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Oil in Uganda: Policy Report

Guy Grossman

Laura Paler

Jan Pierskalla

Leslie Marshall

April 24, 2015

Assistant

Professor, University of Pennsylvania (corresponding author). Email:ggros@sas.upenn.edu


Professor, University of Pittsburgh
Assistant Professor, Ohio State University
Ph.D. Student, University of Pittsburgh
Assistant

Contents
1

Executive Summary

Introduction

10

A Resource Curse in Uganda?

14

Overview of the Study

15

Public Opinion in Uganda Baseline Statistics

19

5.1

Government Services and Policy Priorities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

5.2

Political Attitudes and Behavior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Understanding Variation in Engagement on Oil

36

6.1

Prior Knowledge of Oil in Uganda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

6.2

Special Module: Oil Region Only . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

The Political Geography of Oil

54

Oil Information Experiments

62

8.1

National versus Regional Benefits of Oil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

Appendix A Survey Demographics

76

Appendix B Political Geography

81

Appendix C Information Experiments

85

List of Tables
1

Overview of Survey Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Overview of Survey Questions, Expected Benefits and Concerns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

Differences between oil and non-oil regions, general outcomes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

Differences between oil and non-oil regions, oil-specific outcomes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

Differences between oil and non-oil regions, expected benefits and concerns . . . . . . . . . 60

General Background Characteristics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

Ethnic identity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

Pre-Matching Balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

Post-Matching Balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

10

Oil and non-oil region differences by NRM support (general outcomes) . . . . . . . . . . . 82

11

Oil and non-oil region differences by NRM support (oil-specific outcomes) . . . . . . . . . 83

12

Oil and non-oil region differences by NRM support (expected benefits and concerns) . . . . 84

List of Figures
1

Oil Exploration and Discoveries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Relationship between oil proximity and party ID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Quality of public services (full sample) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Quality of public services (by oil proximity) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Quality of public services (by party ID) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Policy prioritization (full sample) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Policy prioritization (by oil proximity) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Policy prioritization (by gender) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Political knowledge scores . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

10

News Consumption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

11

Satisfaction with government job performance (full sample) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

12

Satisfaction with government job performance (by stratification variables) . . . . . . . . . . 29

13

Trust in government officials (full sample) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

14

Trust in government officials (by stratification variables) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

15

Perceptions of corruption among government officials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

16

Confidence in parliament and local government (full sample) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

17

Satisfaction with democracy in Uganda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

18

Political participation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

19

Political efficacy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

20

Oil knowledge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

21

Oil knowledge (by oil status) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

22

Perception of oil revenues effect on the national budget . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

23

Perception of oil revenues effect on the national budget (by stratification variables) . . . . . 39

24

Spending preferences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

25

Respondents mean allocation oil revenue across branches of government . . . . . . . . . . 42

26

Distribution across oil and non-oil districts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

27

Expected benefits from oil production: Uganda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

28

Expected benefits from oil production: Household . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

29

Oil Revenues Realized Benefits (Country) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

30

Oil Revenues Most Important Realized Benefits (Country) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

31

Concerns regarding negative oil impact (household) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

32

Greatest concern regarding possible negative oil impact (household) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

33

Assessment of the impact of oil for Uganda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

34

Management of Oil Activities for the Communitys Benefit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

35

Addressing community concerns about the oil sector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

36

MP consult community members in the oil districts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

37

Present and future benefits from oil companies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

38

Biggest benefit expected from oil companies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

39

Oil companies and the national government performance comparison . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

40

Information Treatments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

41

National treatment effectstreatment check . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

42

National treatment effects on demand for information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

43

National treatment effects on willingness to take political action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68


4

44

National treatment effects on behavioral outcomes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

45

National treatmentpossible adverse effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

46

Regional treatment effectstreatment check . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

47

Regional treatment effects on demand for information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

48

Regional treatment effects on willingness to take political action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

49

Regional treatment effects on behavioral outcomes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73

50

Regional treatmentpossible adverse effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73

51

Summary Statistics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

52

Religious affiliation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

53

Primary income generating activity (by gender) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

54

Executive control treatment effectstreatment check . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88

55

Executive control treatment effectstreatment check . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88

56

Executive control treatment effects on demand for information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89

57

Executive control treatment effects on willingness to take political action . . . . . . . . . . . 89

58

Executive control treatment effects on behavioral outcomes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90

59

MP control treatment effectstreatment check . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90

60

MP control treatment effectstreatment check . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91

61

MP control treatment effects on demand for information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91

62

MP control treatment effects on willingness to take political action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92

63

MP control treatment effects on behavioral outcomes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92

64

Oil companies experimentsummary of treatment effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93

Executive Summary

Following the discovery of oil in Uganda in 2006, the question of whether the countrys newfound resource
wealth will be beneficial or harmful for its development has been a focus of substantial attention. In the
past two decades there has been a growing awareness on the part of academics, practitioners, and policy
makers around the world of the possible detrimental effects of mineral wealth, including weak economic
growth, corruption, civil conflict, and the erosion of transparency and accountability in many resource-rich
countries. The resource curse can take shape through numerous different channels. Evidence suggests
that it can undermine the incentives of political leaders to implement policies that are in the best interest of
citizens; weaken the will or ability of citizens to be politically engaged; or generate grievances within society
over how the wealth is distributed. Importantly, whether examining accountability deficits or conflict, at the
heart of the matter are the knowledge, expectations, preferences and sense of ownership of regular citizens.
The starting point of this study is our belief that in order to counteract the possibility of a resource curse
one has to pay close attention to what the public knows and wants, and how these may change overtime in
response to changing circumstances.
This project is therefore explicitly designed to provide a baseline assessment of citizens knowledge and
attitudes toward oil, approximately 2-3 years prior to the actual commercial production of oil in Uganda.
The first goal of this research project is to study the knowledge of and engagement of Ugandans on oil
issuesincluding their demand for transparency and accountability in the oil sector. To accomplish this,
we conducted a nationally representative survey of 2,714 people from 76 constituencies and 304 villages in
52 districts across Uganda. The survey allows us to assess Ugandans current state of knowledge regarding
the oil sector, their sense of ownership over natural resources, their expectations regarding the impact of oil
revenues on Uganda, and their preferences with respect to the usage of oil revenues. When analyzing survey
responses special care was given to examining how citizens knowledge and engagement varies depending
on individual-level characteristics (such as gender and party affiliation) and geography (proximity to oil
production sites).
The main findings of the survey, discussed below in Sections 5 and 6, are somewhat alarming. Ugandans
have low levels of knowledge of the oil sector, and they especially know very little about the size of the
expected revenue. More so, we find that Ugandans do not view oil governance issues as politically salient,
even though the survey took place as the Ugandan parliament was debating key aspects of the sectors
regulatory framework. Consistent with the resource curse literature, Ugandans have very high (unrealistic)
expectations regarding the impact of oil on the national budget and they generally expect that many positive
benefits would be realized in the short term. In addition we find that Ugandans express low levels of trust
with parliament and in their MP and they have little confidence that parliament is able to check the power of
the executive branch. This too is a source of concern. Equally concerning is our finding that, at least outside
the oil regions, most Ugandans underestimate the possible costs of oil production and exploration, and that
residents of oil and non-oil regions have quite different ideas regarding what constitutes a fair allocation of
oil revenue to the oil regions.
Indeed we find significant differences between oil residents and non-oil residents in both attitudes and
political behavior. For example, Ugandans in the oil region show stronger support for the NRM, and gen6

erally report higher levels of trust in and satisfaction with the President. In addition, we find that oil-region
residents have different policy priorities and are more politically active than constituents in non-oil areas.
Specific to oil, Ugandans in the oil regions have greater knowledge of oil related issues and higher expectations regarding the impact of oil on the size of the national budget. They also show a preference for
allocating a larger share of oil revenue to the oil region and, moreover, have higher expectation of receiving
future benefits from oil companies. They generally trust the national government to manage the oil sector
effectively.
Importantly, though results presented in Section 5 and Section 6 allow us to compare attitudes and
behavior as a function of oil-region status, they do not allow us to conclude that these differences are due
to the oil discovery, rather than to some other factors. The second goal of the study is therefore to push
our analysis to further unpack public opinion and attitudes of ordinary Ugandans as a function of proximity
to oil. Specifically, we are interested in exploring whether some of the systematic differences found in our
public opinion survey between oil and non-oil residents are in fact due to the oil discovery.
The challenge with knowing the extent to which oil is contributing to these differences is that there
are other factors correlated with both the location of oil and the outcomes of interest. When we address
this challenge statistically in Section 7 by controlling for pre-discovery factors, we find that, even after
accounting for pre-discovery factors, oil-region residents express a higher level of awareness about oilrelated issues paired with an increased demand for a larger share of oil revenue to be allocated to the oil
regions. Equally important is our finding that for a number of distinct activities, respondents in the oil
region are far less likely to become politically active with regard to the issue of oil: oil region residents
report less willingness to seek information about the presidents handling of the oil sector or information
about local officials; they are less likely to attend rallies in support of policies dealing with the management
of the oil sector; they are also less willing to attend community meetings arranged by oil companies or
contact their community leaders; and they are also less interested in signing up for an SMS service that
would have provided them with additional information about oil in the future. In short, we document a
robust and consistent finding that though residents of oil districts know more about oil and expect to receive
a larger share of future revenues, they are at the same time significantly less likely to act in ways that might
seem confrontational.
On one hand, despite the fact that tangible benefits of oil production are yet to be realized, local residents
are better informed about the oil sector and have very clear expectations about future revenue flows. On the
other hand, while the discovery of oil has heightened expectations about fiscal revenues and specific benefits,
respondents in the oil region are clearly not (yet) willing to become politically engaged in support of these
demands. Instead, individuals are decidedly less willing to engage government officials than respondents in
the non-oil regions. While it is too early to identify the exact reasons for this pattern, one plausible explanation might be that Ugandans in the oil region engage in anticipatory acquiescence and do not want to rock
the boat, momentarily giving the government the benefit of the doubt. If this is indeed the case, any efforts
at ensuring good governance of the oil sector by encouraging citizen engagement might face substantial
difficulties. We believe that it is of utmost importance to track whether levels of trust in the President and
willingness to disengage politically changes overtime as public expectations about oil production adjust to

actual realities. Indeed, the lack of willingness to engage on the issue of oil is clearly not driven by a lack
of concerns. As we show below, Ugandans in the oil region are quite sensitive to a host of risks associated
with oil production and exploration. This suggests that while a careful wait-and-see attitude is prevalent at
the moment, adjusted expectations might quickly generate meaningful changes in peoples attitudes.
Given the relatively low levels of knowledge and engagement at present, a key policy relevant question
arises: how can citizens be mobilized to demand better governance of the oil sector? The third key goal of
this research project is, therefore, to test whether providing citizens with information about oil related issues
can encourage them to take action to demand transparency and accountable management of the resource
sector. To explore the question of how to use information to mobilize political action, we implemented a set
of information experiments within the survey. Each experiment was explicitly designed to examine the effect
of specific factors that may change the way citizens reevaluate the importance of being politically engaged
with respect to oil management. For example, we examine whether political engagement can increase when
citizens receive information on the size of the national and regional benefits of oil or on the role of elected
officials (the President, MPs, and local government) in managing resource wealth. The experimental design
and results are presented in great detail in Section 8.
Previewing our results, we do not find strong evidence that providing information on oil motivates
greater political action, at least not at this point in time. Though we find some evidence that providing
information on the impact of oil on the national budget leads to higher levels of engagement in the nonoil region, this primarily seems to arise by depressing engagement in the oil region. We also find some
evidence that information on allocation of greater resources to oil regions increases demand for information
in the oil and non-oil regions alike. This, however, does not necessarily translate into a willingness to
hold politicians accountable in the oil region. Importantly our experimental findings are consistent with a
dont rock the boat story in the oil region. Indeed the study provides suggestive evidence that reminding oil
region residents about national and regional benefits has the effect of making them less willing to take action
oriented at politicians, even if it makes them more interested in oil-related issues. Overall, the weakness of
the experimental results further corroborate the difficulties associated with using information to mobilize
political engagement at this early stage in the production process before revenue has started flowing.
This study makes several contributions to the study of oil governance in Uganda, and beyond. First, it
contributes to the understanding of the potential for a resource curse in Uganda and for the phenomenon of
the resource curse more broadly. To our knowledge this is the only systematic study of how individuals are
thinking and feeling about oil issues at this early stage of the extraction process. Although production has
not yet begun, as described above, this is the key period in which the institutional framework governing the
sector is being put in place. Thus, even though oil as an issue may not be as salient as it will be once the
revenue starts flowing in, this is the key time to think about how to mobilize citizens to demand a transparent
and accountable resource sector and try to influence the policy debate at the national level.
Second, though the resource curse literature assumes that the actions of citizens, their expectations and
attitudes are key in understanding why the curse takes place in some places but not in others, very few
studies have actually measured those key ingredients. This study is therefore unique in actually measuring the political attitudes, expectations, preferences, policy priorities, and political behavior of Ugandans,

rather than simply assuming them from the realities on the ground. We wish to stress however, that this
study provides a snapshot of the attitudes, preferences and sense of ownership about three years prior to oil
extraction. In order to know in what direction Uganda is trendingi.e., whether it is averting or heading
towards a resource curseit is of utmost importance to track such attitudes and behavior over time. Knowing where the public stands and what it knows can also help in the design of outreach activities, better align
government activities with the publics preferences, and ensure the inclusion of ordinary Ugandans voices
in public debates over the governance of the oil sector and how future revenues will be used.

Introduction

Although it has been suspected that Uganda had oil deposits since the 1930s, the existence of these deposits
was not confirmed until 2006. With this discovery, international and domestic attention has turned to how
the Ugandan government plans to structure and regulate its emerging oil sector. According to the most recent
estimates, Uganda has a total of more than 6.5 billion barrels of oil to be developed, most of which is located
in the Albertine Graben in the West of the country.1 This estimate is almost double that of the 3.5 billion
barrels that was confirmed just three years ago. Of the 6.5 billion barrels of oil that have been identified,
Ugandas Energy Ministry estimates that 1.4 billion barrels are recoverable. Moreover, oil exploration work
has taken place in less than 40 percent of the Albertine Graben, meaning that it is highly probable Uganda
has yet to realize the full extent of its oil wealth. Additionally, the Albertine Graben is not the only area of
Uganda where oil discovery is anticipated. Other basins that may have oil deposits are the Hoima basin (to
the east of Lake Albert), the Lake Kyoga basin (in the center of the country), and the Kadam-Moroto basin,
still further east, in the Karamoja sub-region. These explorations could put Ugandas reserves at over 10
billion barrels.
To put Ugandas oil reserve figures in a wider context, Saudi Arabia, the worlds richest oil state, has 263
billion barrels of "proven" reserves, Nigeria has 37 billion and Angola has 9.5 billion. While Ugandas oil
reserves are a small fraction of those discovered in many other oil-producing countries, its deposits are well
above the 400 million barrel threshold for commercial viability. Ugandas oil reserves are expected to supply
domestic needs while selling a significant surplus overseas. With full scale production and export expected
by 2017, it is anticipated that reserves will yield 150-250,000 barrels per day and rents at 10-15% of GDP
for at least 20 years (Gelb and Majerowicz, 2011). According to Tullow Oil, one of the companies working
to develop Ugandas energy resources, Uganda could earn upwards of $50 billion from oil production before
the discovered oil fields are exhausted (Tullow, 2013). What this massive influx of revenue means for the
future of Uganda and its people remains unclear.
Given that Uganda has never been a producer of oil, the new discoveries have forced Ugandas government and parliament to reexamine (and update) the countrys regulatory framework for its nascent oil
and gas sector. Interestingly and somewhat unexpectedly, the process of putting in place a new regulatory
framework has been fraught with some tension between President Museveni and the 9th parliament. On
one side, President Museveni, who has been in power since 1986, seems determined to minimize oversight
and maximize the control of the executive branch over all aspects of the oil sector (signing contracts, granting exploration licenses, managing revenues, etc). Challenging Museveni is a group of equally determined
MPs from both the ruling party (NRM) and the opposition, who are keen on increasing both parliamentary
oversight and the control of technocratic agencies such as the National Petroleum Authority. This struggle reached a pinnacle in December 2012 when parliament approved a comprised version of the Petroleum
[Exploration, Development and Production] Act.
According to the Petroleum Bill, which was signed into law in March 2013, the Ministry of Energy and
Mineral Development (i.e., the President) maintains the powers to grant and revoke oil exploration licenses,
1 The Albertine Graben is an area of about 500 kilometers long and around 45 kilometers wide, forming Ugandas western border

with the DRC and stretching from Lake Edward in the south to the border with South Sudan in the north. See Figure 1 below.

10

Figure 1: Albertine Graben Oil Exploration and Discoveries

11

and to sign agreements in the oil sector without the need to obtain parliamentary approval. In addition, the
law does not require the Ugandan government to make public the Production Sharing Agreements it signs
with oil companies. In addition, the president was granted the powers to nominate the board members of
the newly established National Petroleum Authority (NPA).2 Parliament was also able to strike some small
victories: (a) it was granted the right to approve the presidents pick of the NPAs board members, (b) it
passed an amendment ensuring that the NPA and the National Oil Company would be 100% state owned
and (c) it dropped a clause that granted the government a right for confidentiality in oil wealth management.
Notably almost half of members of parliament left the chamber in protest and therefore did not cast a vote,
which has been interpreted in Uganda as a sign of a growing reluctance of parliament to act as a rubber
stamp for the executive.
The current Petroleum Bill does not address the issue of oil revenue management. Instead, a separate
Petroleum Revenue Management section was somewhat unceremoniously passed into law as part of the
new Public Finance Management Act (2015) after being first proposed in 2010. What began as a bill
meant to concentrate decision-making power in the hands of the executive, met with enough resistance from
parliament to prompt a radical redrafting. The new law is well-summarized by prominent Ugandan journalist
Angelo Izama, who has been covering oil and gas developments in the country for several years: In total
the new law places responsibility for management of oil revenues on the countrys ministry of finance
and the Central Bank while holding elected governments responsible for spending limitations through the
execution of a Charter of Fiscal Responsibility at the start of the financial year. The Parliament is ultimately
responsible for approving expenditures and auditing the performance of the government.

It is evident that

over a relatively short period of time, the imminent introduction of oil to Ugandas economy has prompted
a surge in demand from parliament for a greater share of control over governance in Uganda.
Still, it is not clear that the new division will actually result in more decision-making power for parliamentarians, as President Musevenis strong influence over the oil sector is well-known.4 Uganda has
generally weak democratic institutions and many of its statutory bodies (e.g., National Environment Authority) have disturbingly low capacity that commonly cripples their oversight and implementation powers.5
Together with a political culture that is tolerant towards corruption, there is real danger that Uganda is following a path that leads towards a resource curse. This concern is shared among many stakeholders
journalists, civil-society activists and MPs active in the debates over the regulation of Ugandas oil and
gas sector.
The prospect of oil production has also generated debate over the appropriate distribution of oil revenues.
2 The bill established a National Oil Company (NOC) and a National Petroleum Authority (NPA) as the industry regulator. The
relationship between the Petroleum Exploration and Production Department of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development,
the NOC and the PA and the roles and responsibilities of each of those statutory bodies are still somewhat unclear. See Oil in
Uganda.
3 Angelo Izama, Uganda quietly passes oil revenue management law, November 30, 2014.
4 For example, decisions such as which of the two competing firms, a Russian and Korean conglomerate, gets selected to be the
lead investor for the proposed 60bpd refinery, rest with him alone. See Izama Uganda quietly passes oil revenue management law,
November 30, 2014.
5 Interviews we conducted in Uganda suggest that state capacity is just as important as regulation. Many times the source of
civil unrest is not the legal frameworkindeed, some of the laws protecting, say, the environment, are quite progressivebut lack
enforcement.

12

Again, crucial decision-making power rests with the presidency in setting the parameters of the fiscal bargain
over future oil revenues. The recently passed Public Finance Management Act, while only a first step,
is likely to codify a status quo with respect to the distribution of government revenues across levels of
government and between producer and non-producer regions that will be hard to overturn. According to the
Public Finance Management Act (2015), the central government will retain 93 percent of royalties arising
from petroleum production and the remaining six percent will be shared among the local governments
located in the oil region (Article 75.1). In an important departure from earlier drafts, cultural or traditional
institutions (i.e. the traditional kingdoms) will be granted one percentage point of royalties at the expense
of the local governments, which were previously slated to receive seven percent of royalties.
One other debate settled (at least temporarily) by the Public Finance Management Act is the formula for
dividing the oil revenue among the oil-region district governments. Of the six percent of annual royalties
allocated to all oil-region local government, 50% will be shared in proportion to level of production,
and 50% allocated based on population size, geographic area and terrain. Another, subtler, dimension
of the fiscal debate hinges on the definition of the oil region in regards to the fiscal formula outlined in
the Public Finance Management Act. Importantly, the Public Finance Management Act (2015) does not
provide a definition of eligible local governments, and instead empowers the Minister of Energy and Mineral
Development (i.e., the executive branch) to come up with a list of eligible local governments.6 Executive
influence over the official designation of producer regions narrowly defined over actual oil production or
more liberally to include the wider region adjacent to Lake Albert will have enormous consequences for
local government revenue. The designation of local governments as being inside or outside the oil-region
will also have significant distributional implications that could be a source of future grievances, as has been
the case in Nigeria (Blair, 2014), Bolivia (Mhler and Pierskalla, 2015) and elsewhere.
Finally, it is notable that, to a large extent, the public has been all but absent in the recent debates over
the regulation of the oil sector. With few exceptions, most of the work of civil society organizations (CSOs)
has been to educate and build the capacity of urban elites: MPs and journalists. This reflects to a large
degree the skepticism of civil society players with respect to the publics role in policymaking. Interviews
we conducted suggest that many CSO activists do not believe that the public can construct meaningful
preferences with respect to oil because the sector is too technical. Even if the public had clear priorities
and preferences, it is widely believed that public opinion can hardly matter because Uganda (as in many
low-income countries) lacks the institutional framework to aggregate citizens opinions: opposition parties
are weak and there are virtually no independent periodic public opinion polls. This project is designed
to help alleviate the lack of two-way communication on oil and oil-related issues by providing a baseline
assessment of citizens knowledge and attitudes toward oil approximately three years prior to the actual
commercial production of oil in Uganda.
6 Importantly, in previous drafts the 6-7 percent royalties were granted to the district governments.

