy and Networking for Good Governance

This module provides human rights activists with a range of proven human rights advocacy methods and critical concepts as a means for them to reflect on and deepen their own work. The course will look at the theoretical foundations and critical issues of human rights advocacy, elements of advocacy planning, and strategies for action.


LGHR 307: Project Planning and Management

In the world of scarcity and competing demands for products and services, several planned investment choices have to be made about various issues. Among these issues include: the best transport mode demanded by citizens, appropriate location for heavy industry investments, determination of the best investment, all of which require a criteria for comparing alternative costs of input versus output and to estimate the benefits that could be generated by the resources investment or service provision with in the public and private sectors. This module therefore introduces students into making plans that are effected on local level to make them developers through proper planning.


LGHR 308: Human Rights and Law

Human rights are protected by law and the local and the national level. The rule of law demand that government actors as well as private citizens be subject to the constitution and human rights laws. It is through human rights laws that the law seeks to protect the basic human dignity of all member of society. Human rights are important for development because if people are not secure in their rights then they will not make long term plans, fearing that it will be taken from them. They will not build houses and hospitals, will not start businesses or save to educate their children. Students will explore the importance of constitutionalism and the meaning and reality or unreality of constitutionalism in Uganda.


LGHR 309: Governance and Women’s Rights

The objective of the module is to reach a common understanding regarding the key concepts of gender, women rights, and governance and their interrelationship. The key institutional actors in governance will be introduced. It explores areas in which women’s interests can be mainstreamed, e.g. entitlements to productive resources (engendering macro economic reform); investment in human resources, particularly in health and education; equal representation in decision making, and security. It will look at a few selected case studies to illustrate how women have fought for both their own rights as well as engaged in national and international campaigns to allow oppressed communities access to their fundamental rights as citizens.

LGHR 310: Public Private Partnerships

This module provides an introduction to current thinking on, and practice of, public sector management and managerial reform in developed, transitional and developing countries.  It aims at giving a critical understanding of key institutional and managerial reforms, which have been introduced in recent years to promote good governance and enhance public and private sector performance.

LGHR 311: Research Paper

All postgraduate students are required to submit a dissertation as part of the requirements for the award of the degree. The dissertation must be structured according to the ‘UMU format’. All students will be allocated a supervisor at the end of the Research Methodology course. Part-time students will be informed about the dates for the submission of research proposals which will have to be vetted before students can start the research. The supervisor should be consulted on all academic matters and will be responsible for guiding the preparation of the dissertation. Dates for the submission of the dissertation will be available at the start of each year. As a matter of principle, we shall provide areas from which a student may frame his or her research work. We shall allow a student to suggest two supervisors to guide us select a suitable supervisor for their research or dissertation.