Agronomy and Horticulture, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version



Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa (2022) 24(3): 61-90


Published by Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Clarion, Pennsylvania, United States


The complexity of environmental policy development was examined in relation to sustainability, holistic and systems-thinking perspectives. We studied potential application of systems principles of coordination, representation, collaboration, participation and teamwork to improve policy effectiveness at formulation, communication, implementation, and operationalisation of the environment policy in Uganda. The research unveiled the ineffectiveness of the Uganda National Environment Management Policy. We applied systems theory to develop a mechanism for monitoring effectiveness of environmental policies at national level, with the goal to identify key monitoring indicators. We used the soft systems methodology to identify occurring environmental problems causing forest loss. Results suggest that a systems thinking perspective, involving multiple stakeholders in a holistic decision-making process, can contribute to empowering people and institutions to install and follow an effective policy process. We recommend customizing the checklist and model to monitor the quality of environment policy processes in country-specific situations similar to those in Uganda.