In the version that eventually


passed into law, the term was changed to local governments in order to include Town Councils and Municipalities, which are
independent of the LC1-LC5 structure.

13

A Resource Curse in Uganda?

The legal framework that has been put in place in recent years to regulate Ugandas oil sector is especially
important in light of the widespread belief that resource wealth can, paradoxically, cripple development.
While countries such as Norway and Botswana have largely avoided the so-called resource curse, others
such as Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon have failed to translate natural resource windfalls into better
welfare for citizens. All too often, natural resource wealth is associated with a host of bad development
outcomes, including disappointing economic growth, high levels of corruption, under-provision of public
goods, a lack of transparency and accountability, and civil conflict (Sachs and Warner, 2001; Tornell and
Lane, 1998; Robinson, Torvik and Verdier, 2006; Brollo et al., 2012; Ross, 2012).
The specific focus of this project is on the effects of oil abundance on the political behavior of citizens in response to policies and actions taken by their leaders when oil is discovered. A large literature on
the resource curse argues that resource wealth undermines transparent, accountable, and clean government.
One possible explanation for this bad governance outcome is that natural resources provide politicians
with revenue that they can use to buy political support, either by providing public goods or private goods
to supporters. Resource wealth has thus been associated with patronage, clientelism, corruption, and incumbency advantage (Robinson, Torvik and Verdier, 2006). In contrast, beginning with a large literature
on rentier states, scholars have argued that natural resources replace domestic taxation, which undermines
citizen motivation to take political action (Ross, 2001; Paler, 2013). From a political agency perspective, oil
can exacerbate information asymmetries between leaders and citizens, thus making it harder for citizens in
resource rich countries to hold politicians accountable effectively (Gadenne, 2014). Taken together, these
literatures suggest that oil weakens the will or ability of citizens to take action to demand transparency and
accountability in the governance of the resource sector.
By contrast, the literature on resources and civil conflict suggests that natural resource wealth can actually mobilize citizens to take (violent) political action. While there are again numerous possible mechanisms
(Humphreys, 2005), many have emphasized that natural resources can motivate rebels to capture the resource
revenue accruing to the central government, either by taking over the central government or seceding if located in a resource rich region (LeBillon, 2001). Others have emphasized that civil conflict can emerge if
resources generate distributional grievances. Distributional grievances could be more likely to emerge in
producer regions if they feel a strong sense of ownership or entitlement to the resource, they are bearing an
(uncompensated) unequal share of the economic or environmental costs of extraction or when resource extraction interacts with salient identity frames that can be used for mobilization (Aspinall, 2007; Ross, 2006;
Mhler and Pierskalla, 2015). Of course, the non-oil region could contest this if they feel that resources are
a national treasure and that the oil region is getting too great a share of the wealth. Of particular interest to
Uganda where production has not yet begun, evidence suggests that resource discovery on its own is capable of increasing the probability of civil war onset by 58 percentage points (Lei and Michaels, 2014) or of
extending the duration of civil conflict through the promise of future wealth (Lujala, 2010). Even if the mere
discovery of oil does not necessarily lead to violent conflict, incumbent governments might try to pre-empt
challenges to their control over oil revenues by increasing military expenditures and repressing political opposition (Cotet and Tsui, 2013). All in all, those focused on conflict have emphasized that resourcesoften
14

depending on how benefits are shared and distributed geographicallycan engender contentious and violent
political action.
As can be seen, explanations for the resource curse centered on governance or conflict suggest very different political action outcomes for citizens, but uniformly highlight the importance of Ugandas oil discovery for its political future. Governance stories suggest that resources cause a decrease in more conventional
forms of political action while conflict stories suggest that resources can increase violent and unconventional types of political action. Whether oil increases or decreases political action at the individual-level
depends in large part on the actions taken by political leaders but also the overall context in a given country.
The majority of academic and policy studies have engaged this question of the resource curse only at the
macro-level, tracing the effects of resource wealth for whole political systems, without trying to unpack the
micro-level logic (an example of a notable exception is Paler (2013)). A central objective of this study is
to understand how the political and social context of Uganda and events to date since the oil discovery are
shaping the nature of political engagement on oil issues at the individual level. As such, it will offer a truly
unique perspective on the political process with regard to oil governance in Uganda and beyond.
This is particularly important in the Ugandan context because events since the oil discovery in 2006 raise
concerns about the potential for oil revenue to undermine good governance or contribute to distributional
conflict. As described in the preceding section, some are concerned that the 2013 Petroleum Act gives
excessive power to the executive and limits transparency and parliamentary oversight of the resource sector.
Others have pointed to the debate over how to divide the pie between the oil and non-oil districts, as well
as over how to define an oil district, as potential fodder for the emergence of distributional grievances
down the road. This highlights an important point. On one hand, these are still (relatively) early days for
Uganda as it is still in the period before production has really begun. We thus would not expect a fullblown resource curse at this stage. On the other hand, the institutional framework governing the oil sector
is being put in place now and that framework is very likely to shape the probability that a resource curse
will emerge. Thus, even though oil is a lower salience issue for citizens at present, as our evidence suggests,
it is crucially important to understand and facilitate citizen engagement so that the public can influence
the policy framework and take steps to prevent harmful laws from being put in place. Understanding the
extent to which citizens are engaged on this issue and the extent to which they can be mobilized to demand
transparent and accountable governance of the oil sector motivated the study design, described next.

Overview of the Study

The over-arching objective of this study is to understand how recent developments in Uganda are shaping
citizen knowledge of, attitudes towards, and behavior on oil-related issues. The study is motivated by three
questions in particular: To what extent is there variationparticularly geographic variationin peoples
engagement on oil issues? To what extent can we say that oil is actually causing or contributing to this variation, which is the central concern of the literature on the resource curse? And, finally, to what extent might
it be possible to mitigate some of the detrimental effects of oil by providing citizens with better information
on the governance of the oil sector? We describe our approach to answering these three questions below.

15

Understanding variation in engagement on oil


The first goal of the study is to study peoples knowledge of and engagement on oil issuesincluding their
demand for transparency and accountability in the oil sectorand how that engagement varies depending
on individual-level characteristics (such as gender and party affiliation) and geography (proximity to oil
production sites). We pay particularly close attention to variation in both political attitudes and engagement
across the oil and non-oil areas.
There are good reasons to expect that people in the oil region would be more engaged and knowledgeable
about oil governance at this stage. This is because exploration is happening in their backyards and they
have already faced early consequences of oil exploration. In addition, oil-region residents are likely to
hold stronger feelings of ownership or entitlement. We have less of an understanding of what to expect of
people in non-oil regions. On one hand, they could view oil as a national resource and be very engaged.
Alternatively, they could view this as a non-salient issue that primarily involves those in the oil region. Low
levels of engagement in the non-oil region would be problematic insofar as, according to the Public Finance
Management Act (2015), 93 percent of royalties (and 100 percent of other revenues such as taxes and new
exploration licenses) will pass through the national budget. An active and engaged citizenry is likely crucial
to ensuring that those funds are spent and saved wisely. It is thus absolutely crucial to understand not only
geographic differences in engagement with respect to oil related issues, but also perceptions of the fair
distribution of revenue that might lead to the emergence of distributional grievances.
To accomplish this goal, we conducted a nationally representative survey of 2,714 people from 76 constituencies and 304 villages in 52 districts across Uganda. The main goal of the survey was to assess Ugandans current state of knowledge regarding the oil sector, their sense of ownership over natural resources,
their expectations regarding the impact of oil revenues on Uganda, and their preferences with respect to
the usage of oil revenues. Additionally the survey collected extensive data on demographics, public service usage, political attitudes and participation history, etc. We further leverage this information to study
heterogeneity in knowledge, opinions and attitudes towards oil-related issues.
Hatchile Consult, a local survey firm, implemented the survey during a four-week period from July 23 to
August 19, 2014. Training of enumeration field staff took place in multiple phases from May through July
2014. A sample of 2,736 Ugandan citizens was randomly drawn using a multi-stage cluster sampling. Using
an updated sampling frame that includes all enumeration areas, or EAs (villages) in Uganda, the sample
was first clustered into 12 regions: Acholi, West Nile, Bunyoro, Toro, Kigezi, Ankole, Central, Kampala,
Busoga, Eastern, Karamoja and Lango.7 Within each region, the sample was proportionally stratified into
urban and rural using projected measures of population size. Besides clustering at the sub-region level,
the sample was also intended to provide insight into public opinion at the constituency level. To maximize
accessibility for local populations, the survey was translated into 12 different languages (Alur, Ankore,
Ateso, Japadhola, Lugbara, Luganda, Lumasaba, Lusoga, Luo, Karamajong, Kupsabiny, and Runyoro). The
survey received all necessary permissions from the government of Uganda, including approval from the
Uganda National Council for Science and Technology and the Office of the President.
7 Our

sampling frame follows the structure adopted in the 2011 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS2011) and the
2010 Uganda National Household Survey (2010UNHS).

16

Given budget constraints, we randomly sampled 76 parliamentary constituencies (out of a total of 238
constituencies) within the regional strata. Half of the constituencies were selected from areas defined as
oil regions and half from non-oil regions.8 Within each block defined by oil-region status, parliamentary
constituencies were randomly selected with selection probabilities proportional to the most recent projected
population size. Within each sampled constituency, we further randomly sampled four EAs, and then nine
respondents per EA. The selection of individual respondents from each sampled EA followed a systematic
random process implemented by the field team. The total sample was thus expected to be 2, 736 (=7649)
respondents. Due to some unavoidable issues in the field, 22 interviews (across different EAs) were not
completed such that the total number of interviews available for analysis is 2,714.9
The selection of 36 interviews per constituency resulted in an oversample at the sub-region level, which
has been addressed through data weighting throughout the analysis presented below. Face-to-face interviews
were then conducted with individual respondents following informed consent. The sampling frame used to
select individual respondents was also executed by the field team in such a way as to ensure gender parity
among those interviewed. This design is reflected in that men (1, 363 respondents) and women (1, 351) are
almost equally represented in the sample. The analysis of the descriptive data is presented in Sections 56.

The effect of oil


While the first goal of the project is primarily descriptive, the second goal of the project is to take things one
step further by trying to answer the question: To what extent has the discovery of oil actually influenced any
of the observed variation between oil and non-oil regions? The challenge with knowing the extent to which
oil is contributing to these differences is that there are clearly other factors correlated with both the location
of oil and the outcomes of interest. For instance, as is well known, oil was discovered in Western Uganda,
which historically has been a stronghold for President Museveni and the NRM. In order to test whether oil is
increasing support for Museveni (consistent with an incumbency advantage story) we would have to control
for prior levels of support and all other factors that are correlated with both the region and the outcomes of
interest.
We address this in Section 7 of the report in two ways. First, we use the fact that the location of oil
discoveries is plausibly exogenous. We have every reason to believe that discovery was based on geological
features first and foremost and was not endogenous to other aspects of those particular districts (e.g. they are
not more geographically accessible or more friendly towards oil exploration). This gives us a treatment
group of villages in oil-rich areas that are as-if randomly selected. Second, we then employ a statistical
matching procedure using 2002 census and 2006 election data to create a suitable counterfactual (control)
8 The

oil regions in this study are Acholi, West Nile, Bunyoro, Ankole, Kigezi and Bukonjo/Bwamba and Toro.
of enumeration areas were also necessary in seven cases. All four EAs in Kyamuswa County constituency had to
be substituted with four EAs in Ntenjeru County South constituency due to the prohibitively high cost for deploying and maintaining
a survey team on two remote islands in Kalangala district. Additionally, due to insecurity on the Uganda-South Sudan border at
the time of enumeration, Afoji village in West Moyo County had to be substituted with Fodia A village in the same constituency.
Meanwhile, Kaurikiakine village in Bokora County had to be substituted with Kasile A village in the same constituency due to poor
road conditions that prevented field vehicle access to the originally selected area. Finally, water transportation complications in
poor weather conditions forced the need to substitute Damba village in Buvuma Islands County with Zzinga B village in the same
constituency. All substitute villages (and the one substitute constituency) were selected using a systematic random process.
9 Substitutions

17

group of villages outside the oil region. We then use standard regression analysis for our matched data to
determine the effects of oil on a number of attitudinal and behavioral outcome measures.10
Importantly, matching and regression adjustment do not allow us to take a strictly causal interpretation
of the results, as there could always be differences that we failed to control for. But the 2002 census and
2006 electoral data are quite rich and enable us to control for a large number of economic (e.g. poverty and
development), social (e.g. religious and ethnic fractionalization), and political (e.g. support for president,
NRM) factors. As such, we believe this additional analysis, in conjunction with the descriptive results from
the survey, succeeds in getting us one step closer towards understanding the effects of an oil discovery on
knowledge, attitudes, and willingness to take political action.

The effect of information on political action


The third main goal of the study is to understand to what extent people can be mobilized to be politically
engaged with and informed about oil, even at this early stage. In particular, we are interested in studying
whether providing people with different types of information related to oil succeeds in mobilizing people
to demand more transparency and accountability in oil governance. Studying the effects of information
dissemination is particularly important because resource wealth often is accompanied by greater opacity in
revenue and spending (Ross, 2012). Moreover, providing information is an important role for civil society
but there are open questions about what type of information will be effective at mobilizing citizens.
To test the extent to which different types of information on oil affect political engagement, we embedded multiple information experiments within the survey. Specifically, we developed several different
information treatments (each providing information on different aspects of oil governance) and randomly
assigned individuals in the sample to different treatment or control groups. Random assignment ensures balance in the distribution of individual-level characteristics across the different treatment and control
groups. Thus, the different groups have equal numbers of men and women, young and old, NRM supporters
and non-NRM supporters. By creating groups that are alike prior to the treatment implementation, we know
that any differences in outcome across groups after the information is provided is a result of the information
and not some underlying characteristics of the respondents.
In Section 8 we report the experimental results. We are particularly interested in the effects of the
information treatment on different aspects of political engagement, such as demand for information and
willingness to take political action. In light of the fact that survey measures are costless, we also present
results from a behavioral measurerespondent enrollment in a text messaging servicethat captures actual
willingness to take action at some small personal cost. Finally, the literature on the resource curse suggests
that there is good reason to be concerned that different types of information can have adverse effects, for
instance by exacerbating distributional grievances or motivating people to take violent political action. We
therefore take care to examine the extent to which using information to mobilize citizens to hold politicians
accountable can have unintended negative consequences.
10 For

some of our robustness checks we also run analyses for villages only in the oil region, exploiting the effect of proximity to
the actual discoveries.

18

Public Opinion in Uganda Baseline Statistics

In this section we provide descriptive information on our sample of Ugandan citizens. Specifically we summarize the political attitudes, expectations, preferences, policy priorities, and political behavior of Ugandans
about three years prior to oil extraction. Our goal is to draw attention to the current level of political engagement and knowledge, which as we mention above, would be very important to track overtime. Knowing
where the public stands and what it knows can also help in the design of outreach activities as well in better
aligning government activities with the publics preferences. Importantly, in this section we only present
information on where the public currently stands without attempting to causally link current attitudes and
behavior to the discovery of oil. As notes, this link will be made more explicit in Section 7.
Throughout the descriptive portions of the report results are presented along one or more of the following
key demographic dimensions: gender, oil region status, and political party identification. The breakdown to
key subgroups of interest is illustrative, but should not be taken to necessarily represent a causal relationship.
For example, consider a finding that those identifying with the NRM hold some different attitudes as compared to those identifying with one of the opposition parties. Such a finding is illustrative and interesting but
it should not be understood as if this difference is necessarily caused by variation in party attachment. This
is because difference in political attitudes can be the cause rather than the effect of party identification, or
because there may be other factors (e.g., urbanization and education) that cause people to both adopt some
attitudes and to feel close to one party or another. We now turn to explain in further detail how the subgroup
strata oil region status and party identification have been constructed.
Oil-region status has been assigned based on whether or not the enumeration area was in one of the
following oil regions: Acholi, West Nile, Bukonjo/Bwamba, Bunyoro, Ankole, Kigezi and Toro. All respondents living in one of these regions were coded as having oil area status and all of those living outside
of these regions were coded as having non-oil area status. Due to the oversampling strategy, 50% of respondents come from oil areas, while 50% were sampled from non-oil areas. Portions of this report expound
even further upon respondents location relative to oil in order to gain more insight into the importance of
this factor with regard to citizen attitudes and behavior at baseline.
In addition to gender and oil-region status, the third variable used throughout the descriptive portion of
this report is party identification. Party identification is a binary variable which gets the value of one for
the 59% of respondents who (self-reported) as voting for the National Resistance Movements Member of
Parliament (MP) candidate in the 2011 elections, and a value of zero for the remaining 41% of respondents.
Vote choice in the MP election is used as an indicator of political party identification rather than vote choice
in the presidential election because it offers slightly more variation and insight into individual preferences.
The presidential race in Uganda was not competitive in 2011, and there are some reasons to believe that
people feel a stronger pressure to vote (or report voting) for President Museveni regardless of their true
party affiliation. Since parliamentary elections are, on average, more competitive they are a better indication
of voter preferences.11
11 Importantly,

voting for the NRM MP candidate is still a good predictor of presidential vote choice, as only 6% of those report
voting for the NRM MP candidate did not vote for Museveni in the presidential election. Meanwhile, 15% of those who report
voting for President Museveni did not vote for the NRMs MP candidate.

19

The relationship between oil region status and party identification is presented in Figure 2. For each of
the four cells of the mosaic plot, we report the share of respondents out of the entire sample and the number
of respondents in parentheses. For example, 32% respondents (859 interviewees) both affiliate with the
NRM and reside in an oil region. By contrast, the share of non-NRM supporters that live in the oil region
is only 18% (495 respondents). For other background characteristics of the survey respondents, such as
ethnicity, religion, educational attainment and literacy rate, please refer to the appendix. Importantly, since
we use survey (probability) weights, results reported throughout this report represent population estimates
rather than merely the attitudes and perceptions of the sample.
Party ID

Nonoil

18%
(495)

NRM

27%
(728)

Oil

23%
(630)

Oil

NonNRM

32%
(859)

Figure 2: Relationship between oil proximity and party ID.

5.1

Government Services and Policy Priorities

This section highlights Ugandans views of the quality of public services in their communities. This section
also presents and discusses those areas of need that Ugandans feel require the greatest and most immediate
attention from government officials. These data are important to measure in baseline in order to examine
whether citizens evaluation of government services and their preferences for government policy priorities
change over time with increased oil production.
Quality of Public Services
Sampled respondents were asked to rate the overall quality of the following public services in their communities: the government primary school system (UPE), government health centers and hospitals, roads
and bridges, access to clean water, safety from crime and violence, and the Agricultural Extension Services
20

(NAADS). Citizens ratings were elicited on a five-point scale: (1) very bad, (2) somewhat bad, (3) just ok,
(4) somewhat good, and (5) very good. Population estimates are presented in Figure 3 below.
As Figure 3 makes clear, Ugandans have a low evaluation of the quality of key social services. Even
the highest ranked public servicessafety from crime and violence (mean of 2.67) and access to clean
water (mean of 2.59)are evaluated to be below just okay. Ugandans rating of other public services is
even more troubling; for example, the average rating for quality of the Agricultural Extension Services is
only 2.02, placing it almost exactly at a rating of somewhat bad overall. With the majority of Ugandans
dependent primarily upon work in the agricultural sector, this is particularly noteworthy.
Perceptions of the quality of key infrastructural installments also do not fair well. Overall, Ugandans
report low quality ratings with regard to roads and bridges (mean of 2.16) and government health centers
and hospitals (mean of 2.19), respectively. Ugandans also view the quality of the government school system
(UPE) to be closer to somewhat bad than to just okay at a mean response of 2.30.

Quality of Public Services in the Community


Government School System

Government Health Centers/Hospitals

50

50
mean=2.30
40

35

30

25
20

20

16

10
0

Percent

Percent

40

Somewhat Bad

27

30
20

14

Just Okay Somewhat Good Very Good

Very Bad

Roads/Bridges

Percent

Percent

mean=2.59
40

25

20

15

16

10
Very Bad

Somewhat Bad

33

30
20

Just Okay Somewhat Good Very Good

Safety from Crime/Violence

Very Bad

Somewhat Bad

Just Okay Somewhat Good Very Good

Agricultural Extension Services (NAADS)


50

47

mean=2.02
40

22

25

20

Percent

40

Percent

21
10

mean=2.67

25
16

30

25

20
12

11

10
0

20

17

10

50

30

Just Okay Somewhat Good Very Good

50
mean=2.16

40

30

Somewhat Bad

Access to Clean Water

50
40

16

10

Very Bad

mean=2.19

38

11

10
Very Bad

Somewhat Bad

Just Okay Somewhat Good Very Good

Very Bad

Somewhat Bad

Just Okay Somewhat Good Very Good

Figure 3: Reported quality of public services in the community across all respondents.
Oil-region status is correlated with self-reported quality measures of public services (Figure 4). Consider, for example, crime and violence, for which the mean quality rating in the oil regions (2.87) is significantly higher than the quality rating in non-oil regions (2.60). Similarly, relatively large discrepancies are
found in the quality ratings of UPE, government health services and NAADS. By contrast, quality ratings
are somewhat worse in the oil regions for water access and infrastructure. In order to conclude, however,
that the quality of government services are, in fact, higher in oil districts, additional data would need to be
brought into the analysis (e.g., budget data, objective measures of health and education inputs and outputs).
21

Quality of Public Services in the Community


(by Oil Region Status)
Govt. School System

Govt. Health Centers/Hospitals

40

37
29

30

25

24
20

20

21

21

Very Bad

Somewhat Bad

Just Okay

Somewhat Good

40
30

30

27

13

Very Good

Somewhat Bad

27
21

20

15

17

15

14

10
0

Very Bad

Somewhat Bad

Just Okay

Somewhat Good

30

30

20

Very Good

17

26

24

23

21

18

14
10

10
0

Percent

Percent

40
26

Very Bad

Somewhat Bad

Just Okay

Somewhat Good

21
15

22
18

18

11

Very Bad

Somewhat Bad

Just Okay

Somewhat Good

Very Good

Agricultural Extension Services (NAADS)


50

20

Very Good

38

40

Safety from Crime/Violence

24

Somewhat Good

10

50

30

Just Okay

Access to Clean Water

38

30

20
15

50

46

Percent

Percent

40

17

Very Bad

Roads/Bridges
50

29

20
10

Non-Oil
Oil

42

14

10
0

50

Non-Oil
Oil

Percent

Percent

50

13

51
39

40
30

27

23

20

Very Good

18

16
9

10
Very Bad

Somewhat Bad

Just Okay

Somewhat Good

Very Good

Figure 4: Reported quality of public services in the community by proximity to oil.

