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Under Uganda’s decentralised system, rural water service delivery remains to some extent problematic. Several studies attribute the possible causes of deficiencies in the water sector to governance issues. This article applies social network analysis to map upward and downward water-related information flows between the actors of local government from village to district level. Comparing the actual information-sharing network with what’s on paper reveals a less reciprocal and more centralised network than that theoretically envisaged. Some actors, such as the district water officer, are more central than expected in terms of sending and receiving information, while others seem to underperform. Our findings show, however, that it is not the political–administrative information exchange which is the biggest obstacle, but rather information flows between higher (district and sub-county) and lower (parish and village) levels of the local governance structure. Adding water users to the analysis reveals the village chairperson as the most crucial broker of information upward to duty bearers at district level. The limited role of water user committees also becomes apparent. The authors conclude that information communication technology holds potential to overcome some of the bottlenecks (eg distance) hindering the flow of water-related information between actors at different levels.
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