Quality of Public Services in the Community


(by Party ID)
Govt. School System

Govt. Health Centers/Hospitals

40

37

33

30

26

24
19

20

21
15

17

10
0

50

Non-NRM
NRM

Percent

Percent

50

Very Bad

Somewhat Bad

Just Okay

Somewhat Good

40

40

Non-NRM
NRM

37

30

25

16

Very Good

25

26
20

20

14

15

Very Bad

Very Bad

Somewhat Bad

Just Okay

40

Somewhat Bad

32

Somewhat Good

Very Good

19

25

27
23

20

16

17

10
0

Very Bad

Somewhat Bad

Percent

Percent

40
25

Just Okay

Somewhat Good

22

22

18

20
14

14

Very Bad

Somewhat Bad

Just Okay

Somewhat Good

Very Good

Agricultural Extension Services (NAADS)


50

22

Very Good

33

20

Safety from Crime/Violence

23

Somewhat Good

10

50

30

Just Okay

30

13

10
0

17

Access to Clean Water

37

30

15

50

43

Percent

Percent

40

13

10

Roads/Bridges
50

29

20

13

49

46

40
29

30

23

20

14
8

10
0

Very Good

10

12
4

Very Bad

Somewhat Bad

Just Okay

Somewhat Good

Figure 5: Reported quality of public services in the community by party identification.

22

Very Good

Most Important Issues to Address


Survey respondents were also asked to identify the policy domains that they would like the government to
prioritize. Past studies have used the response to this question as a proxy measure for the extent to which
an issue is politically salient for voters. Respondents were first asked to name the most important issue
for the government to address, followed by what they believed is the second-most important issue. Those
answers have been combined below to reflect responses that were named by citizens as either first-most or
second-most important priority. These responses were unprompted by interviewers and were subsequently
categorized. Our main goal in eliciting responses to this question is to examine whether, at baseline, Ugandans view oil related issues (e.g., land compensation, regulatory framework) as politically salient.
Our analysis reveals two key findings. First, Ugandans do not view oil governance as politically salient
even though we have interviewed respondents in the midst of parliamentary debates regarding the regulation
of the oil sector and the management of oil revenues. Indeed oil was mentioned as a key policy priority by
less than 1 percent of survey respondents. This suggests that Ugandan constituents have thus far failed to
internalize the stakes involved in different policy proposals of how to regulate the oil sector and manage oil
revenues. We believe that tracking the saliency of oil governance over time is of great importance. This is
because political actors have greater degrees of freedom to advance interests other than those of the public
when voters do not view the issues at stake as politically salient.
Second, we find that overall Ugandans prioritize improvements in the provision of basic public service
over governance-related issues and over the management of the economy. As Figure 6 shows, almost a fifth
of Ugandans (18%) report a preference for prioritizing water quality, infrastructure and education, followed
by agriculture (8%) and healthcare (8%). By contrast, core governance issues such as corruption (4%) and
state capacity (2%) are far less salient to Ugandans. Interestingly we do not find a significant correlation
between the quality rating of public services and the extent to which Ugandans express preference for
government prioritization of the service (R2 = 0.02). This likely reflects the fact that Ugandans consider
not merely the current level of service provision, but also its importance for their welfare. This can explain,
for example, why access to clean water is highly prioritized, notwithstanding being ranked (relatively) high
in terms of its quality (see above Figure 3).
Interestingly, as shown in Figure 7, large discrepancies in stated preferences over government prioritization emerge when the data is analyzed by oil region status. For example, a far greater share of oil region
residents favors addressing water access (25% to non-oil areas 16%) and infrastructure (24% to non-oil
areas 16%). This finding is consistent with the very low rating for water access and infrastructure among
oil-region residents (Figure 4). Less salient issues such as corruption and taxes are more likely to be prioritized by residents of non-oil regions (5% and 4% respectively) than oil region residents (2% and 1%). This
may reflect, in part, the positive correlation between NRM support and oil status.
When broken down by sex, preferences over policy prioritization vary only slightly (Figure 8). As
expected, a larger share of women (21%) than men (16%) prioritize access to clean water, reflecting the fact
that women are also more likely to be tasked with fetching water for household consumption. By contrast,
a slightly larger share of male respondents is concerned about improving infrastructure (20% to womens
17%), reflecting the fact that men are more likely to be commuting to and from their village.
23

24

g
od

ke

v.

1
1

30

5
4
2
1

Figure 7: Most important issues for government to address, by oil proximity.


O
th
er

ar

de

es

ss

ic

to

ne

si

1 1

go

/b
u

vt
.

G
et
tin

pr

go

ity

bs

ity

ac

od

fro

Jo

fo

om

in

ns

ap

t.
c

ov

es

at
io

of

ul

lg

op

ck

lp

is
su

ca

ia

ta
g

ec

nd

La

es

Lo

Sp

or

sh

Ta
x

er

ce

re

Fo
o

ib

en

ca

n/
br

ol

tu
r

pt
io

rit
y/
vi

lth

8 8

ru

cu

ea

10

or

10

e/
se

18

rim

16

ul

20

ri c

W
at
er
qu
In
fra alit
y
st
ru
ct
ur
Fa
rm Edu e
ca
in
g/
ag tion
ric
C
ul
rim
tu
H
e/
e a re
se
l
th
cu
ca
ri t
re
y/
C
vi
or
o
ru
l
e
pt
nc
io
e
n/
br
ib
er
y
Fo
Ta
od
xe
s
sh
or
t
L
a
Sp
an
ge
ec
d
is
ia
L o l p o su e
s
ca
pu
La l go lati
on
ck
vt
.c
s
of
ap
in
ac
fo
it
f
C
o m ro m y
m
go
od
Jo
vt
ity
.
bs
G
pr
/b
et
us
ic
tin
e
i
g
go nes s
s
od
de
s
v.
to
m
ar
ke
t
O
th
er

Percent

18

g/
ag

at
io

25

uc

16

Ed

ity

ct
ur

al

25

in

st
ru

qu

Percent

20

La

Fa
r

In
fra

W
at
er

Most Important Issue for Government to Address


18

15

4
4

Figure 6: Most important issues for government to address (population estimates).

Most Important Issue for Government to Address


(by Oil Region Status)
Non-Oil
Oil

24

19

15
15

2
4 4

Most Important Issue for Government to Address


(by Gender)
25

Male
Female

21
20

20

18
17

Percent

16

17

15

10

9
8

9
6
4

5
4 4
3

3 3

2 3

3
2
0

1 1

1 1

op

O
th
er

go

lp

La

ck

of

ca
l
Lo

ec
ia
Sp

ns
vt
.c
ap
ac
in
fo
ity
fro
C
m
om
go
m
vt
od
.
Jo
ity
bs
pr
/b
G
ic
es
us
et
tin
in
es
g
go
s
de
od
v.
s
to
m
ar
ke
t

es

ul

at
io

su
is

nd

or
ta
g
La

Ta
xe
s

sh
d
Fo
o

tu
re
uc
a
in
tio
g/
n
ag
ric
ul
tu
C
re
rim
H
ea
e/
lth
se
ca
cu
re
rit
y/
vi
C
ol
or
en
ru
pt
ce
io
n/
br
ib
er
y
Fa
rm

Ed

al
qu

In
fra

W
at
er

st
ru
c

ity

Figure 8: Most important issues for government to address, by gender.

5.2

Political Attitudes and Behavior

In this section we describe citizens baseline political knowledge, news consumption, and attitudes towards
government performance. This baseline information serves an important benchmark against which to compare possible temporal changes in citizen attitudes and involvement in politics as oil extraction becomes
more salient.
Basic Political Knowledge
To measure baseline levels of basic political knowledge, survey respondents were asked to identify the
name of his/her (1) LC3 Councilor, (2) District chairperson, (3) Constituency MP, (4) the main opposition
candidate in the 2011 presidential election, and (5) the current Speaker of Parliament. Respondents were
also asked (6) how many terms the president of Uganda can serve in office according to the constitution. All
responses were coded as either correct or incorrect and then summed to yield a maximum possible political
knowledge score of 6. Results are shown in Figure 9. Only 7% failed to answer correctly a single question,
while 11% answered all six questions correctly. The mean number of correct responses was 3.33; a plurality
of respondents (51%) answered correctly at least four questions.
Consistent with results reported in past studies (e.g., Grossman, Humphreys and Sacramone-Lutz (2014)),
political knowledge in Uganda is subject to a wide gender gap. While 60% of men correctly answered at
least four questions (mean correct responses equals 3.67), only 40% of women in the sample did so (mean
2.96). We also find large gaps in political knowledge as a function of party identification, with NRM affiliates (mean 3.64) being, on average, more knowledgeable than non-NRM affiliates (mean 2.97). This
25

Basic Political Knowledge


Overall Correct Answers
30

Non-Oil
Oil

24

25

25

20

16

17

16

15

11

10

10

Percent

Percent

Correct Answers by Oil Region Status


30

mean=3.33

16 16

12
10 10
7

Correct Answers by party ID


Non-NRM
NRM

20

20

20

17 16
13

12

11

22
19

20
15

14
9

10

25

15

5
0

22

20

5
0

Male
Female

25

15

15
10

26
20

Correct Answers by Gender


30

Percent

Percent

25

Correct Answers (out of 6)

30

15 16

16

15
10

24 23
19

20

10

11

11

Figure 9: Distribution of basic political knowledge scores.


is somewhat counterintuitive given the higher human capital of those identifying with the opposition in
Uganda, but is consistent with the idea that higher educated constituents withdraw from politics in authoritarian regimes (Croke et al., 2015). We do not, however, find significant differences in political knowledge
by oil region status.
News Consumption
Political knowledge is, in part, a function of the consumption of political information. We thus report in
Figure 10 news consumption in Uganda across the two key media sources: radio and newspaper. Media
consumption is a function of both the ability to access news (e.g. ownership of radio and newspaper distribution networks) as well as ones interest in politics.
First, as is the case in many developing countries, Ugandans are significantly more likely to consume
news via radio than through print media. Whereas a majority of Ugandans (52%) listen to news via radio
on a daily basis, only 5% report reading a newspaper daily. Second, given the stark gender gap in political
knowledge, we also present news consumption by sex. We find, unsurprisingly, relatively large gender gaps
in news consumption. News consumption does not seem to differ much as a function of oil-region status nor
political identification.
Satisfaction with Government Performance
In this subsection we provide insight into citizens satisfaction with the performance of various state organs,
their trust in political actors, their perception of corruption, and the intensity of those political attitudes.
26

News Consumption

2627
9 10

4 5

2825

20

7 8

9 10

1411

63

60
41

40

23
15
11

20
5 5

12

19

fe
w
N
ev
fe tim
e
w
e
tim s a r
A
fe es yea
w
a
r
tim mo
es nt
a h
w
Ev ee
er k
y
da
y
A

60
43

40
1511

6 4

fe
w
N
ev
fe tim
e
w
e
tim s a r
A
y
e
e
fe
s
ar
w
a
tim m
es ont
a h
w
Ev ee
er k
y
da
y
A

Male
Female

63

20
13 15

6 4

fe
w

80

20
6

0
N
ev
fe tim
e
w
e
tim s a r
A
fe es yea
w
a
r
tim mo
es nt
a h
w
Ev ee
er k
y
da
y

Newspaper

Non-NRM
NRM

Percent

19
11 14 8

80

Percent

40

3 6

6 9

fe
w
N
ev
fe tim
e
w
e
tim s a r
A
y
e
e
fe
s
ar
w
a
tim m
es ont
a h
w
Ev ee
er k
y
da
y
A

47

20

2726
13
6

fe
w

60

46

40

Newspaper
Non-Oil
Oil

66

Percent

8 7

58

Newspaper
80

4 5

60

20

0
N
ev
fe tim
e
w
e
tim s a r
A
fe es yea
w
a
r
tim mo
es nt
a h
w
Ev ee
er k
y
da
y

40

5154

fe
w
N
ev
fe tim
e
w
e
tim s a r
A
fe es yea
w
a
r
tim mo
es nt
a h
w
Ev ee
er k
y
da
y

20

60

Male
Female

40

5350

Radio
80

Non-NRM
NRM

60

Percent

Percent

Radio
80

Non-Oil
Oil

Percent

Radio
80

Figure 10: News consumption by media source.


Again, measuring changes in such attitudes overtime would be of great interest and importance.
First, we asked respondents about their (general) level of satisfaction with the job performance of the
President, their constituency MP, and their local government. Responses are measured using a four-point
scale: (1) very dissatisfied, (2) somewhat dissatisfied, (3) somewhat satisfied and (4) very satisfied. As
Figure 11 makes clear, Ugandans are significantly more satisfied with the job performance of President
Museveni (mean satisfaction rate 3.15) than the job performance of either their local government (2.55) or
constituency MP (2.54).
Specifically, 77% of Ugandans report being at least somewhat satisfied with the job performance of
President Museveni, compared to only 54% that register this level of satisfaction with the performance
of both the constituency MP and the local government. Figure 12 breaks down satisfaction levels by oil
region status, party identification and gender. Across the three political organs, women (Figure 12, right
column), NRM affiliates (middle column) and oil region residents (left column) register significantly higher
satisfaction levels than men, opposition affiliated and non-oil residents, respectively. Though gauging the
approval rating of the president suffers somewhat from a combination of social desirability bias and perhaps
fear of reprisal, only a very small fraction of respondents refused to answer this question.

27

Satisfaction with Government Performance


President

Constituency MP

50

Local Government

50

47

50

mean=3.15

mean=2.54

40

mean=2.55

40

40

20

29

30
25

25
21

Percent

30

Percent

Percent

34
30

30
25

20

20

10

10

20

20

sa

tis

fie

at
is
fie

ts

Ve
r

ha

fie
d

tis
fie

is
sa

m
ew

So

td

di

ha

m
ew

So

Ve
r

Ve
r

sa

tis

ss
at
is

fie

at
is
fie

tis
fie

ts
ha

is
sa

td

So

m
ew

di
y

ha

So

m
ew

sa

tis

ss
at
is

fie

at
is
fie

ts
ha

Ve
r

tis
fie

is
sa

m
ew

So

td
ha

m
ew

So

Ve
r

di

ss
at
is

fie
d

Ve
r

10

fie
d

14
10

Figure 11: Satisfaction with public officials job performance.


Trust in Government
The health of a political system, in part, depends on the level of trust citizens have in government officials.
We examine political trust in Uganda both through direct trust questions as well as by exploring general
perceptions of corruption in various government offices and agencies. We explore trust in government
officials using by asking the following question:
Do you trust or distrust [the president / your constituency MP /
district government] to do the right thing for ordinary people like you?
Responses were recoded on a four-point categorical scale: (1) mistrust a lot; (2) mistrust a little; (3) trust
a little; and (4) trust a lot. As Figure 13 makes clear Ugandans express (at least in public) the greatest level of
trust in President Museveni and in their traditional leaders, such as clan leaders, elders and kingdom officials.
By contrast, members of parliament and local government officials suffer from relatively low levels of trust.
Indeed, over a third of Ugandans are willing to publicly admit mistrust in those representatives. These
findings are consistent with the results reported above in Figure 11.
The general support of the NRM government in the western regions and among female constituents is
evident when examining trust responses stratified by oil region status, party identification and respondent
sex (Figure 14). Whereas only 46% of Ugandans in non-oil regions trust President Museveni a lot, among oil
region residents the share is 60%. Turning to gender, only 45% of Ugandan male report a high level of trust
in the president as compared to 55% of female respondents. By contrast, trust in members of parliament is
low across the board, and does not exhibit large gaps as a function of partisanship or gender.
28

Satisfaction with Govt. Performance


President

President

Non-Oil
Oil
44

31
28

30

President
57

Non-NRM
NRM

60

45

Percent

45

Percent

60

56

Male
Female

54

45
35

Percent

60

32
28

30

41

31
28

30

18
15

15

11
7

0
ti
sa

sfi

r
Ve

So

ed

me

a
wh

is
td

sa

fi
tis

So

me

a
wh

ati

ts

ed

sfi

ry
Ve

sa

d
fie
tis

ti
sa

e
sfi

is
yd

r
Ve

So

me

a
wh

a
iss
td

fie
tis

So

ati
ts

ed
sfi

ed

ry
Ve

sa

fi
tis

ti
sa

ry
Ve

30
25

23

23

15

ti
sa
dis

sfi

So

ed

me

ati

t
ha

s
dis

ed

sfi

So

ati

h
ew

s
at

ed

sfi

ati

s
ry
Ve

27
23

ry
Ve

ti
sa
dis

e
sfi

26
23

22

me

ati

t
ha

s
dis

e
sfi

So

h
ew

ti
sa
at

ed
sfi

ati

s
ry
Ve

21

15

0
ti
sa

sfi

r
Ve

So

me

wh

d
at

ati

i ss

ed

sfi

So

me

a
wh

ati

ts

ed

sfi

ry
Ve

sa

d
fie
tis

ati

ts

ed
sfi

ed

ry
Ve

sa

fi
tis

31

ti
sa

ry
Ve

27
23

22

19

ed

ed
sfi

dis

So

me

t
ha

sa
dis

fi
tis

So

h
ew

at

sa

d
fie
tis

ed

ry
Ve

sa

fi
tis

Local Government
60

Male
Female

45
39

37
31
28

30
24

24

23
17

30

30

26

24

24

22
19

17

15

ed

is
yd

ha

27
22

ed

Non-NRM
NRM

17
14

w
me

28

30

sfi

Percent

29

27

Male
Female

20

45
36

Percent

45

e
sfi

So

Local Government
60

22

ati

iss

15

ed
sfi

Non-Oil
Oil

30

td

Constituency MP

31
28

30

So

34

a
wh

45

Local Government
60

me

60

15

ed
sfi

dis

So

Non-NRM
NRM

20

Percent

me

a
wh

Percent

31
23

ry
Ve

45

Percent

Percent

45

26

Constituency MP
60

Non-Oil
Oil

30

12
6

Constituency MP
60

15

ed

is
yd

18

14

15

10

16

15

0
ti
sa

e
sfi

is
yd

r
Ve

So

me

wh

d
at

a
iss

fie
tis

So

me

a
wh

ati
ts

ed
sfi

ed

ry
Ve

sa

fi
tis

ti
sa

ry
Ve

ed
sfi

dis

So

me

a
wh

td

a
iss

fie
tis

So

w
me

ha

ati

ts

ed
sfi

ed

ry
Ve

sa

fi
tis

Figure 12: Satisfaction with public officials performance by oil status, party ID and gender.
Corruption perceptions
Trust in government officials is, at least in part, a function of the perceived level of corruption of the government officials or offices in question. Also, given that past studies have demonstrated a strong relationship
between oil revenues and corruption (Shaxson, 2007; Arezki and Brckner, 2011), tracking citizens perception of government corruption is of great importance for gauging whether a country is heading in the
direction of a looming resource curse. Respondents were thus asked to rate how surprised they would be
to hear a news story about corruption involving several different officials using a four-point scale: (1) Not
surprised at all; (2) Not too surprised; (3) Somewhat surprised; and (4) Very Surprised.
29

Trust in Elected Representatives


President
50

31

30
20

11

30

25

lot little little alot


ta
t
us st a st a Trus
r
t
u Tru
Dis istr
D

10

20

40

22

18

15

lot little little alot


ta
t
us st a st a Trus
r
t
u Tru
Dis istr
D

48

32

30
20

11

10

mean=3.22

50

Percent

Percent

30

20

Kingdom Officials

43

40

30

lot little little alot


ta
t
us st a st a Trus
r
t
u Tru
Dis istr
D

mean=3.16
38

45

40

10

Clan Leaders/Elders
50

18

17

20

mean=2.74

50
40

40

10

mean=2.72

50

Percent

40

Local Government

Percent

mean=3.20

50

Percent

Constituency MPs

12
7

10

t
t
e
e
ittl
ittl
alo
alo
al
a l rust
st
tru rust rust
T
s
i
t
T
D
Dis

t
t
e
e
ittl
alo littl
alo
a
a l rust
st
tru rust rust
T
s
i
t
T
D
Dis

Figure 13: Trust in government officials.

Trust in Elected Representatives


President

Percent

33

30

24

20
12

10

20

16

19

33

13

10

40
20

16

19

38
22

21

rus
ist

Dis

e
e
ot
ittl
ittl
al
al
al
st
st
st
Tru
tru
Tru

10 7

e
le
ot
lot
ittl
litt
al
ta
al
st
ta
st
rus
tru
us
u
T
r
r
s
t
i
T
D
Dis

Male
Female

16

39 41

40
30
17 17

20

20

24 26
17

10

ot
al

29

50
27

30

13

Constituency MP

10

20

60
42

45
32

30
10

Non-NRM
NRM

50

42

21

20

55

Male
Female

40

Constituency MP

35

30

13

60

Percent

Percent

40

14

e
le
ot
lot
ittl
litt
al
ta
al
st
ta
st
rus
tru
us
u
T
r
r
s
t
i
T
D
Dis

Constituency MP
50

28

e
e
ot
ot
ittl
ittl
al
al
al
al
st
st
st
st
tru
Tru
tru
Tru
s
i
Dis
D

Non-Oil
Oil

33

30
20

60
50

39

40

10

60

Non-NRM
NRM

50

46

40

President
59

Percent

60

Percent

Non-Oil
Oil

50

Percent

President
60

60

rus
i st

ot
al

Dis

e
e
ot
ittl
ittl
al
al
al
st
st
st
Tru
tru
Tru

0
Dis

e
e
ot
lot
ittl
ittl
al
ta
al
al
st
st
st
Tru
tru
Tru
s
i
D

s
tru

Figure 14: Trust in the President and constituency MPs by our three stratification variables.

30

Our findings, presented below in Figure 15 are consistent with political trust attitudes reported above:
the President is perceived to be less corrupt than the average MPs across all stratification categories: gender,
party affiliation and oil-status residence. We wish to note the perception of corruption among MPs for nonNRM affiliates: just over 50% of those identifying with the opposition would not be surprised at all or not
too surprised to hear about corruption allegation involving their incumbent constituency MP.

Corruption among Government Officials


President

60

Percent

51

45
23
13

15

14

12 11

60
46

45
30

27
13

15

ll
d
d
d
ta
ise
ise
ise
d a urpr urpr urpr
e
s
s
s
s
ri
oo what Very
up
t s Not t
me
No
So

15

37
26
17

Percent

Percent

45

15

45
30

24
15

ll
d
d
d
ta
i se
i se
ise
d a urpr urpr urpr
e
s
s
s
s
ri
oo what Very
up
t s Not t
me
No
So

45

36
19

13

ll
d
d
d
ta
ise
ise
ise
d a urpr urpr urpr
e
s
s
s
s
ri
oo what Very
up
t s Not t
me
No
So

15

23
15

14

Male
Female

75
49

27

11 13

MP

60

30

12 14

Non-NRM
NRM

75
57

20

53

15

ll
d
d
d
ta
ise
i se
ise
d a urpr urpr urpr
e
s
s
s
s
ri
oo what Very
up
t s Not t
me
No
So

Non-Oil
Oil

15

58

60

MP

60

30

14

MP
75

17

Male
Female

75
64

Percent

30

Non-NRM
NRM

75

68

President

Percent

Non-Oil
Oil

75

Percent

President

60
48

45
30

17

ll
d
d
d
ta
ise
i se
ise
d a urpr urpr urpr
e
s
s
s
s
ri
oo what Very
up
t s Not t
me
No
So

15

39
24

21

20

17

17 15

ll
d
d
d
ta
i se
i se
ise
d a urpr urpr urpr
e
s
s
s
s
ri
oo what Very
up
t s Not t
me
No
So

Figure 15: Perceptions of corruption by proximity to oil, gender, and party identification.

Is Parliament performing its statutory tasks?


In this section we further probe citizens evaluation of MPs performance. Specifically we examine whether
citizens believe that parliament is fulfilling its statutory role of checking the power of the executive and
strengthening democratic institutions. This is a key area of interest for students of oil governance, since the
likelihood of mismanagement of oil revenues are higher when executive powers are unchecked. The greater
parliamentary oversight is, the lower is the possibility that a country slips into a resource curse.
We explore these attitudes by asking respondents the extent to which they agree with the statement
that Parliament is merely a rubber stamp for the government (using a four point scale from strongly
disagree to strongly agree). In addition, we examine the extent to which citizens are satisfied with the
way democracy works in Uganda.
31

We find that Ugandans have little trust in parliaments ability to check the power of the executive; i.e.,
act independently to protect against possible abuses of government power (Figure 16). Noticeably, a full
59% of Ugandans at least weakly agrees that Parliament serves as a rubber stamp for government (topleft cell), with over one-third of our sample strongly agreeing with this statement. This finding is further
corroborated by the fact that over 40% of Ugandans are not satisfied with the way democracy works in
their country (Figure 17). Combined with low satisfaction with MP job performance described above, it
is clear that the Ugandan parliament has a rather low standing in the eyes of the electorate. This finding
has important implications to the management of the oil sector: voters, at least at baseline, do not expect
parliament to help ensure that the revenues generated by the recent oil discoveries would not be abused.

Parliament is a rubber stamp for the Govt.


Overall perception

Agreement by Oil Region Status

50

50
36

Non-Oil
Oil

41

40
34

30

25

Percent

Percent

40

23

20

16

30

26

24
21

20

20

16

10

17

10

0
a

on
Str

gly

Dis

e
gre
a
We

kly

a
Dis

e
gre

e
g re

a
We

A
kly

on

Str

gly

e
g re

0
ag

Str

ly
ng

Dis

ree
We

Agreement by Party ID
50

Dis

ag

ree
a
We

kly

re
Ag

e
on
Str

gly

Ag

re e

Agreement by Gender
50

Non-NRM
NRM

40

ly
ak

39

40

36

36

Male
Female

26

25

24

Percent

Percent

33

30

20

19

20

30

25

25

22
18

20

15

14

10

10

0
on
Str

gly

24

a
Dis

g re

e
We

ly
ak

a
Dis

g re

g re

We

ly A
ak

g re

on
Str

ag

A
gly

on

Str

gly

Dis

ree
a
We

kly

Dis

ag

ree

gre
ly A

ak
We

g re

g
on
Str

ly A

Figure 16: Confidence in parliaments ability to fulfill its statutory task of checking the power of the executive .

Political Action and Efficacy


Political participation is essential for holding governments to account, and for influencing incumbents to
implement the policies that citizens demand. In this section we examine Ugandans level of political participation across several key domain using the following question:
I would like to ask you about different kinds of action that people sometimes

32

Satisfaction with Democracy in Uganda


Overall satisfaction

Satisfaction by Oil Region Status

50

50

27
20

20

15

10

38

40

31

30

Percent

Percent

40

Non-Oil
Oil
32
29

30
17

16

12

10

0
aD

rac

oc

t
No

em

ti
Sa
ot

sfi

ed

At

All

ed

t
No

o
To

Sa

fi
tis

So

w
me

ha

ati
tS

sfi

ed
ry
Ve

ti
Sa

ed
sfi

0
t
No

ad

oc

em

rac

y
ed

No

a
tS

Satisfaction by gender
50

23

22

20

fi
tis

At

All
t
No

o
To

Sa

d
fie
tis
So

w
me

ha

ati

tS

ed
sfi

40
29
25
21

20

20

16

29

30

25
20

18

20

16

13

12

10

10

0
de

mo

y
ra c

No

ati
tS

sfi

ll
tA
dA
N

o
To
ot

34

34

Percent

Percent

d
fie
tis

Non-NRM
NRM

34
30

30

Sa

Satisfaction by party ID
50

Male
Female

40

a
ot

ry
Ve

Sa

d
fie

tis

So

h
ew

at

ti
Sa

d
fie

ry
Ve

ed
sfi
ati

a
ot

de

mo

y
rac
No

ed

a
tS

fi
tis

At

All
N

o
To
ot

Sa

d
fie
tis
So

h
ew

at

Sa

d
fie
tis
ry
Ve

Sa

d
fie
tis

Figure 17: Satisfaction with democracy in Uganda by oil proximity, gender, and party identification.
take to try to influence how things are done in Uganda.

Regarding an issue

that concerns you, do you ever [. . . ]?


Responses, which were given using a four point-scale from never to often, were collapsed into
ten political action binary variables that get the value of one if the respondent takes this action at least
sometimes, and zero otherwise. Results, presented in Figure 18, reveals certain interesting patterns.
First, Ugandans are significantly more likely to report taking actions that address local concerns (i.e.,
at the community level) as compared to trying to influence national politics. The three most common actions that citizens take are discussing political issues with family, followed by raising issues at community
meetings and talking to community leaders about ones concerns. Second, Ugandans, at least to date, prefer
direct (face-to-face) communication with government officials, even if contacting public officials via more
advanced technological means, such as SMS, is cheaper and quicker. This might be due to financial and infrastructural barriers to cell phone use as well as to cultural and political norms. Third, Ugandans self-report
relatively low levels of participation in protest activities, such as demonstrating and signing petitions. This
reflects both the nature of the current regime as well as possible social desirability bias. Fourth, corroborating past studies (such as Grossman, Humphreys and Sacramone-Lutz (2014)), across virtually all domains,
men are significantly more likely to be politically active than women (bottom panel). Finally, there is some
evidence that residents of oil-regions are somewhat more politically active than non-oil residents (top panel).
This gap in political action is evidenced also with respect to party identification, alas only at the community
level (middle panel).

33

Actions that people at least sometimes take to try


influencing how things are done in Uganda

Discuss issues with family/friends


Raise issue at community meeting
Talk to community leaders
Talk to district officials
Contact newspaper or radio
Talk to constituency MP
Phone call public official
Attend demonstration / proetst
Send SMS to public official
Sign a petition

Oil

Nonoil

Oil

0.0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

Discuss issues with family/friends


Raise issue at community meeting
Talk to community leaders
Talk to district officials
Talk to constituency MP
Contact newspaper or radio
Phone call public official
Attend demonstration / proetst
Send SMS to public official
Sign a petition

NRM

NonNRM

NRM

0.0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

Discuss issues with family/friends


Raise issue at community meeting
Talk to community leaders
Talk to district officials
Talk to constituency MP
Contact newspaper or radio
Phone call public official
Attend demonstration / proetst
Send SMS to public official
Sign a petition

Gender

Male

Female

0.0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

Figure 18: Types of actions citizens take (at least sometimes) to influence how things are done in Uganda.
We now turn to examine one of the key determinants of political participation: political efficacy (Figure 19). First, Ugandans, in general, feel politically efficacious: i.e., they report a relatively high ability to
influence the actions of key political leaders. Second, consistent with theories of decentralization, Ugandans
seem more confident in their ability to influence their MP and district officials as compared to influencing
President Museveni. Lastly, consistent with the gender gap in participation, there exists also a large gender
gap in political efficacy; i.e., men are significantly more likely to report that they feel that they can influence
the actions of their leaders (bottom panel).

34

People like you can do things that can have


influence on the actions of [...]
District chairperson

Oil

Nonoil
Oil

Constituency MP

Clan leaders

President

Kingdom officials
0.3

District chairperson

0.4

0.5

0.6

NRM

0.7

0.8

0.9

0.7

0.8

0.9

0.7

0.8

0.9

NonNRM
NRM

Constituency MP

Clan leaders

President

Kingdom officials
0.3

District chairperson

0.4

0.5

0.6

Gender

Male
Female

Constituency MP

Clan leaders

President

Kingdom officials
0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

Share respondents

Figure 19: Political efficacy: citizens perceptions of their ability to influence the actions of political actors.

35

Understanding Variation in Engagement on Oil

In this section we examine baseline level of knowledge about oil in Uganda as well as the publics expectations regarding the possible benefits of oil at both the household and the national level. In light of the goals
stated in Section 4, the questions in this section have been designed explicitly to gauge citizens level of
engagement on oil issues and how such engagement might depend on individual-level characteristics. We
are especially interested in examining differences in levels of engagement between residents of oil and nonoil regions, while we continue nonetheless to explore other conditioning factors such as gender and party
identification.

6.1

Prior Knowledge of Oil in Uganda

Sampled respondents were asked a battery of 13 factual questions about oil in Uganda. We first provide the
verbatim of each question (including the share of correct responses in red), followed by the distribution of
correct responses across the study sample (see Figure 20).
1. When was oil discovered in Uganda?
2. Where in Uganda was oil discovered?
3. Are you living in an oil area?

2%
60%

24%

4. When is commercial oil production expected to start?

7%

5. How many billion barrels of oil have been discovered in Uganda so far?
6. How many years will the oil last once commercial production starts?

2%

13%

7. Only international companies and no Ugandan companies are involved in producing oil, TRUE
or FALSE? 61%
8. The oil area is expected to get more money from oil than other areas in the country, TRUE
or FALSE? 73%
9. The government has already passed laws on how to govern the oil sector, TRUE or FALSE?
61%
10. A refinery will be built in Uganda to process some of the oil, TRUE or FALSE? 68%
11. A pipeline will be built in Uganda to transport some of the oil, TRUE or FALSE? 65%
12. The government is required by law to compensate fully people whose land has been taken
away to allow for oil production, TRUE or FALSE? 84%
13. About how much money you think the government of Uganda will get once commercial oil production
starts? 5%

Generally Ugandans are still uninformed about oil in Uganda: only about 1% of those surveyed were
able to answer 9 or more questions correctly, while 6% of respondents did not get any questions right. The
median number of correct responses was 6. As of late 2014, a majority of Ugandans know that oil was
discovered somewhere in the west, that only international companies are involved in its production, that oil
36

Oil Knowledge
Overall (full sample)

Knowledge by Oil Status

25

25

Median=6
19

20
1919 19

20

15

12

13

Percent

Percent

20

Non-Oil
Oil

19

11

10
6

14

10
5

4 44

5
01

9 10+

Knowledge by Gender
25

Male
Female

21
1919

20

6
5

Knowledge by Party ID
Non-NRM
NRM

12
10

9 10+
0

25

12

8
7

16

15

20 20
19 19

20

15

14

Percent

Percent

17
15
13

12

11
9

10
6

5
0

44

66

10
5

13

14
13

10

14

15

6 66

45
3

11

9 10+

9 10+

Figure 20: Current oil knowledge.


districts are expected to receive a larger share of the oil revenue, that people have a right to get compensated
if their land has been confiscated and that the government intends to refine some of the oil in Uganda and
export the rest through a pipeline. By contrast, the vast majority of Ugandans is unable to even roughly
estimate the size of the oil reserves in neither quantity (q5) nor in monetary terms (q13). Similarly only 13%
of respondents had a rough idea of the number of years oil revenues are expected to last.
When examining baseline oil knowledge as a function of proximity to oil (Figure 21), we find that
residents of oil districts have a somewhat better knowledge. The knowledge gap between oil and non-oil
regions, however, is not large, reflecting relatively low information levels across the board.

Expectation of Oils Impact on National Budget


In this section we explore citizens expectations regarding oil revenue impact on the national budget (changes
in the size of the pie) and their preferences regarding oil revenue allocation (i.e. how to divide the larger
pie). Specifically we explore citizens preference regarding the allocation of oil revenues across branches of
government and between oil and non-oil regions.
37

Oil Knowledge at baseline


The govt. needs to compensate for land (T/F)?
Oil area will get more money than nonoil (T/F)?

Sample

Nonoil
Oil

A refinery will be built (T/F)

A pipeline will be built (T/F)?

Where was oil discovered?

The govt. passed laws regulating oil (T/F)?

Only intnl firms are involved in production (T/F)?

Are you living in an oil area?

How many years will the oil last?

When is production expected to start?

How much money the govt. will get from oil?

When was oil discovered?

How big is the oil discovery?

0.0

0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8


Share respondents answering correctly

0.9

Figure 21: Current oil knowledge by oil region status.


As noted, prior to eliciting distributional preferences we examined citizens expectation regarding the
effect of oil on the national budget. We do so using the following question:
Here are 20 tokens.

Lets say these 10 tokens represent all the income the

government has in its budget.

Do you think oil will make the money in the

budget grow by a little or a lot?

Use these other 10 tokens to indicate how

much you think the budget will grow due to oil.

Results reported in Figure 22 suggest that citizens vastly overstate the expected impact of oil revenues on
the national budget. A third of Ugandans expect the increase in the budget to be at least 80% with the median
response being an expected budget increase of 60%. This is about three-times the size of conservative
estimates of the impact of oil on the national budget (10-20%). Figure 23 suggests that the expectations
regarding the impact of oil on the total national budget are somewhat higher in the oil region as compared
to the non-oil region.
Recall that the academic literature suggests that the resource curse is, at least partly, a result of a combination of citizens low information and unrealistic high expectations. The results presented in this report
offer some reasons to be concerned, since not only do citizens have low levels of knowledge regarding
Ugandas expected oil revenue, they also vastly exaggerate the impact of the oil on the government coffers.

Attitudes Towards Oil Revenue Allocation


In this section we explore Ugandans preferences of how to distribute the additional revenue from oil. Specifically we focus on (1) allocation between types of spending, (2) allocation between branches of government,
38

Oil impact on National Budget


25

24

Share Respondents

20
16
15

15

10

14

4
3

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

Percent increase of budget

Figure 22: Perception of oil revenues effect on the national budget.

Estimated Oil Impact on National Budget

Female

Male

Sample

NRM

NonNRM

Oil

Nonoil
60

61

62

63

64

65

66

67

68

Oil Estimated Impact (percent increase from current level)

Figure 23: Perception of oil revenues effect on the national budget.

39

69

70

and (3) allocation between oil and non-oil regions. Since many Ugandans, especially in rural areas, suffer
from low numeracy skills, all allocation preferences were conducted using tokens that were placed on graphical illustrations that represented concepts such as savings and investment. Examples of some of the survey
illustrations are presented in the appendix.
First, we presented respondents with 20 tokens that represented the additional oil revenue to the national
budget and asked them to distribute these tokens between (1) saving for the future, (2) investment in human
and physical capital, and (3) spending to increase household consumption. Once citizens made their initial
allocation they further were able to divide the tokens within sub-categories. For example investment had
five sub-categories, such as social services (health and education), infrastructure, job training, etc.
Results broken down by our stratification variables are presented in Figure 24. We find that Ugandans
express a strong preference to use most of the oil revenue for investment (around 67 percent of revenue),
followed by spending (19 percent of oil revenue) and saving (14 percent). Within investment, Ugandans
have a rather strong preference for improvements in social services, such as health and education, followed
by infrastructure. Figure 24 also suggests relative small differences in preferences as a function of gender,
party identification and oil-region residence.
In our second allocation exercise, respondents were asked to express their preference regarding the
distribution of oil revenues across national government, local government, and citizens directly. We find
that citizens opted mostly to a close to equal allocation, with somewhat higher allocation to the central
government (37 percent) as compared to local governments (29 percent of oil revenue). Interestingly, though
not currently discussed seriously as a policy choice, citizens expressed a preference to directly distribute to
citizens about third of the total oil revenue (see Figure 25). We do not find that respondents gender, party
identification or oil-region status had affected the distribution preferences across government branches.
Finally, subjects were asked how they would divide oil revenue between oil and non-oil areas. This
preference is extremely important to gauge over time, since much of the conflict around oil revenues is
related to notions of fairness in the distribution of oil revenues across oil and non-oil regions. Results of this
allocation exercise is presented in Figure 26. First, we find that both oil and non-oil residents believe that the
oil region should get a slightly larger share of the oil revenue. Second, we find that oil and non-oil residents
have divergent reviews regarding what constitutes a fair allocation. Whereas oil residents suggest a 57-43%
split, non-oil residents believe that a 53-47% split constitutes a fair optimal allocation, on average.

40

Oil Revenues Spending Priorities

Invest in social services

Save for the future

Invest in infrastructure

Invest in Agriculture

Invest in environment

Invest in job training

Spend on cash grants

Spend on fuel subsidies

Oil

Spend on tax breaks

Nonoil

Other
0

Oil

10

15

20

25

Percent allocation

Invest in social services

Save for the future

Invest in infrastructure

Invest in Agriculture

Invest in environment

Invest in job training

Spend on fuel subsidies

Spend on cash grants

NRM

Spend on tax breaks

NonNRM

Other

NRM

10

15

20

25

Percent allocation

Invest in social services

Percent Allocation

Save for the future

Invest in infrastructure

Invest in Agriculture

Invest in environment

Invest in job training

Spend on fuel subsidies

Spend on cash grants

Gender

Spend on tax breaks

Male

Other
0

Female

10

15

Percent allocation

Figure 24: Spending preferences

41

20

25

Allocation across govt. branches

Sample

Local government

Direct to citizens

Central government

20

25

30

35

Oil revenue allocation

Figure 25: Respondents mean allocation of oil revenue across branches of government

Oil revenue allocation between oil and nonoil districts


60
57
53
50
47
43

Mean allocation

40

Allocation
Nonoil district

30

Oil district

20

10

Nonoil

Oil

Oil region status

Figure 26: Distribution across oil and non-oil districts.

42

40

Perceptions of Benefits from Oil Production


A growing academic literature suggests that understanding citizens expectations regarding the impact of oil
is central for combating governance challenges that are associated with new oil discovering (Ross, 2012). To
measure baseline expectations, survey respondents were asked a series of questions about expected benefits
and possible detrimental effects of oil for both the country and for their households.
Our first question asked respondents how large they believe would be the benefits from oil for Uganda
as a country using a four-point scale from not too big to very big. We then followed by an identical question at the household level. Results are presented in Figure 27 and Figure 28 respectively. Most
importantly, Ugandans expectations of the impact of oil are currently very high. More than 90 percent of
Ugandans believe that the expected benefits from oil production for Uganda will be at least somewhat big,
and more than 60 percent expect the windfall to be very big. As expected, Ugandans expect the impact of oil
to be much larger for the country as a whole than for their own household, on average. Interestingly, when
looking at the expected benefit for the household by oil status, non-oil residents expect a somewhat larger
benefit: while 65% of those living in non-oil regions expect the benefits to be somewhat big, only 58% of
oil-region residents share this expectation.

Expected Benefits from Oil: Uganda


by Oil Region Status
62

Percent

Percent

Full Sample
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0

29
8
1

No

tb

ig

at

all
No

t to

big
e
om

wh

at

big

ry
Ve

big

80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0

No

56

34
18
9

ig
tb

a
at

ll
t
No

Percent

Percent

t
No

69
54
37
23

big

7
0

ll
ta
No

t to

big
So

w
me

ha

big

too

big
So

h
ew

at

big

ry
Ve

big

by Gender

Non-NRM
NRM

by Party ID
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0

75

Non-Oil
Oil

ry
Ve

big

80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
t
No

Male
Female

60

64

31

28
11
1

big

ll
ta
No

t to

big
So

w
me

ha

tb

ig

ry
Ve

big

Figure 27: Expected benefits from oil production for Uganda as a whole
We then move to explore in more depth Ugandans expectation of the actual benefits of the recent oil
discoveries. Figure 29 provides information on the share of respondents that think that some possible benefit

43

Expected Benefits from Oil: Household


by Oil Region Status

Percent

Percent

Full Sample
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0

39
24

24
13

No

tb

ig

a
at

ll
No

t to

ig
ob
So

me

wh

ig
tb

ig
yb

r
Ve

80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
t
No

Non-Oil
Oil
44
32

12

big

at

all
No

39

38
29

27
21

ig

at

Percent

Percent

b
ot

18

11

all
t
No

too

big
So

w
me

ha

tb

t to

ob

ig
So

w
me

ha

tb

ig

21

ry
Ve

big

by Gender

Non-NRM
NRM

15

26

16

by Party ID
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0

26

23

ig

ry
Ve

big

80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
N

b
ot

Male
Female

39

38
28

28
21

20
13

ig

at

13

all
t
No

too

big
So

w
me

ha

tb

ig

ry
Ve

big

Figure 28: Expected benefits from oil production for individual respondent households.
x will be actually realized for people in Uganda once oil production takes place. This figure reinforces our
finding regarding the heightened, perhaps unrealistic, expectations of Ugandans at baseline. Figure 30
provides more nuanced information as it provides information on what Ugandans view as the biggest benefit
from oil that will actually be realized. As the figure makes clear, cheaper fuel is the most expected benefit
by a plurality of Ugandans, followed by jobs with oil sector companies.

44

Oil Revenues Realized Benefits (Country)

Better roads/bridges

Better public healthcare


Jobs with oil companies

Better govt. schools

Cheaper fuel

Selling goods to oil companies

Jobs with government

Lower taxes

Higher land values

Jobs with nonoil companies

More and cheaper electricity

Direct handouts to citizens


0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

Share population

Figure 29: Oil Revenues Realized Benefits (Country)

45

0.8

0.9

1.0

Biggest benefit from oil


Non-Oil
Development (general)
Wealth/Income Increase
Better Roads/Bridges Provided by Govt.
Better Healthcare Provided by Govt.
Better Schools Provided by Govt.
More/Cheaper Electricity
Higher Land Values
Direct Handouts to Citizens
Cheaper Fuel
Selling Goods to Oil Companies
Jobs w/ Nonoil Sector Companies
Jobs w/ Oil Sector Companies
Jobs w/ Govt.

Biggest benefit from oil


Oil
Development (general)
Wealth/Income Increase
Better Roads/Bridges Provided by Govt.
Better Healthcare Provided by Govt.
Better Schools Provided by Govt.
More/Cheaper Electricity
Higher Land Values
Direct Handouts to Citizens
Cheaper Fuel
Selling Goods to Oil Companies
Jobs w/ Nonoil Sector Companies
Jobs w/ Oil Sector Companies
Jobs w/ Govt.
0

10

15

20

25

Graphs by Oil region status

Figure 30: Oil Revenues Most Important Realized Benefits (Country)

46

30

Concerns over Oil Production


Oil may bring about a host of benefits, but it may also have negative effects on individuals livelihood and
on the environment. In order to be able to agree on fair allocation of oil revenue, for example between oil
and non-oil regions, citizens must appreciate not only the benefits of oil but also its detrimental affects. We
therefore asked our respondents how concerned they were that they or their household will be personally
affected by one of several possible negative oil outcomes. For each outcome we collapsed responses into
binary variables such that the variables measure whether the respondent is very concerned about outcome
x. Results presented in Figure 31 indicate that oil-region residents are significantly more aware of the
possibility of negative oil effects as compared to residents of non-oil. The only potential negative effect that
is currently salient among non-oil residents is increased corruption.
We then go deeper, exploring which of the potential outcomes Ugandans view as the single greatest
concern to their household. Results, reported in Figure 32 reinforce some of the differences between oil
and non-oil region residents. Whereas those living in non-oil areas are mostly concerned about corruption
(almost 40 percent named local and central government corruption as their single biggest concern), oilregion residents care mostly about land grabbing and inadequate compensation for land confiscation.
Concerns regarding oil negative impact (HH)

Corruption in the central government

Corruption in the local government

Environmental damage

Loss of livelihood

Conflict between oil and nonoil regions

Conflict between different ethnic groups

Conflict between oil region and govt.

Inward migration

Inadequate land compensation


Land grabbing

Crime and prostitution

oil

Nonoil
Oil

Conflict between men and women


0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.8

Share population very concerned

Figure 31: Share of Ugandans expressing concerns regarding negative oil impact on household

47

Greatest concern to your household


Oil Region Status
30
18
11

10

13

13

17

Percent

Percent

Full Sample
30
25
20
15
10
5
0

13

25

Non-Oil
Oil

20

17

15

15
10
5

t
r
flic ing tion od ge tion tion he
on rabb nsa eliho ama rrup rrup Ot
c
v
D
e
nic d g p f Li tal . co . co
Eth Lan Comss o men govt govt
ate Lo iron ocal ntral
v L e
qu
de
C
En
Ina

23

15
10
5

19

13
8

11

14 14 13

16

10
8

Gender
30

18
14

14 15

ict bing tion ood age tion tion ther


nfl
O
co grab ensa ivelih Dam orrup orrup
c
i
p f L tal
n
d
.c
.c
Eth Lan Com ss o men govt govt
ate Lo iron ocal ntral
v
qu
L Ce
de
En
a
In

26

20

12

Percent

Percent

Non-NRM
NRM

25

14

Party ID
30

18
13

15
12

19

20
15

11 11

10
5

Male
Female

25

13

14

18 17 17

14 13
12 12 13

3 5

ict bing tion ood age tion tion ther


nfl
O
co grab ensa ivelih Dam orrup orrup
c
i
p f L tal
n
d
.c
.c
Eth Lan Com ss o men govt govt
ate Lo iron ocal ntral
v
qu
L Ce
de
En
a
In

ict bing tion ood age tion tion ther


nfl
O
co grab ensa ivelih Dam orrup orrup
c
i
p f L tal
n
d
.c
.c
Eth Lan Com ss o men govt govt
ate Lo iron ocal ntral
v
qu
L Ce
de
En
a
In

Figure 32: Greatest concern regarding possible negative oil impact (household)
We have seen that citizens have expressed both positive and negative expectations regarding the effect
of oil once produced. In order to get a better sense of how the pros and cons are weighted against each other
we have asked our respondents the following questions:
If you consider both the possible benefits of oil and the possible problems brought by
oil, do you think the overall impact of oil for Uganda will be positive or negative?

We present Ugandans overall assessment of the impact of oil for Uganda in Figure 33. Results suggest
that the vast majority of Ugandans, at least at baseline, expect the positive effects of oil to outweigh its
negative effect. This finding further underscores our concern from heightened, likely unrealistic explications
of the benefits of oil for both Uganda and citizens own households.

6.2

Special Module: Oil Region Only

While many of the issues surrounding oil and oil governance concern all citizens in Uganda, there are
some topics of particular relevance to respondents in the oil region. While many elements thus far in this
report have been delivered in terms of respondents oil region status, additional questions directly solely at
citizens living in oil areas were also enumerated in the field. These questions cover a variety of important
48

Expected Impact of Oil: Uganda


by Oil Region Status
46

50
40
30
20
10
0

10
2

40

35

20

e
yN

r
Ve

ga

me

e
tiv

wh

N
at

eg

So

by Party ID
Non-NRM
NRM
38

Percent

Percent

50

47
36

30
20
1

0
r
Ve

me

ve

t
ha

po

ive
ive
i ve
sit
sit
sit
po
Po
y
y
r
r
Ve
Ve

49

Male
Female

40

43

ga

e
tiv

ew

m
So

ha

20

e
tN

ga

So

e
tiv

me

wh

p
at

12

10

os

itiv

r
Ve

o
yp

41 43

30

13

10

e
yN

ati

by Gender
55

40

10

9
1

So

50

37

30

10

t
e
e
e
i ve
ec
tiv
tiv
itiv
sit
Eff
ga
ga
os
o
Po
Ne
Ne
tP
N
y
t
r
a
y
r
a
Ve
wh
Ve
wh
me
me
So
So

53

50

Non-Oil
Oil

50

42

Percent

Percent

Full Sample

e
ive
itiv
sit
os
P
ry
Ve

e
yN

r
Ve

ga

m
So

e
tiv

ew

ha

e
tN

ga

So

e
tiv

me

wh

7
1

p
at

itiv

os

r
Ve

o
yp

e
ive
itiv
sit
os
P
ry
Ve

Figure 33: Overall assessment of the impact of oil for Uganda


thematic topics, including confidence in governments ability to manage oil activities for the communitys
benefit, comparisons between central government and parliamentary representatives in terms of addressing
community concerns about oil, and baseline estimations of individuals proximity to oil activities and the
degree to which they have been affected by them to date.
Government Management of Oil Activities
We begin by examining the level of confidence that oil-region residents exhibit in governments ability
and will to manage the oil sector in ways that benefit their communities. Descriptive analysis reveals that,
at least at baseline, the lions share of oil-region residents trust that the national government will manage
oil activities for their communitys benefit (Figure 34, left panel). When analyzed by party identification
(middle panel), the results change slightly, but with the majority of both NRM (75%) and non-NRM (63%)
voters reporting being at least somewhat confident that the government will manage oil activities well.
We then proceed to examine the relative confidence oil-residents have in the national government as
compared to their constituency MP in terms of addressing community concerns about the oil sector. Our
results further corroborate earlier findings regarding the greater confidence Ugandans have in the executive
as compared with the legislature. Among oil-residents, 59 percent at least weakly agree that the national

49

Management of Oil Activities for the Community's Benefit


Oil Region Sample

Party ID

50

50

40

Non-NRM
NRM
40

40

38

35

20

34

33 33

21

20

17

39
36

29

30

Male
Female

40

Percent

Percent

Percent

33

30

Gender
50

30

19

20

16

15
10

10

10

10

5
3

All dent dent dent now


At
k
nt Confi Confi Confi on't
e
t
D
fid
y
on t Too wha Ver
C
t
No ome
No
S

All dent dent dent now


At
k
nt Confi Confi Confi on't
e
t
D
fid
y
on t Too wha Ver
C
t
N o o me
No
S

All dent dent dent now


At
k
nt Confi Confi Confi on't
e
t
D
fid
y
on t Too wha Ver
C
t
N o o me
No
S

Figure 34: Confidence in the governments will and ability to manage the oil sector for the communitys benefit.
government is addressing their communitys concerns, against 39 percent that agree that their MP addresses
their concerns about the oil sector.

Govt. addresses community concerns about the oil sector


Oil Region Sample

Party ID

50

50

40

40

Gender
50

Non-NRM
NRM

Male
Female

40
35
33

27

20

20

30

Percent

30

33
31

Percent

Percent

32

25
23
20 20

20

10

ree gree gree gree know


a
ag
A
A
t
Dis ly Dis akly ngly Don'
y
l
k
g
We Stro
on Wea
r
t
S

6
4

17

10

26

15

14

10

28

20 20

20

17

16

30

ree gree gree gree know


a
ag
A
A
t
Dis ly Dis akly ngly Don'
y
l
ak
ng
We Stro
tro We

ree gree gree gree know


a
ag
A
A
t
Dis ly Dis akly ngly Don'
y
l
ak
ng
We Stro
tro We

Figure 35: Respondents assessment of how well the national government addresses community concerns about the
oil sector.

50

MP consults community concerns about the oil sector


Oil Region Sample

Party ID

50

50

40

Gender
50

Non-NRM
NRM
38

40

40

Male
Female
38

36
33

20

19

20

19

30
23

20

10

Percent

30

Percent

Percent

31

19

20 20 20

10

e
e
e
e
w
no
gre gre gre gre
isa Disa kly A gly A on't k
D
a
n
y
y
D
o
kl We
gl
Str
on Wea
Str

24
22
20

20

18

17

e
e
e
e
w
no
gre gre gre gre
isa Disa kly A gly A on't k
D
a
n
y
y
D
o
kl We
gl
Str
on Wea
Str

6
4

19

16

10

30

e
e
e
e
w
no
gre gre gre gre
isa Disa kly A gly A on't k
D
a
n
y
y
D
o
kl We
gl
Str
on Wea
Str

Figure 36: Respondents assessment of the extent to which their members of parliament consult community members
in the oil districts for their views about the oil sector.

Proximity to Oil Activities


With commercial production slated for 2017, developments in the oil sector have been increasing steadily
over time. However, due largely to delays in the passage of key legislation governing the oil sector, it is
unclear just how much exposure the average citizen in the oil areas has had to the actual process of oil
exploration and production to date, including all of the upstream developments necessary to acquire oil rich
land and meet all of the infrastructural needs for full production in the years ahead. To get an idea of the
level of exposure of respondents in the sample to oil activities, a number of questions were enumerated
on the topic of turning over or selling land, compensation for that land, and benefits or payments already
received from oil companies operating in the community.
Of those surveyed in oil regions, 11% said that they have noticed oil companies prospecting for oil
in their community (194 respondents). Additionally, 2% of citizens surveyed reported that someone in
their household has a job with one of the oil companies (40 respondents), while 1% of respondents claim
that someone in their household had received a payment from an oil company, other than for as a job (25
respondents). Furthermore, 3% reported that they know of at least some people in their community who
have turned over land to the government due to oil (74 respondents). Only a small fraction of respondents
(21 interviewees) report that they or someone in their household had turned over land to the government due
to oil. Not all land is being turned over to the government directly, however. Of those surveyed in the oil
regions, 2% said that they know of at least some people in their community who have sold land to private
buyers due to oil (43 respondents), while 15 respondents (less than 1 percent of the sample) claim that they
or someone in their household have sold land to private buyers related to the oil industry.

51

Expectations Regarding Oil and Community Development


We further explore the expectation of those residing in oil-region areas by examining the relationship between communities and international oil companies. Specifically, we focus on expectations surrounding
potential future benefits that communities may be able to secure from international oil companies. The
comparison of these answers relative to those about general benefits from oil wealth help to isolate, at least
in the oil districts, how much of the expectations are on Ugandas management of its oil wealth versus how
much of the expectations are due to the assumption that oil companies would provide direct benefits to
communities located near oil production sites.
Our findings suggest that oil-region residents have, on average, high expectations regarding tangible
benefits from oil companies (Figure 37). We then further probe into the type of benefits that citizens expect to
receive for their communities from oil companies. Figure 38 shows that the modal response for the biggest
benefit expected from oil companies is the construction of schools (50%), followed by compensation for
land (16%), construction of health clinics (11%), job training (10%), and direct cash handouts (6%).

Expected Benefits from Oil: Community


Party ID (Present)

50

50

30

27
20

20

32

30

10

10

No

at

all

ig
ig
ig
o b hat b ery b
t to
V
ew
No
m
So

No

25
17

ig
tb

at

19

20

Percent

Percent

30

ig

at

all
t
No

big
big
big
ry
at
too
Ve
wh
me
o
S

t
No

big

at

No

18 19
14

42

ig

at

all
t
No

38

40
30 30

30
20

20
12

0
N

31

10
ig
big
big
tb
ry
too wha
Ve
me
o
S

ig
big y big
ob
r
at
t to ewh
Ve
m
So

Male
Female

50

28

20

b
ot

20 20
14

Gender (Future)

40 40

30

all

60

40

10

17

Non-NRM
NRM

11

10

20

15

ig
ig
ig
o b h a t b e ry b
t to
V
w
No ome
S

50
40

30

30
24

Party ID (Future)

50

36

30

all

60

40

19 20

39

40

10

Oil Region (Future)


60

b
ot

31

20

16

ig
tb

40

40

Male
Female

50

Percent

37

40

Gender (Present)
60

Non-NRM
NRM

Percent

60

Percent

Percent

Oil Region (Prsent)


60

0
N

b
ot

ig

at

17

10

all
No

ig
big y big
ob
r
at
t to ewh
Ve
m
o
S

Figure 37: Size of expected future benefits from oil companies


In the final part of this analysis, we examine the relative expectation from oil companies as compared
to the Ugandan government. Our findings, presented in Figure 39 illustrate that, at least in baseline, the
majority of those surveyed in oil areas maintain that the government will do a better job than oil companies
in addressing development-related concerns in their community. It is important to keep track of this relative

52

Biggest Benefit Expected from Oil Companies


(Oil Region Sample)
60
50

Percent

50
40
30
20

16
11

10

10

ct
ur

ou

oa

om
pe

ds

as
h

/In
fra

ha

st
ru

nd

in
tra
b
Jo

O
th
er

ts

g
in

ic
in
cl

ns

at
io

ea

lth

fo
r

Sc
h

la

oo

ls

nd

Figure 38: The biggest benefit communities should expect from oil companies operating nearby.
expectation, since one concern may be that accountability relations between Ugandans and their elected
representatives would weaken if constituents begin shifting expectations away from government and towards
foreign private firms.

Address development concerns in community


Oil Region Sample

Party ID

70

70
59

60

Gender
70

Non-NRM
NRM

Male
Female

62

60

60

59 60

54

40
30

50

Percent

50

Percent

Percent

50

40
30
23

19

20

19

20

10
0

y
er
er
er
all
ett
ett
ett
qu
ob
ob
ob
d
d
d
oe
l
l
l
il
il
il
ld
l
i
w
w
w
t
w
er
ies men
th
ith
an
Bo
n
Ne
mp over
co
l
G
i
O

30

20
16

18

10
3

40

20

20
17

20

18

10
3

y
er
er
er
all
ett
ett
ett
qu
ob
ob
ob
d
d
d
oe
l
l
l
il
il
il
ld
l
i
w
w
w
t
w
er
ies men
th
ith
an
Bo
n
Ne
mp over
co
l
G
i
O

y
er
er
er
all
ett
ett
ett
qu
ob
ob
ob
d
d
d
oe
l
l
l
il
il
il
ld
l
i
w
w
w
t
w
er
ies men
th
ith
an
Bo
n
Ne
mp over
co
l
G
i
O

Figure 39: Comparing oil companies and the national government in who will do a better job of addressing concerns
related to development in their communities.

53

The Political Geography of Oil

Thus far our comparisons of responses in oil and non-oil regions have revealed a number of interesting differences. For example, Ugandans in the oil region show stronger support for the NRM, and generally report
higher levels of trust in and satisfaction with the President. In addition, oil-region residents have somewhat
different policy priorities and are more politically active than constituents in non-oil areas. Specific to oil,
Ugandans in the oil regions have greater knowledge of oil related issues and higher expectations regarding
the impact of oil on the size of the national budget. They also show a preference for allocating a larger share
of oil revenue to the oil region and, moreover, have higher expectation of receiving future benefits from oil
companies. They generally trust the national government to manage the oil sector effectively.
Importantly, though results presented in Section 5 and Section 6 allow us to compare attitudes and
behavior as a function of oil-region status, they do not allow us to conclude that these differences are due to
the oil discovery, rather than to some other factor. In this section we exploit the physical location of survey
respondents to further unpack public opinion and attitudes of ordinary Ugandans as a function of proximity
to oil. As described in Section 4, we are interested in exploring whether some of the systematic differences
shown in Section 5 between oil and non-oil residents are in fact caused by the oil discovery.
One difficulty in generating plausible comparisons between average attitudes in the oil and non-oil
regions is the fact that both regions differ on a number of other characteristics. As our survey confirms, at
least parts of the oil region are a stronghold of the NRM and hence attitudes and responses about political
behavior might be affected by party affiliation instead of exposure to the oil sector. Similarly, when we
supplement our survey with information from the 2002 census, villages in the oil region that were sampled
in our survey report, on average, lower literacy rates, lower education levels, a larger share of the population
engaging in agriculture, and worse access to schools and health facilities. When trying to discern meaningful
differences in attitudes across the oil/non-oil divide, we run the danger of misattributing such differences to
the presence of oil. To address this concern we have to move beyond mere descriptive statistics and employ
statistical adjustment methods to generate meaningful comparisons.
We begin by using matching techniques to pre-process the survey data. The general idea of matching
is to find units from the non-oil region (the control group) that are as similar as possible to the oil region
(treated units), on observable characteristics. Comparisons based on this purposefully selected sample of
cases will be more plausible, because large differences in, for example, support for President Museveni or
socio-economics, will be cancelled out. To do so, we would ideally like to use individual-level data for our
respondents from a time period before oil was discovered in Uganda. Then we could pair similar individuals
from the oil and non-oil regions. Given that our survey only provides information on individual-level characteristics in 2014 though, we cannot directly match our respondents on information from our survey. As
a consequence, we have to rely on other data sources unrelated to our public opinion survey. Specifically,
we use information from the 2002 Ugandan census and election returns from the 2006 presidential election
that we can match to our respondents villages and parishes of residence. While not providing us with information at the individual-level, these data allow us to determine how different villages in the oil and non-oil
regions were before oil was discovered in Uganda and, subsequently, to match similar villages across the oil
and non-oil regions.
54

The specific matching approach we opt for, entropy-balance matching (Hainmueller, 2012), constructs
comparisons of treated and control units by calculating weights for observations from the non-oil regions.
This re-weighting of observations is designed to improve the balance of observable characteristics from the
2002 census and the 2006 presidential election.12 In practice this means we take our original survey data
and re-weight individuals, based on their village characteristics, such that villages in the non-oil region that
are most similar to the oil region are weighed more heavily when constructing comparisons.
After this initial step of pre-processing the data, we use standard regression techniques to estimate the
effect of being in an oil region on a number of key survey measures. Using regression allows us to control
for any remaining differences between respondents and should provide us with plausible counterfactuals for
the oil/non-oil comparison.13 Note in order to facilitate the analysis we generally created binary variables
for our outcome measures. As such the variables presented in the following tables are not exactly identical
to ones presented earlier in the report. For example, the average response for the variable Satisfaction
President (0.78), represents the share of survey respondents who indicated that they are at least somewhat
satisfied with the presidents performance. Tables 1 and 2 provide an overview of all the outcomes we
analyze in more detail in this section.

12 Results are similar when using other matching techniques. We match on a number of village characteristics from the 2002
census: population size, average age, share of the male population, literacy, education levels, unemployment, share of agriculture,
share of manufacturing, share of services, religious and ethnic fractionalization, the share of President Musevenis co-ethnics,
share of owner-occupied housing, the average number of sleeping rooms, the share of households with a thatched roof, the share
of households with an earth floor, land tenure arrangements, distance to health facilities, schools and public water sources, asset
ownership of households. We also match on the share of the population voting for President Museveni in the 2006 election. Balance
statistics pre- and post-matching are reported in the Appendix.
13 We use standard ordinary least squares estimation. We control for all variables used in the matching procedure and cluster
standard errors at the constituency level.

55

Table 1: Overview of Survey Questions


Outcome

Average

Satisfaction & Trust


Satisfaction President
Satisfaction MPs
Satisfaction Local
Satisfaction Democracy
Trust President
Trust MPs
Trust Local
Trust Clan
Trust Kingdom

0.78
0.52
0.59
0.61
0.82
0.65
0.71
0.73
0.57

Political Action, General


Participate in discussion
Attend community meeting
Write a letter
Talk to leaders
Talk to district officials
Talk to MPs
Send SMS to public official
Call public official
Sign a petition
Attend demonstration
Voted for the President
Voted for the NRM

0.63
0.46
0.11
0.37
0.14
0.10
0.06
0.08
0.05
0.05
0.65
0.59

Knowledge & Expectations


Oil Knowledge
Expected budget increase due to oil
Extra revenue for oil-region
Extra revenue to national government
Extra revenue to local government
Extra revenue to citizens
Unfair that oil region gets more revenue
Royalties for oil region
Satisfaction with management of oil, President
Satisfaction with management of oil, MPs

5.02
6.30
55.13
35.13
29.54
35.33
0.48
0.66
0.67
0.51

Political Action, Oil


Information index
Listen to a radio program
Seek information, President
Seek information, MPs
Seek information local
Support parliamentary oversight
Attend rally for parliamentary oversight
Attend rally for more revenues for the oil region
Non-peaceful action understandable
Vote out of office for misuse of oil
Discuss oil
Attend community meeting about oil
Write a letter about oil

0.03
0.37
0.79
0.76
0.79
0.49
0.21
0.22
0.57
0.75
0.81
0.81
0.56

56

Outcome

Average

Corruption Perception
Surprised about corruption, President
Surprised about corruption, MPs
Surprised about corruption, Local
Surprised about corruption, Clan
Surprised about corruption, Kingdom

0.72
0.63
0.58
0.72
0.63

Access and Efficacy


Overall political access
Able to influence the president
Able to influence MPs

1.13
0.50
0.62

Knowledge & Expectations


Your tribe is receiving an unfair share
Oil belongs to oil region
Benefits to Uganda
Benefits to the household
Benefits index, after information
Benefits to Uganda, after information
Benefits to household, after information
Impact oil Uganda
Impact oil household
Feeling more attached to own ethnic group

0.46
0.22
0.91
0.57
0.03
0.91
0.62
0.45
0.25
0.12

Political Action, Oil


Action index
Contact oil company
Attend meeting by Oil Company
Talk with community leaders about oil
Talk with district officials about oil
Contact MP about oil
Send SMS about oil to official
Call official about oil
Attend demonstration about oil
Wants to enroll in 123inform service
Takes extra time to enroll in 123inform
Eventually registers with 123inform

0.03
0.58
0.77
0.74
0.61
0.61
0.45
0.47
0.34
0.51
0.36
0.02

Table 2: Overview of Survey Questions, Expected Benefits and Concerns


Outcome

Average

Outcome

Average

Expected Benefits Uganda


Lower taxes
Jobs with government
Jobs with oil sector
Jobs non-oil sector
Selling good to oil companies
Cheaper fuel
Handouts to citizens
Higher land values
Cheaper electricity
Better government schools
Better government health care
Better roads

0.79
0.84
0.90
0.72
0.88
0.88
0.52
0.78
0.74
0.90
0.91
0.95

Expected Benefits HH
Lower taxes
Jobs with government
Jobs with oil sector
Jobs non-oil sector
Selling good to oil companies
Cheaper fuel
Handouts to citizens
Higher land values
Cheaper electricity
Better government schools
Better government health care
Better roads

0.71
0.56
0.60
0.51
0.66
0.82
0.43
0.55
0.65
0.85
0.87
0.90

Concerns Uganda
Land grabbing
Land confiscation / inadequate compensation
Loss of livelihood
Environmental damage
Crime
Inward migration
Household conflict
Ethnic conflict
Conflict between oil and non-oil regions
Conflict between oil-region and government
Local government corruption
Central government corruption

0.51
0.51
0.55
0.64
0.49
0.50
0.39
0.51
0.51
0.53
0.71
0.68

Concerns HH
Land grabbing
Land confiscation / inadequate compensation
Loss of livelihood
Environmental damage
Crime
Inward migration
Household conflict
Ethnic conflict
Conflict between oil and non-oil regions
Conflict between oil-region and government
Local government corruption
Central government corruption

0.37
0.36
0.44
0.52
0.35
0.36
0.32
0.43
0.42
0.41
0.60
0.62

Tables 3, 4, and 5 provide a summary of the main findings. Starting with Table 3, we search for differences in levels of satisfaction with and trust in public officials, corruption perceptions, the willingness to
take political action, and overall judgments of efficacy and access. First, we find little evidence of systematic
differences in attitudes between the oil and non-oil regions with respect to satisfaction measures. Matched
respondents reported no meaningful differences in average levels of satisfaction with the president, members
of parliament, or the democratic process. In other words, differences in satisfaction with the performance
of elected officials reported in Section 5 all but disappear after the matching procedure that accounts for the
Presidents baseline support in the oil region.
Similarly, when it comes to expressing trust, we find that oil region residents are, in contrast to simple
differences in means reported in Section 5, less likely to report that they trust the president or kingdom
officials. These differences though are sensitive to the particular matching approach and vanish in alternative
specifications. Corruption perceptions vary across oil and non-oil regions and are similar to the findings
in Section 5: individuals in the oil regions are less likely to expect to hear corruption allegation against
members of parliament or local officials. This might support the notion that residents of the oil region give
government officials at least momentarily, the benefit of the doubt when it comes to governance issue.
Second, in terms of both general political engagement and perceptions of being able to influence political leaders, there are no systematic differences between the oil and non-oil regions, after accounting for
differences in village characteristics. Although we do find that respondents in the oil region are more likely
57

to have signed a petition in the past, this difference is sensitive to alternative matching procedures.
Table 3: Differences between oil and non-oil regions, general outcomes
Outcome
Satisfaction & Trust
Satisfaction President
Satisfaction MPs
Satisfaction Local
Satisfaction Democracy
Trust President
Trust MPs
Trust Local
Trust Clan
Trust Kingdom

Effect

Outcome

Effect

+
+

Corruption Perception
Surprised about corruption, President
Surprised about corruption, MPs
Surprised about corruption, Local
Surprised about corruption, Clan
Surprised about corruption, Kingdom

Political Action, General


Access and Efficacy
Participate in discussion
Overall political access
Attend community meeting
Able to influence the president
Write a letter
Able to influence MPs
Talk to leaders
Talk to district officials
Talk to MPs
Send SMS to public official
Call public official
Sign a petition
+
Attend demonstration
Voted for the President
Voted for the NRM
+ indicates a statistically significant and positive effect for the oil region at or below the 5% level.
indicates a statistically significant and negative effect for the oil region at or below the 5% level.

Table 4 summarizes differences between oil and non-oil regions for survey questions that focus more
narrowly on oil-related issues. As with the descriptive statistics in Section 6, even after matching and
controlling for available observable characteristics of respondents, citizens in the oil region demonstrate
higher levels of knowledge about oil. This higher level of awareness is again paired with an increased
demand for a larger share of oil revenue to be allocated to the oil regions. Respondents in the oil region are
also much less likely to report that it is unfair that the oil regions would receive additional revenue. Despite
this clear preference for an increased flow of government revenues, citizens in the oil region are not generally
optimistic about the general benefits of the oil for Uganda as a whole, or their household specifically, after
we correct for baseline differences in other variables.
While there where no significant differences in the level of general political engagement between oil
and non-oil regions, that is not the case for activities specifically focused on oil. We find that for a number
of distinct activities, respondents in the oil region are far less likely to become politically active with regard
to the issue of oil: Respondents report less willingness to seek information about the presidents handling of
the oil sector or information about local officials; respondents are less likely to attend rallies in support of
policies dealing with the management of the oil sector; they are also less willing to attend community meetings arranged by oil companies or contact their community leaders; respondents were also less interested in
signing up for our 123inform service that would have provided them with additional information about oil in
58

the future. In short, we find a robust and consistent finding that though residents of oil districts know more
about oil and expect to receive a larger share of future revenues, they are at the same time significantly less
likely to act in ways that might seem confrontational. In line with our prior findings, for the evaluation of
public officials management of the oil sector, individuals in the oil region report higher levels of satisfaction
with the president than individuals in the non-oil region, with no discernible difference in the satisfaction
with members of parliament.
Table 4: Differences between oil and non-oil regions, oil-specific outcomes
Outcome
Knowledge & Expectations
Oil Knowledge
Expected budget increase due to oil
Extra revenue for oil-region
Extra revenue to national government
Extra revenue to local government
Extra revenue to citizens
Unfair that oil region gets more revenue
Royalties for oil region
Satisfaction with management of oil, President
Satisfaction with management of oil, MPs

Effect

Outcome
Knowledge & Expectations
Your tribe is receiving an unfair share
Oil belongs to oil region
Benefits to Uganda
Benefits to the household
Benefits index, after information
Benefits to Uganda, after information
Benefits to household, after information
Impact oil Uganda
Impact oil household
Feeling more attached to own ethnic group

+
+

+
+

Political Action, Oil


Political Action, Oil
Information index
Action index
Listen to a radio program
Contact oil company
Seek information, President
Attend meeting by oil company
Seek information, MPs
Talk with community leaders about oil
Seek information local
Talk with district officials about oil
Support parliamentary oversight
Contact MP about oil
Attend rally for parliamentary oversight
Send SMS about oil to official
Attend rally for more revenues for the oil region Call official about oil
Non-peaceful action understandable
Attend demonstration about oil
Vote out of office for misuse of oil
Wants to enroll in 123inform service
Discuss oil
Takes extra time to enroll in 123inform
Attend community meeting about oil
Eventually registers with 123inform
Write a letter about oil
+ indicates a statistically significant and positive effect for the oil region at or below the 5% level.
indicates a statistically significant and negative effect for the oil region at or below the 5% level.

Effect

Table 5 shows differences between oil and non-oil regions with respect to expected benefits and concerns
about oil in Uganda. The upper part of Table 5 shows that residents of the oil region do have clearer
expectations about receiving some benefits related to oil. They are more likely to expect jobs with the oil
sector, direct handouts, access to cheaper electricity, better schools and government health care for Uganda
as whole. Respondents in the oil region are more sanguine about expected benefits for their own household.
While they expect to be able to sell goods to oil companies and to receive direct handouts individually, they
are somewhat less likely to expect lower taxes, cheaper fuel, or government jobs for themselves.
These expectations are paired with clear concerns in the oil region. Individuals from villages in the oil
region are significantly more likely to express worries about land grabbing, crime, migration, conflict, and
inadequate compensation for land confiscation for Uganda as whole and for their household specifically.
These regressions results line up with the descriptive findings from Section 6.
59

Table 5: Differences between oil and non-oil regions, expected benefits and concerns
Outcome
Expected Benefits Uganda
Lower taxes
Jobs with government
Jobs with oil sector
Jobs non-oil sector
Selling good to oil companies
Cheaper fuel
Handouts to citizens
Higher land values
Cheaper electricity
Better government schools
Better government health care
Better roads

Effect

+
+
+
+

Outcome
Expected Benefits HH
Lower taxes
Jobs with government
Jobs with oil sector
Jobs non-oil sector
Selling good to oil companies
Cheaper fuel
Handouts to citizens
Higher land values
Cheaper electricity
Better government schools
Better government health care
Better roads

Concerns Uganda
Concerns HH
Land grabbing
+
Land grabbing
Land confiscation / inadequate compensation
Land confiscation / inadequate compensation
Loss of livelihood
Loss of livelihood
Environmental damage
Environmental damage
Crime
+
Crime
Inward migration
+
Inward migration
Household conflict
+
Household conflict
Ethnic conflict
+
Ethnic conflict
Conflict between oil and non-oil regions
+
Conflict between oil and non-oil regions
Conflict between oil-region and government +
Conflict between oil-region and government
Local government corruption
Local government corruption
Central government corruption
Central government corruption
+ indicates a statistically significant and positive effect for the oil region at or below the 5% level.
indicates a statistically significant and negative effect for the oil region at or below the 5% level.

60

Effect

+
+

+
+

+
+
+
+
+
+
-

One question that arises is whether some of the differences reported above are a function of the level
of support for the NRM in oil and non-oil regions. While our analysis in this section controls for the
average level of support for the NRM and the President in the village, it might be the case that political
alignments modify or reverse the effects of oil on certain outcomes. We test for this possibility by exploring
the interaction of NRM support levels with the oil/non-oil status of a respondents village. Across the
outcomes in Tables 3, 4, and 5 we find hardly any evidence for changes in the effects of oil discovery across
levels of NRM support.14
As Table 3 indicates, there are hardly any systematic differences between the oil and non-oil regions
in Uganda when it comes to general political attitudes and the willingness to engage, after we correct for
baseline differences using the matched data. In short, we find no evidence of a particularly noteworthy
deficit in general democratic engagement in areas close to or far from the oil wells. Importantly, this lack
of differences in attitudes does not extend to oil-specific issues. On one hand, despite the fact that Uganda
is not yet producing any oil and tangible fiscal transfers to district governments in oil-regions are yet to
be realized, local residents are better informed about the oil sector and have very clear expectations about
future revenue flows. On the other hand, while the discovery of oil has heightened expectations about fiscal
revenues and specific benefits, respondents in the oil region are clearly not (yet) willing to become politically
engaged in support of these demands. Instead, individuals are decidedly less willing to engage government
officials than respondents in the non-oil regions.
We thus test the proposition that respondents in the oil region are less willing to engage local government
officials and politicians because they are diverting their attention towards oil companies. Focusing explicitly
on oil region residents, we find that individuals living closer to the actual extraction sites are more likely
to report that they expect somewhat large future benefits from oil companies. However, they are no more
likely to think that oil companies will play a more important role in addressing development concerns than
the government. In short, it does not seem to be the case that Ugandans in the oil region are merely shifting
their attention and willingness to engage towards oil companies.
While it is too early to identify the exact reasons for this pattern, one plausible explanation might be
that Ugandans in the oil region engage in anticipatory acquiescence and do not want to rock the boat,
momentarily giving the President the benefit of the doubt. If this is indeed that case, any efforts at ensuring
good governance of the oil sector by encouraging citizen engagement might face substantial difficulties.
It remains to be seen whether this level of trust in the President and willingness to disengage politically
changes as public expectations about oil production adjust to actual realities. Indeed, the lack of willingness
to engage on the issue of oil is not driven by a lack of concerns. As Table 5 shows, Ugandans in the oil region
are expecting a number of tangible benefits from oil production, while also being sensitive to a host of risks
associated with it. This suggests that while a careful wait-and-see attitude is prevalent at the moment,
subverting expectations might quickly generate meaningful changes in peoples attitudes.

14 The

only noteworthy difference being, that while for the oil region in general political activism is suppressed, respondents
from areas with high NRM support feel more comfortable to contact local officials about oil. Detailed tables that summarize our
evidence can be found in the appendix.

61

Oil Information Experiments

It is widely believed that mitigating the resource curse requires that citizens take political action to discipline
rent-seeking politicians and ensure that resource revenues are spent in the public interest. The evidence
discussed thus far suggests that this might be particularly important in the Uganda case where we observed
in Section 7 that oil apparently lead to a decrease in political engagement in the oil region, the region that
it was expected would be the most predisposed to be engaged. This raises the important question: To what
extent is it possible to mobilize political engagement and increase individual willingness to demand more
transparent and accountable management of the natural resource sector.
Specifically, we are interested in considering whether providing citizens with new information can mobilize them to take action to demand transparency and accountable management of the resource sector. The
focus on information is motivated for two reasons. First, as discussed in Section 3, resource discoveries often
create incentives for politicians to try to hide future revenue. They therefore can undermine transparency,
making the work of civil society and the media more difficult and making it harder for citizens to know
whether to reward or punish their politicians for their performance. Second, many international and domestic civil society organizations might be particularly interested in organizing advocacy campaigns based on
information but there are still open questions about what kinds of information might be most effective at
mobilizing citizens to take action.
To explore the question of how to use information to mobilize political action, we developed a total of
nine experimental groups where each group received a different information treatment. The treatments
aimed to provide new information on such factors as the national and regional benefits of oil and the role of
elected officials (the President, MPs, and local government) in managing resource wealth. The treatments
are summarized in Figure 40 and the full text of each treatment can be found in Appendix C. Respondents
received the information in the form of a short script (up to about a page in length) read by the enumerators,
who also used illustrations to emphasize and clarify key points in the script. Overall, six of the nine treatments focused on trying to mobilize citizens to take political action and we focus on the results from these
experiments here.15

Figure 40: Information Treatments


15 Three

additional treatments focused on mitigating potential adverse effects of the information. Since we find that the information experiments are only moderately successful in increasing political action and we observe no evidence of adverse effects, we do
not focus on presenting the results from the additional treatments.

62

As described in Section 4, respondents were randomly assigned to one of the nine experimental groups.
Randomization enables the identification of the causal effect of the information treatments by ensuring
the groups are alike prior to the administration of the treatment. To improve statistical efficiency, random
assignment to treatments was blocked at the EA (village) level with one respondent per EA assigned to each
treatment. Care was also taken to ensure gender balance in treatment assignment at the constituency level.
There are two exceptions to this rule. The regional cost treatment was only implemented in the non-oil
region and the oil companies treatment was only implemented in the oil region. Two individuals in each
village in the appropriate region were randomly assigned to these treatments. Overall, there were about 300
individuals in each treatment group. All results presented below account for these features of the design.
Namely, all results are obtained using standard regression techniques in which we regress the outcomes
of interest on assignment to treatment, use village-level fixed effects and clustered standard errors at the
village-level to account for blocking, and include individual-level controls from the pre-treatment portion of
the survey to improve efficiency.
Our main outcomes of interest are whether the information treatments increase political engagement
specifically demand for information and willingness to take political action on oil-related issues. In addition
to measuring these outcomes in post-treatment modules in the survey, we introduce a behavioral measure
of willingness to take action that overcomes objections to costless survey measures. Specifically, we gave
respondents an opportunity to enroll in a text messaging service that we developed specifically for this
project. Once enrolled, respondents would receive (free) regular news updates on important oil issues and
also would have the chance to respond to public opinion pollsat the cost of a text messagethe results
of which would be shared with policymakers, civil society, and the media. As such, the text messaging
platform could be interpreted as a behavioral measure of demand for information and/or willingness to
take action to signal preferences to political leaders. For the purposes of our outcomes, this provides a
costly measure in two ways: (1) enrollment took an extra 10-15 minutes (after a 90 minute survey), and (2)
respondents had to send a confirmation text (at cost) in order for their enrollment to be complete. In the
end, 33 percent of the sample went through the enrollment process but only a very small number (39) sent
the confirmation text. The takeup was lower than expected given other text messaging services in Uganda
(e.g. Ureport) and could be confirmation of the relatively low salience of oil as an issue now. Alternatively,
it could be that respondents were more intimidated or put off by the cost associated with the public opinion
polling aspect of the service. Regardless, throughout the analysis we focus on completion of the enrollment
process as our main behavioral measure. Finally, we paid close attention to possible adverse effects of the
information treatments, especially whether they contributed to a willingness to take violent political action
and/or whether they contributed to distributional grievances about how the revenue was being used.
In this section we present results from the set of experiments focused on the effects on political action
of information that emphasized the national and regional benefits of oil as this was the central experiment
associated with understanding the political geography of Ugandas resource discovery. Results for the experiments on executive versus parliamentary control and the role of oil companies can be found in Appendix
C.

63

8.1

National versus Regional Benefits of Oil

Following on our interest in understanding geographic variation in the politics of oil, we explored the effects of information that emphasized the national versus regional benefits of Ugandas oil discovery. These
experiments were motivated by ongoing policy discourse surrounding the Public Finance Bill over whether
to allocate a greater share of the revenue to the oil areas. Voices on one side emphasized that, even though
oil was discovered in the Western part of Uganda, it should be considered a national resource that should
be used to benefit all. Others, however, emphasized that the oil area should receive extra compensation in
anticipation of exposure to higher costs (environmental damage, displacement, etc.)
The effects of such discourse could have important implications for the nature of political engagement
across oil and non-oil areas. We first consider the effects of providing information on the national benefits of
oil. We expect that informing Ugandans of the resource discovery will have a positive effect on engagement
overall. There is good reason to believe, however, that the effect of this information will be particularly
strong for individuals in the non-oil areas who at this early stage might feel more removed from the debate
and view oil as a lower salience issue. This suggests that increasing engagement among individuals in nonoil areas could be critically important for ensuring the wise use of future revenue, especially in light of the
fact that the vast majority of revenue will be allocated by elected officials through the national budget and
available for national development. While information that emphasizes national benefits could thus play an
important role in mobilizing political engagement in the non-oil region, we also need to be aware that it
could have adverse effects, particularly in the oil region. If those in the oil region feel stronger ownership
over the resources or that they deserve a greater share of the benefits, they then could resent the emphasis
on oil as a national good. In accordance with this logic, we propose to test the following hypotheses, where
we hope to find support for the first two and to disprove the third:
H1: Information on national benefits will have a positive average effect on engagement.
H2: The effect of national benefits information on engagement will be greater in the non-oil
region relative to the oil region.
H3: The national benefits information will have more adverse effects (distributional grievances)
in the oil region relative to the non-oil region.
We might expect information that emphasizes the regional benefits of oilspecifically that a greater
share of the oil revenue will be set aside for oil districts, as stipulated in the Public Finance Billto have
the opposite effect. Such information should increase political engagement in the oil areas by emphasizing
the benefits they could receive, while it might have no effect or even a negative effect in the non-oil areas if
it only reinforces the perception that the oil does not belong to them.16 Increasing political engagement in
the oil region might be particularly important given the suggestive evidence above that the oil discovery is
causing a decline in political engagement on oil issues in the oil region. It should be noted, however, that
such information could generate greater distributional grievances in the non-oil region if individuals feel
16 The fact that the information could work in opposite ways in the oil and non-oil areas makes it difficult to generate a prediction

on the average effect of the regional benefits information. We therefore focus on the heterogeneous effect by region.

64

that it is unfair for the oil areas to receive a greater share of the benefits. We therefore add the following
hypotheses, where we hope to find support for H4 and to disprove H5:
H4: The effect of the regional benefits information on engagement will be greater in the oil
region relative to the non-oil region.
H5: The regional benefits information will have more adverse effects (willingness to take violent action, distributional grievances) in the non-oil region relative to the oil region.
The treatments
To test the hypotheses outlined above, we randomly assign survey respondents to three groups: (1) a control
group that gets basic information about the oil discovery, (2) a national benefits treatment group in which
the national benefits of oil are emphasizes, and (3) a regional benefits treatment group in which the emphasis
is on the fact that oil areas will get a greater share of the revenue. All treatments are additive, meaning that
the national treatment group received the control information PLUS the national information; the regional
treatment group received the control information PLUS the national information PLUS the regional information. In each case, then, we are interested in identifying the marginal effect of the additional information
component on political engagement. The specific language is as follows:
Control: Experts have confirmed that Uganda has about 2 billion barrels of oil (which is about
318 billion liters), which could mean a lot for the country. The government is working with
international oil companies to produce that oil within the next few years. If the oil is managed
well, Uganda can enjoy oil revenue for about the next 25 years. That money will go into
Ugandas budget and your elected MPs will decide how to spend it. Overall, the money from oil
that will go into Ugandas budget could be about four thousand million shillings a year. This
means that the total amount of money that the government and your elected MPs will have in
the budget to decide how to spend on things like health and education and roads or to save for
the future could grow from about eight thousand million shillings a year to 12 thousand million
shillings a year.
National treatment: Another way to think about it is that oil will give the government and
parliament about an extra 120,000 shillings to spend every year for each person in Uganda.
Just to be clear, its not that the government will give out the money to people directly but that is
how much each person in Uganda would get if the government were to divide it equally amongst
ALL Ugandans. And because the oil money goes into the national budget, ALL Ugandans can
indeed benefit, regardless of region or tribe. Many believe oil is a national resource and all
Ugandans are entitled to enjoy the benefits.
Regional treatment: While the oil money can benefit all people in Uganda, those living in
oil areas will get more of the money. There is a bill called the Public Finance Bill, which is
now being debated in parliament, which will set aside more of the oil revenue from the national
65

budget specifically for people who live in oil areas. This money will go to local governments,
like district governments, municipalities, and town councils, and the elected representatives of
these governments will decide how to spend it.
National Benefits Results (H1-H3)
We begin by looking at the effects of the national treatment (H1-H3), presented in Figures 41-45. Specifically, the figures provide a graphical representation of the effect of the information treatment on the perceived benefits of oil (Figure 41), on demand for information (Figure 42), on survey measures of willingness
to take political action (Figure 43), on the behavioral SMS measure of willingness to take political action
(Figure 44), and on the potential adverse effects of the national treatment (Figure 45).
For all figures in this section we present four results for each measure. The first result is the average
treatment effect (ATE) of the information and we will regard a positive and significant effect as support for
H1. The second is the treatment effect in the non-oil region only, the third result is the treatment effect in the
oil region only, and the fourth line presents the statistical test of whether the effect of the information varies
across oil and non-oil-region residents. We regard as support for H2 a negative and significant interaction
between information and oil region, indicating that the effect of the treatment on outcomes is smaller in the
oil region and bigger in the non-oil region.
Overall, the results suggest little support for H1, that information on national benefits will have a positive effect on engagement. This is evident in the fact that none of the measures produce a significant ATE in
any of the figures described above. We therefore turn our attention to H2, which predicts that the effect of
the national treatment will be greater in the non-oil region than the oil region. Here there is some tentative
evidence of support for this hypothesis. First, while not statistically significant, the coefficient on the demand for information index is in the predicted negative direction (Figure 42). This pattern becomes clearer
when looking at survey measures of willingness to take political action. Specifically, we see a statistically
significant negative interaction (at the 10 percent confidence level) on the index of political activity. This is
primarily driven by the fact that the national treatment caused a greater willingness to contact community
leaders, contact MPs, send an SMS to a public official, and phone a public official in the non-oil region
compared to the oil region.
Interestingly, while these results are consistent with H2, it is important to note that the results suggest
that the difference in the effect of the treatment across oil and non-oil regions is not being caused by an
increase in engagement in the non-oil region but rather by a decrease in engagement in the oil region. In
other words, the national treatment appears to be making individuals in the oil region less engaged rather
than making individuals in the non-oil region more engaged. Somewhat puzzlingly, this pattern of results
does not hold for a question in Figure 44 that indicates the national treatment makes people in the oil region
more willing to hold their elected politicians accountable for their management of oil revenue. We also find
no further support for H2 in looking at the behavioral measures of willingness to take action.
Importantly, while we find only modest support for H2 in the data, we reassuringly find no support for
H3that the national treatment will lead to more adverse effects (distributional grievances) in the oil region
relative to the non-oil region. Interestingly, we see that the national treatment on average strengthened
66

individuals Ugandan identity over their ethnic identity (final measure, Figure 45), which suggests that the
treatment is indeed priming people to think in national terms. There is no significant evidence, however,
that the national treatment engenders a greater willingness to take violent political action or resentment over
having to share the revenue at the national level. If anything, the results tentatively suggest that the national
treatment caused people in the oil region to be more likely to feel that it is unfair for the oil region to get
more and that their tribe gets an unfair share of the resources.
All in all, while the data offers some interesting and suggestive patterns for how information on national
benefits affects political engagement in both the oil and non-oil regions, there is little clear indication that
this information motivates more political engagement in general and in the oil region in particular.

National Benefits vs. Control


Treatment Effect of Information
Oil info totally new (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Info is relevant (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

Perceived Benefits of Oil


Index: expected benefits (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Big benefits for UG (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Big benefits for HH (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Very positive impact on UG (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Very positive impact on HH (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

-.4

-.2

.2

Figure 41: Effect of the national treatmenttreatment check

67

.4

National Benefits vs. Control


Demand for Information
Index: demand for information (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Nights would listen to oil radio program (out of 6) (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Likely to seek info on Pres.'s rev. mgmt. (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Likely to seek info on MP's rev. mgmt. (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Likely to seek info on local govt. rev. mgmt. (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

-.4

-.2

.2

Figure 42: Effect of the national treatment on demand for information

National Benefits vs. Control


Political Action
Index: political activity (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

Would discuss with family/friends (ATE)


non-oil
oil
Difference
Would attend community meeting (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would write letter/call radio show (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would contact community leaders (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would contact district officials (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would contact MP (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would send SMS to public official (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would phone a public official (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would attend demonstration/march (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

-.6

-.4

-.2

.2

Figure 43: Effect of the national treatment on willingness to take political action

68

.4

National Benefits vs. Control


Policy Action

Royalties just to oil area (ATE)


non-oil
oil
Difference
Likely to rally in support of royalties (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

Accountability

Likely to vote out rep. if misuses revenue (ATE)


non-oil
oil
Difference

Behavioral Outcomes

Yes: want to enroll at end of interview (ATE)


non-oil
oil
Difference
Yes: went through enrollment w/ interviewer (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Yes: sent confirmation text of enrollment (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

-.2

-.1

.1

.2

.3

Figure 44: Effect of the national treatment on behavioral outcomes (enrollment into text messaging service)

National Benefits vs. Control


Violent Action
Understandable to take not peaceful action (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

Distributional Grievances
Unfair for oil area to get more (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Revenue belongs to oil area (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Tribe gets unfair share of resources (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Stronger Ethnic ID than UG ID (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

-.2

-.1

.1

.2

.3

Figure 45: Effect of the national treatment on adverse effects (willingness to take violent action, distributional
grievances)

69

Regional Benefits Results (H4-H5)


We next turn to our investigation of the evidence for H4that the effect on engagement of information on
regional benefits will be greater in the oil region relative to the non-oil regionand that the adverse effects of
such information will be greater in the non-oil region (H5). We present the same measures of engagement
described above but we regard as support for H4 a positive and significant interaction indicating that the
effect of the regional benefits information on engagement is greater in the oil region than in the non-oil
region.
We see strong evidence that the regional benefits information increased demand for information as captured by the index (Figure 47). This result is driven in large part by a measure that captures an increased
willingness to listen to a hypothetical radio program about oil, which is a proxy for willingness to spend
time-consuming information on oil-related issues. Interestingly, however, these results do not constitute
support for H4 in that the effect of the regional treatment on demand for information is similar in both
the oil and the non-oil region. One possible explanation for why this might be the case is that people are
particularly interested in and attuned to the distributional issues surrounding oil regardless of where they
are located. This highlights that indeed talking about oil in distributional terms might be the surest way to
motivate engagement. Reassuringly, there is little significant evidence from Figure 50 that talking about
regional benefits has adverse effects in the non-oil region, consistent with H5. This finding is consistent
with the survey evidence, reported above, that constituents in the non-oil region were supportive of people
in the oil region receiving a slightly larger share of oil revenues. It should be noted, however, that there is
evidence that the regional treatment increases sympathy with violent political action in the non-oil region
(ten percent confidence level).
The data point to two additional conclusions about demand for information. First, while the regional
treatment increased demand for information in both the oil and non-oil regions alike, this only translates
into behavioral change in the oil region (Figure 49). Specifically, the regional treatment increased the stated
willingness to enroll in the text-messaging platform but in the oil region only. Second, even though the
regional treatment apparently increased survey and behavioral demand for information in the oil region, this
does not necessarily translate into a willingness to hold politicians accountable. As can be seen Figure 49,
the regional treatment reduced the share of people in the oil region who say they would be willing to hold
an elected politician accountable if s/he misused oil revenue.
Discussion and Conclusion
All in all, we find little evidence to support our main hypotheses about how information on the national
and regional benefits of oil motivates political action (H1, H2, and H4). We find some evidence for H2 that
information on national benefits leads to more engagement in the non-oil region, but this primarily seems to
arise by depressing engagement in the oil region. We also find that while information on regional benefits
increases demand for information in the oil and non-oil regions alike, this does not necessarily translate
into a willingness to hold politicians accountable in the oil region. These results could be consistent with a
dont rock the boat story in the oil region in which reminding people about national and regional benefits

70

has the effect of making people less willing to take action oriented at politicians, even if it makes them more
interested in oil-related issues. Overall, the lack of experimental results suggests the difficulties associated
with using information to mobilize political engagement at this early stage in the production process before
revenue has started flowing. They also highlight the need for further investigation as time goes on into what
information, if any, people in the oil and non-oil regions want and need in order to become more politically
active on oil-related issues.

Regional Benefits vs. National Benefits


Treatment Effect of Information
Oil info totally new (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Info is relevant (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

Perceived Benefits of Oil


Index: expected benefits (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Big benefits for UG (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Big benefits for HH (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Very positive impact on UG (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Very positive impact on HH (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

-.4

-.2

Figure 46: Effect of the regional treatmenttreatment check

71

.2

Regional Benefits vs. National Benefits


Demand for Information
Index: demand for information (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Nights would listen to oil radio program
(out of 6) (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Likely to seek info on Pres.'s rev.
mgmt. (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Likely to seek info on MP's rev. mgmt.
(ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Likely to seek info on local govt. rev.
mgmt. (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

-.2

.2

.4

.6

Figure 47: Effect of the regional treatment on demand for information

Regional Benefits vs. National Benefits


Political Action
Index: political activity (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

Would discuss with family/friends (ATE)


non-oil
oil
Difference
Would attend community meeting (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would write letter/call radio show (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would contact community leaders (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would contact district officials (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would contact MP (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would send SMS to public official (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would phone a public official (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would attend demonstration/march (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

-.4

-.2

.2

Figure 48: Effect of the regional treatment on willingness to take political action

72

.4

Regional Benefits vs. National Benefits


Policy Action

Royalties just to oil area (ATE)


non-oil
oil
Difference
Likely to rally in support of royalties (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

Accountability

Likely to vote out rep. if misuses revenue (ATE)


non-oil
oil
Difference

Behavioral Outcomes

Yes: want to enroll at end of interview (ATE)


non-oil
oil
Difference
Yes: went through enrollment w/ interviewer (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Yes: sent confirmation text of enrollment (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

-.3

-.2

-.1

.1

.2

Figure 49: Effect of the regional treatment on behavioral outcomes (enrollment into text messaging service)

Regional Benefits vs. National Benefits


Violent Action
Understandable to take not peaceful action (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

Distributional Grievances
Unfair for oil area to get more (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Revenue belongs to oil area (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Tribe gets unfair share of resources (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Stronger Ethnic ID than UG ID (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

-.3

-.2

-.1

.1

.2

Figure 50: Effect of the regional treatment on adverse effects (willingness to take violent action, distributional
grievances)

73

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75

Appendix A

Survey Demographics

This section gives a general overview of the demographic background of the sample and includes information on respondent age, gender, relationship to the head of household, level of education, literacy, English
proficiency, time spent as a village local, income/wealth, and employment status. Many of these demographic characteristics are compared herein to the most recent full version of Ugandas national census,
which took place in 2002.17 Since a great deal has changed about the demographic makeup of Uganda since
2002, comparisons between our survey population and the national average should be taken with a grain of
salt.

General Background Information


Some key background characteristics of the survey respondents are presented in Table 6 below, including
whether the respondent is the head of household, lives in urban or rural area, is local to the village, has
completed at least secondary education, is fully literate (i.e., able to write a letter well enough in some
language), and is proficient in English (measured as ability to carry on a conversation about current events
in English without any difficulty). In addition we report the mean level of respondents employment status
and their usage of text messaging (SMS). The overall percentages for each of these descriptive characteristics
is given, as well as the breakdown by gender, oil-region status and party identification.
Table 6: General Background Characteristics

Urban
Head of the household
Secondary education
Full literacy
English proficiency
Local to village
Employed, retired or student
Has sent an SMS before
Sends several SMS per week
Observations

Overall
0.22
0.45
0.18
0.51
0.28
0.64
0.50
0.35
0.20
2712

Male
0.22
0.65
0.23
0.59
0.35
0.73
0.59
0.42
0.24
1363

Female
0.23
0.24
0.13
0.43
0.22
0.56
0.41
0.28
0.15
1349

Non-NRM
0.29
0.38
0.23
0.56
0.38
0.62
0.51
0.40
0.24
1125

NRM
0.18
0.50
0.15
0.48
0.22
0.66
0.49
0.31
0.16
1587

Non-oil
0.24
0.42
0.20
0.46
0.29
0.64
0.50
0.36
0.20
1358

Oil
0.21
0.47
0.17
0.56
0.28
0.65
0.50
0.33
0.19
1354

Consistent with past national surveys (as the Afrobarometer), these summary statistics show large gender
gaps with respect to education attainment, literacy, English proficiency, and employment. Men are also
more likely to have experience with mobile technology: they report having used SMS messaging in greater
percentages than women, as well as using such messaging with greater frequency. Interestingly, in terms
of human capital, non-NRM voters outpaced NRM voters, reflecting the greater support for the opposition
in urban centers. Those who do not identify with the NRM are more likely to complete at least secondary
17 Note

that the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBoS) completed its first census in more than a decade in the fall of 2014. Since,
however, only the provisional 2014 results are publicly available, comparisons between the survey and the national population
requires referring to the 2002 Census results.

76

Figure 51: Summary Statistics

Range
Demographics
Age
Head4of4the4household
Village4local4
Completed4secondary4school
Literate
Proficient4in4English
Has4sent4an4SMS4(text)4message4before
Sends4at4least4a4few4SMS4per4month
Sends4at4least4a4few4SMS4per4week
Frequency4of4radio4use
Frequency4of4newspaper4use
Objective2Measures2of2Economic2Welfare
Currently4employed
Employed,4retired,4or4a4student
Unemployed4and4seeking4work
Seeking4work
Average4monthly4income4over4the4past434
months
Total4number4of4plots4of4land4owned
Drinking4water4comes4from4a4protected4
source
Owns4his/her4dwelling
Dwelling4is4made4of4high4quality4materials
Main4fuel4source4for4lighting4is4eletricity,4gas,4
solar,4or4battery4power
How4often4dwelling4is4lit4at4night4from4main4
fuel4source
Latrine4is4a4flush4toilet,4VIP4latrine,4or4covered4
pit4latrine
Owns4goats,4sheep,4or4pigs
Owns4cows
Owns4a4set4of4chairs4for4visitors
Owns4a4wooden4bed
Owns4a4refrigerator
Owns4a4generator
Owns4a4sewing4machine
Owns4a4gas4cooking4stove4in4good4working4
condition
Owns4a4bicycle4in4good4working4condition

min

max

Mean

SD

18
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
04(never)
04(never)

90
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
44(every4day)
44(every4day)

35.96
0.50
0.57
0.20
0.52
0.30
0.36
0.33
0.20
3.09
1.05

13.29
0.50
0.50
0.40
0.50
0.46
0.48
0.47
0.40
1.27
1.28

0
0
0
0

1
1
1
1

0.50
0.57
0.21
0.40

0.50
0.49
0.41
0.49

0
0

10
500

2.64
1.99

2.66
7.96

0
0
0

1
1
1

0.74
0.72
0.52

0.44
0.45
0.50

0.34

0.47

14(never)

44(always)

3.36

0.84

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

0.57
0.47
0.26
0.64
0.82
0.09
0.03
0.06

0.49
0.50
0.44
0.48
0.38
0.29
0.18
0.23

0
0

1
1

0.03
0.38

0.18
0.49

education, be fully literate, be fluent in English, be employed and be at ease in using mobile phones. Finally,
oil and non-oil samples are rather balanced in terms of their basic socio-demographics.

Religious and Ethnic Identity


Overall, the religious and ethnic diversity of Uganda is well-represented within the sampled respondents
(Figure 52). The largest share of respondents report being Roman Catholic (38%), while 25% of those sur-

77

veyed report identifying with the Church of Uganda (Anglican). Muslim-identified respondents account for
the third largest segment of the sample, at 16% of those interviewed. These top three groups are comparable
to the national population statistics from the 2002 Census, where Catholics made up 42% of the national
population, Anglicans were 36%, and Muslims were 12%.

Religious Affiliation
38

Percent

40
30

25

20

16
10

10

7
3

ta
l

Pr

an
/E
v

O
th
er

ta
n
ot
es

lic
ge

n
tia
is
hr
C

al

ly
on

lim
us
M

os
Pe

An

gl

nt
ec

ic

an

/C

om

hu

an

rc

of

at
ho

lic

Figure 52: Religious affiliation (full sample).


By contrast, the distribution of ethnicities in the sample population does not fully match the 2002 Census
proportions. This is to be expected given the likely change in ethnic composition in the general population
since the last full census in 2002, as well as oversampling in the oil areas. A comparison of the ethnic
composition of our sample with the 2002 census is presented in Table 7 in the Appendix. Current estimates
of national population breakdown by ethnic or tribal group are, unfortunately, not yet available from the
2014 Census provisional results.

Primary Income Generating Activities


Respondents were asked to account for how they earned the bulk of their income, not including remittances,
in the past year. Overall, 61% of our sample report their primary income generating activity to be agricultural
in nature, including endeavors such as crop husbandry, livestock, wage employment, and agricultural trade
(Figure 53). However, when broken down by gender, only 57% of men, compared to 64% of women, report
that it is their primary income generating source. This is in line with findings from the 2002 Census, where
relatively higher proportions of women were engaged in the agricultural sector than men (83% to 71%).
An additional 10% of respondents report owning small or medium-sized enterprises, with a roughly
equal share of women and men reporting this to be the case. The greatest discrepancy between male (12%)
78

Muganda
Mukiga
Munyankole
Munyoro
Musoga
Mukhonzo
Lugbara
Acholi
Langi
Itesot
Alur
Madi
Jopadhola
Karimojong
Mutoro
Mufumbira
Munyole
Kakwa
Mugisu
Sabiny
Muhororo
Munyarwanda
Muamba
Mugungu
Other

Survey Sample
13
9
8
8
7
6
6
5
4
4
4
4
3
3
3
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
5

Census (2002)
17
7
10
3
9
3
4
5
6
7
2
1
2
1
9
2
2
1
5
1
1
1
0
0
0

Table 7: Ethnic identity of respondents as a percentage share.


and female (5%) appears in private sector employment. Note that overall, 12% of Ugandans report to have
engaged in no income generating activities in the past year, with equal share for men and women. To
summarize, Ugandan women are more likely to work in agriculture or to operate small businesses, while
men are engaged in a wider variety of income generating activities that includes working in, and owning,
private enterprises.

79

Primary Income Generating Activity


70
60
50
40
30
20

9 10

10

12 13

e
on
N

iv

om

es

tic

O
th
er

or
ke

nt
se
r

iv
il

is
te
rp
r

va

(O
)
e

e
is
en

at
e

)
pr

.e

nt
er
Pr

pr
is
e
ed
l/m
al

iv
Sm

Pr

(E

(O
)
at
e

en

te
r

is

tu
re

nt
er
pr

ul
ric
ed

.e

Ag
l/m
al

(E
)

Sm

Percent

Male
Female

64
57

Figure 53: Primary income generating activity broken down by gender.

80

Appendix B

Political Geography
Table 8: Pre-Matching Balance

pop_lc1
age_lc1
male_share_lc1
literacy_share_lc1
unemployed_share_lc1
education_lc1
agriculture_share_lc1
manufacturing_share_lc1
services_share_lc1
rlf
elf
co_ethnic_share_lc1
owner_occup_share_lc1
sleeping_rooms_lc1
roof_thatch_share_lc1
floor_earth_share_lc1
tenure_custom_share_lc1
tenure_free_share_lc1
tenure_mailo_share_lc1
dist_health_lc1
dist_school_lc1
dist_water_lc1
wood_cook_share_lc1
light_elec_share_lc1
water_prot_share_lc1
bush_toilet_share_lc1
motor_share_lc1
motorcycle_share_lc1
radio_share_lc1
pres_share

Oil, Mean
744.87
20.34
0.50
0.45
0.01
2.32
0.27
0.00
0.03
0.49
0.30
0.09
0.86
1.91
0.50
0.00
0.61
0.17
0.04
2.90
2.46
2.68
0.92
0.02
0.52
0.10
0.01
0.02
0.01
0.64

Non-Oil, Mean
813.41
20.21
0.50
0.47
0.02
2.40
0.20
0.01
0.06
0.56
0.33
0.06
0.70
1.72
0.41
0.01
0.44
0.14
0.08
2.86
2.31
2.72
0.76
0.10
0.59
0.18
0.03
0.02
0.06
0.54

SD Diff
-11.27
5.04
-15.81
-20.90
-32.28
-32.80
40.58
-129.36
-66.40
-40.05
-12.61
15.73
75.15
42.46
24.23
-178.34
47.49
10.84
-34.80
5.66
26.84
-6.72
87.48
-99.19
-18.34
-57.56
-82.13
3.48
-158.84
41.08

SD Diff pooled
-10.58
8.57
-20.45
-23.36
-37.13
-38.68
57.39
-39.28
-64.09
-56.98
-17.13
25.24
81.08
59.22
32.83
-21.37
62.12
16.95
-41.78
7.78
34.26
-8.49
78.59
-68.38
-25.27
-54.56
-60.53
4.60
-76.90
61.20

Variance Ratio
0.28
2.76
0.72
0.45
0.50
0.54
1.09
0.02
0.32
1.12
0.86
1.89
0.46
1.04
0.87
0.00
0.81
1.62
0.57
0.90
0.70
0.66
0.27
0.14
0.91
0.30
0.16
0.77
0.07
1.41

81

T p-value
0.07
0.13
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.18
0.00
0.14
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.43
0.00
0.00

KS p-value
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.01
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00

QQ Mean Diff
0.03
0.03
0.03
0.07
0.11
0.08
0.12
0.12
0.09
0.14
0.04
0.03
0.16
0.13
0.09
0.05
0.13
0.03
0.16
0.03
0.07
0.04
0.17
0.13
0.07
0.07
0.13
0.03
0.22
0.15

QQ Median Diff
0.02
0.03
0.03
0.05
0.10
0.10
0.14
0.13
0.09
0.15
0.03
0.02
0.17
0.14
0.07
0.05
0.14
0.03
0.18
0.02
0.08
0.04
0.17
0.13
0.08
0.08
0.13
0.03
0.25
0.14

QQ Max Diff
0.07
0.11
0.08
0.14
0.20
0.15
0.22
0.18
0.18
0.23
0.11
0.09
0.31
0.25
0.21
0.11
0.24
0.07
0.25
0.10
0.17
0.10
0.30
0.19
0.17
0.15
0.20
0.11
0.33
0.31

Table 9: Post-Matching Balance


pop_lc1
age_lc1
male_share_lc1
literacy_share_lc1
unemployed_share_lc1
education_lc1
agriculture_share_lc1
manufacturing_share_lc1
services_share_lc1
rlf
elf
co_ethnic_share_lc1
owner_occup_share_lc1
sleeping_rooms_lc1
roof_thatch_share_lc1
floor_earth_share_lc1
tenure_custom_share_lc1
tenure_free_share_lc1
tenure_mailo_share_lc1
dist_health_lc1
dist_school_lc1
dist_water_lc1
wood_cook_share_lc1
light_elec_share_lc1
water_prot_share_lc1
bush_toilet_share_lc1
motor_share_lc1
motorcycle_share_lc1
radio_share_lc1
pres_share

Oil, Mean
744.87
20.34
0.50
0.45
0.01
2.32
0.27
0.00
0.03
0.49
0.30
0.09
0.86
1.91
0.50
0.00
0.61
0.17
0.04
2.90
2.46
2.68
0.92
0.02
0.52
0.10
0.01
0.02
0.01
0.64

Non-Oil, Mean
752.41
20.32
0.50
0.46
0.01
2.33
0.26
0.01
0.03
0.50
0.30
0.09
0.84
1.88
0.49
0.00
0.59
0.17
0.04
2.90
2.44
2.68
0.90
0.03
0.53
0.11
0.01
0.02
0.02
0.63

SD Diff
-1.24
0.65
-1.86
-2.84
-4.45
-4.44
5.17
-17.88
-8.81
-5.14
-1.73
2.16
9.79
5.74
3.22
-21.45
6.13
1.41
-4.42
0.76
3.54
-0.92
11.53
-13.40
-2.53
-7.56
-10.85
0.65
-21.58
5.30

SD Diff pooled
-1.21
1.02
-2.73
-4.26
-4.76
-7.89
7.95
-23.80
-11.31
-7.01
-2.20
2.98
13.03
8.18
4.89
-6.14
8.73
2.03
-6.77
1.20
5.51
-1.57
13.69
-13.99
-3.73
-11.61
-12.21
0.85
-23.86
8.66

Variance Ratio
0.31
1.67
1.17
1.28
0.40
3.63
1.44
0.81
0.70
0.87
0.68
0.91
0.80
1.03
1.35
0.02
1.03
1.09
1.42
1.64
1.53
2.58
0.55
0.38
1.18
1.44
0.47
0.74
0.45
2.00

T p-value
0.83
0.86
0.63
0.45
0.40
0.17
0.16
0.00
0.04
0.21
0.70
0.60
0.02
0.15
0.39
0.27
0.12
0.72
0.23
0.83
0.33
0.78
0.01
0.01
0.51
0.04
0.03
0.88
0.00
0.13

KS p-value
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.01
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00

QQ Mean Diff
0.03
0.03
0.03
0.07
0.11
0.08
0.12
0.12
0.09
0.14
0.04
0.03
0.16
0.13
0.09
0.05
0.13
0.03
0.16
0.03
0.07
0.04
0.17
0.13
0.07
0.07
0.13
0.03
0.22
0.15

QQ Median Diff
0.02
0.03
0.03
0.05
0.10
0.10
0.14
0.13
0.09
0.15
0.03
0.02
0.17
0.14
0.07
0.05
0.14
0.03
0.18
0.02
0.08
0.04
0.17
0.13
0.08
0.08
0.13
0.03
0.25
0.14

QQ Max Diff
0.07
0.11
0.08
0.14
0.20
0.15
0.22
0.18
0.18
0.23
0.11
0.09
0.31
0.25
0.21
0.11
0.24
0.07
0.25
0.10
0.17
0.10
0.30
0.19
0.17
0.15
0.20
0.11
0.33
0.31

Table 10: Differences between oil and non-oil regions by level of NRM support, general outcomes
Outcome
Satisfaction & Trust
Satisfaction President
Satisfaction MPs
Satisfaction Local
Satisfaction Democracy
Trust President
Trust MPs
Trust Local
Trust Clan
Trust Kingdom

NRM Support
Low High

Diff

Outcome

NRM Support
Low High

Corruption Perception
Surprised about corruption, President
Surprised about corruption, MPs
Surprised about corruption, Local
Surprised about corruption, Clan
Surprised about corruption, Kingdom

Political Action, General


Access and Efficacy
Participate in discussion
Overall political access
Attend community meeting
Able to influence the president
Write a letter
Able to influence MPs
Talk to leaders
Talk to district officials
Talk to MPs
Send SMS to public official
Call public official
Sign a petition
Attend demonstration
+
Voted for the President
Voted for the NRM
+ indicates a statistically significant and positive effect for the oil region at or below the 5% level.
indicates a statistically significant and negative effect for the oil region at or below the 5% level.

82

Diff

Table 11: Differences between oil and non-oil regions, by level of NRM support, oil-specific outcomes
Outcome
Knowledge & Expectations
Oil Knowledge
Expected budget increase due to oil
Extra revenue for oil-region
Extra revenue to national government
Extra revenue to local government
Extra revenue to citizens
Unfair that oil region gets more revenue
Royalties for oil region
Satisfaction with management of oil, President
Satisfaction with management of oil, MPs

NRM Support
Low High

Diff

Outcome
Knowledge & Expectations
Your tribe is receiving an unfair share
Oil belongs to oil region
Benefits to Uganda
Benefits to the household
Benefits index, after information
Benefits to Uganda, after information
Benefits to household, after information
Impact oil Uganda
Impact oil household
Feeling more attached to own ethnic group

Political Action, Oil


Political Action, Oil
Information index
Action index
Listen to a radio program
Contact oil company
Seek information, President
Attend meeting by oil company
Seek information, MPs
Talk with community leaders about oil
Seek information local
Talk with district officials about oil
Support parliamentary oversight
Contact MP about oil
Attend rally for parliamentary oversight
Send SMS about oil to official
Attend rally for more revenues for the oil region
Call official about oil
Non-peaceful action understandable
Attend demonstration about oil
Vote out of office for misuse of oil
Wants to enroll in 123inform service
Discuss oil
Takes extra time to enroll in 123inform
Attend community meeting about oil
Eventually registers with 123inform
Write a letter about oil
+ indicates a statistically significant and positive effect for the oil region at or below the 5% level.
indicates a statistically significant and negative effect for the oil region at or below the 5% level.

83

NRM Support
Low High

Diff

+
+
+
-

Table 12: Differences between oil and non-oil regions, by level of NRM support, expected benefits and
concerns
Outcome
Expected Benefits Uganda
Lower taxes
Jobs with government
Jobs with oil sector
Jobs non-oil sector
Selling good to oil companies
Cheaper fuel
Handouts to citizens
Higher land values
Cheaper electricity
Better government schools
Better government health care
Better roads

NRM Support
Low High

Diff

+
+

Outcome

NRM Support
Low High

Expected Benefits HH
Lower taxes
Jobs with government
Jobs with oil sector
Jobs non-oil sector
Selling good to oil companies
Cheaper fuel
Handouts to citizens
Higher land values
Cheaper electricity
Better government schools
Better government health care
Better roads

Concerns Uganda
Concerns HH
Land grabbing
+
Land grabbing
Land confiscation / inadequate compensation
+
Land confiscation / inadequate compensation
Loss of livelihood
Loss of livelihood
Environmental damage
Environmental damage
Crime
Crime
Inward migration
+
Inward migration
Household conflict
Household conflict
Ethnic conflict
Ethnic conflict
Conflict between oil and non-oil regions
+
Conflict between oil and non-oil regions
Conflict between oil-region and government
Conflict between oil-region and government
Local government corruption
Local government corruption
Central government corruption
Central government corruption
+ indicates a statistically significant and positive effect for the oil region at or below the 5% level.
indicates a statistically significant and negative effect for the oil region at or below the 5% level.

84

+
+

+
+
+
+
+
-

Diff

Appendix C

Information Experiments

All Treatments
BASIC INFORMATION
Pure Control [C]
[ILLUSTRATION 1] Experts have confirmed that Uganda has about 2 billion barrels of oil (which is about
318 billion liters), which could mean a lot for the country. The government is working with international oil
companies to produce that oil within the next few years. If the oil is managed well, Uganda can enjoy oil
revenue for about the next 25 years. [ILLUSTRATION 2] That money will go into Ugandas budget and the
government and your elected MPs will decide how to spend it.
Windfall Size [T1]
[C+T1] [ILLUSTRATION 3] Overall, the money from oil that will go into Ugandas budget could be about
4000 million shillings a year. This means that the total amount of money that the government and your
elected MPs will have in the budget to decide how to spend on things like health and education and roads or
to save for the future could grow from about 8000 million shillings a year to 12,000 million shillings a year.
National Benefits [T2]
[C+T1+T2] [ILLUSTRATION 4] Another way to think about it is that oil will give the government and
parliament about an extra 120,000 shillings to spend every year for each person in Uganda. Just to be clear,
its not that the government will give out that money to people directly, but that is how much each person in
Uganda would get if the government were to divide it equally amongst ALL Ugandans. And because the oil
money goes into the national budget, ALL Ugandans can indeed benefit, regardless of region or tribe. Many
believe oil is a national resource and all Ugandans are entitled to enjoy the benefits.
Moderating Expectations [T3]
[C+T1+T2+T3] [ILLUSTRATION 5] While some people believe that oil will make people very wealthy,
sometimes oil discoveries can actually make people expect too much. Ugandas oil reserves are actually
quite modest in comparison to some other countries with oil. For instance, while Uganda has about 2
billion barrels of oil (which is about 318 billion liters), Nigeria has about 40 billion barrels of oil and Saudi
Arabia has about 270 billion barrels of oil. While there are still many ways that Uganda can benefit from
its oil, there will not necessarily be a lot of jobs for Ugandans in the oil sector, free fuel, or free goods.
POLITICAL CONTROL
Executive Control [T4]
[C+T1+T2+T4] [ILLUSTRATION 6] The Petroleum Bill, which was recently signed into law by parliament,
gives the government a great deal of power in handling oil. For example, it gives the government almost
complete control over deciding who gets oil contracts, negotiating how the money is divided between the
85

oil companies and government, and deciding how much information to release to the public. Some say that
giving the government such powers is the only way to ensure that Uganda will get the most out of its oil.
Others fear that giving the government such powers will lead to corruption and misuse of the oil money.
MP Control [T5]
[C+T1+T2+T4+T5] [ILLUSTRATION 7] There is another bill called the Public Finance Bill, which is now
being debated in parliament, which will decide whether MPs can check the power of the government and
help make decisions about how the oil money is spent. Some believe that it is important for MPs to have a
say in influencing how the money is allocated across regions in Uganda. They also believe that MPs should
try to make sure that oil money is being used in the best interest of the people and is not being wasted or
misused. MPs can also improve transparency and provide information to their constituents.
DISTRIBUTIONAL CONCERNS
Regional Benefits [T6]
[C+T1+T2+T6] [ILLUSTRATION 8] While the oil money can benefit all people in Uganda, those living
in oil areas will get more of the money. There is a bill called the Public Finance Bill, which is now being
debated in parliament, which will set aside more of the oil revenue from the national budget specifically for
people who live in oil areas. This money will go to local governments, like district governments, municipalities, and town councils, and the elected representatives of these governments will decide how to spend
it.
Regional Costs (Non-Producer Regions Only) [T7]
[C+T1+T2+T6+T7] [ILLUSTRATION 9] One reason that the oil areas are getting more money is because
oil production can also carry some hardships. For example, oil spills can damage the environment, hurt the
quality of land, and harm local fishery areas. Oil production also means that some people will lose their
land and some will lose their source of income. Some people argue that the oil areas need the extra money
to help address these problems.
Role of Oil Companies (Producer Regions Only) [T8]
[C+T1+T2+T6+T8] [ILLUSTRATION 10] As you may know, the international oil companies agreed to
invest in some goods and services for the public in exchange for the right to extract oil. For example, one oil
company is building two health centers and two primary schools in Hoima District. Its important to know,
however, that the amount of money that will be spent by oil companies is much smaller than the amount of
money that local governments have to spend on services like health and education. Also, it is your elected
representatives in the local government that have the ultimate responsibility for making sure that these
schools and clinics actually work well, for instance by hiring teachers and nurses and by providing supplies
and medicine.

86

Results for Experiments on Executive versus Parliamentary Control [T4 and T5]
In addition to the experimental results on the national and regional benefits of oil presented in Section
8.1, we aimed to investigate effects on political engagement of information on which political actors are
responsible for the management of the oil sector. This included an executive treatment in which information
on the pros and cons of strong executive control (as codified in the Petroleum Bill) was provided as well as
a parliamentary treatment in which the importance of legislative oversight of oil revenue was emphasized
(see Appendix C). We predicted that the presidential treatment would increase willingness to take action to
hold the executive accountable for use of oil revenues. Conversely, we expected the parliamentary treatment
to increase willingness to take political action oriented towards MPs. Furthermore, we were interested in
investigating variation across the oil and non-oil region given the fact that the oil region is a Museveni/NRM
stronghold and therefore may be less willing to take action to constrain the president.
The results for both treatments are presented in Figures ??-63 following the same format described in
Section 8.1. All in all, we see little evidence of treatment effects across all measures. The evidence that we
do find is summarized below:
Executive control treatment increased demand for information in the oil region (Figure 56).
Executive control treatment increased desire to enroll in the text messaging platform in the oil region
(Figure 58).
MP control treatment reduced satisfaction with MPs in the oil region (Figure 60).
MP control treatment reduced the desire to vote out elected representatives for misuse of oil revenue
in the oil region (Figure 60).
MP control treatment reduced desire to enroll in the text messaging platform in the oil region (Figure
63).
Overall this presents a very mixed picture. It is possible that the executive control treatment increased
demand for information in the oil region because people expect the president and NRM to deliver large
benefits. Notably, informing people about the role of their MPs seems to have the opposite effect than
intendedit reduces willingness to take political action oriented towards these representatives. This further
underscores the survey data, which highlights that a large deficit in trust exists with respect to MPs and
citizens in Uganda do not see MPs as effective representatives of their interests or vehicles by which to
ensure greater transparency and accountability in the oil sector.

87

Role of President vs. Control


Treatment Effect

Oil info totally new (ATE)


non-oil
oil
Difference
Info is relevant (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

Perceived Benefits

Index: expected benefits (ATE)


non-oil
oil
Difference
Big benefits for UG (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Big benefits for HH (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Very positive impact on UG (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Very positive impact on HH (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

-.4

-.2

.2

.4

Figure 54: Effect of the executive control treatmenttreatment check

Role of President vs. Control


Satisfaction with Govt.
Index: Satisfaction w/ Govt. (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

Satisfied w/ President (ATE)


non-oil
oil
Difference

Satisfied w/ MPs (ATE)


non-oil
oil
Difference

Most Useful Actor


MP is most useful actor (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

-.4

-.2

Figure 55: Effect of the executive control treatmenttreatment check

88

.2

Role of President vs. Control


Demand for Information
Index: demand for information (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Nights would listen to oil radio program (out of 6) (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Likely to seek info on Pres.'s rev. mgmt. (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Likely to seek info on MP's rev. mgmt. (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Likely to seek info on local govt. rev. mgmt. (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

-.2

.2

.4

.6

Figure 56: Effect of the executive control treatment on demand for information

Role of President vs. Control


Political Action
Index: political activity (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

Would discuss with family/friends (ATE)


non-oil
oil
Difference
Would attend community meeting (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would write letter/call radio show (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would contact community leaders (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would contact district officials (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would contact MP (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would send SMS to public official (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would phone a public official (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would attend demonstration/march (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

-.4

-.2

.2

.4

Figure 57: Effect of the executive control treatment on willingness to take political action

89

Role of President vs. Control


Accountability

Likely to vote out rep. if misuses revenue (ATE)


non-oil
oil
Difference

Petroleum Policies

Petro fund should be govt-controlled (ATE)


non-oil
oil
Difference
Likely to rally in support of petro fund (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

Behavioral Outcomes

Yes: want to enroll at end of interview (ATE)


non-oil
oil
Difference
Yes: went through enrollment w/ interviewer (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Yes: sent confirmation text of enrollment (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

-.4

-.2

.2

.4

Figure 58: Effect of the executive control treatment on behavioral outcomes (enrollment into text messaging service)

Role of MPs vs. President


Treatment Effect

Oil info totally new (ATE)


non-oil
oil
Difference
Info is relevant (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

Perceived Benefits

Index: expected benefits (ATE)


non-oil
oil
Difference
Big benefits for UG (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Big benefits for HH (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Very positive impact on UG (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Very positive impact on HH (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

-.4

-.2

.2

Figure 59: Effect of the MP control treatmenttreatment check

90

.4

Role of MPs vs. President


Satisfaction with Govt.
Index: Satisfaction w/ Govt. (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

Satisfied w/ President (ATE)


non-oil
oil
Difference

Satisfied w/ MPs (ATE)


non-oil
oil
Difference

Most Useful Actor


MP is most useful actor (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

-.4

-.2

.2

Figure 60: Effect of the MP control treatmenttreatment check

Role of MPs vs. President


Demand for Information
Index: demand for information (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Nights would listen to oil radio program (out of 6) (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Likely to seek info on Pres.'s rev. mgmt. (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Likely to seek info on MP's rev. mgmt. (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Likely to seek info on local govt. rev. mgmt. (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

-.4

-.2

Figure 61: Effect of the MP control treatment on demand for information

91

.2

Role of MPs vs. President


Political Action
Index: political activity (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

Would discuss with family/friends (ATE)


non-oil
oil
Difference
Would attend community meeting (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would write letter/call radio show (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would contact community leaders (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would contact district officials (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would contact MP (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would send SMS to public official (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would phone a public official (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Would attend demonstration/march (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

-.4

-.2

.2

.4

Figure 62: Effect of the MP control treatment on willingness to take political action

Role of MPs vs. President


Accountability

Likely to vote out rep. if misuses revenue (ATE)


non-oil
oil
Difference

Petroleum Policies

Petro fund should be govt-controlled (ATE)


non-oil
oil
Difference
Likely to rally in support of petro fund (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

Behavioral Outcomes

Yes: want to enroll at end of interview (ATE)


non-oil
oil
Difference
Yes: went through enrollment w/ interviewer (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference
Yes: sent confirmation text of enrollment (ATE)
non-oil
oil
Difference

-.4

-.2

.2

Figure 63: Effect of the MP control treatment on behavioral outcomes (enrollment into text messaging service)

92

The Role of Oil Companies [T8]


Finally, we investigate the possibility that political action oriented towards elected politicians is being undermined in the oil region by expectations that foreign oil companies are more promising when it comes to
the provision of local public goods. We therefore implemented an information treatment in the oil-region
only that emphasized that local governmentsnot oil companieshave greater resources and bear more
responsibility for addressing the needs of citizens. This can be interpreted as an experiment that aimed to
clarify the role of local government in managing natural resource wealth. We expected that, if it were indeed the case that citizens were becoming oriented towards foreign oil companies, that this treatment would
increase the willingness to take political action targeted at local government and reduce action oriented towards the companies. The results presented in Figure 64 show that this information also had little effect
on the outcomes of interest. This is not necessarily surprising as the evidence in Section 7 suggests that
the oil discovery is not necessarily causing citizens to become excessively oriented towards oil companies.
This will be an important phenomenon to keep an eye on in Uganda as time passes and corporate social
responsibility (CSR) activities by foreign oil companies continue.
Role of Oil Companies/Local Govt. vs. Control
Average Treatment Effect
Treatment Check

Oil info totally new


Info is relevant

Perceived Benefits

Index: expected benefits


Very big benefits for UG
Very big benefits for HH
Very positive impact on UG
Very positive impact on HH

Political Control

Oil company is most useful actor


Local govt. is most useful actor
Govt will matter more than OCs
Future benefits due to OCs

Demand for Information

Index: demand for information


Nights would listen to oil radio program (out of 6)
Very likely seek info on Pres.'s rev. mgmt.
Very likely seek info on MP's rev. mgmt.
Very likely seek info on local govt. rev. mgmt.

Political Action

Index: political activity


Would discuss with family/friends
Would attend community meeting
Would write letter/call radio show
Would contact an oil company
Would go to meeting set up by OCs
Would contact community leaders
Would contact district officials
Would contact MP
Would send SMS to public official
Would phone a public official
Would attend demonstration/march
Very likely to vote out rep. if misuses revenue
Understandable to take not peaceful action

Behavioral Outcomes

Yes: want to enroll at end of interview


Yes: went through enrollment w/ interviewer
Yes: sent confirmation text of enrollment

-.2

-.1

.1

Figure 64: Oil companies experimentsummary of treatment effects

93

.2