Social Identity, Citizen Voice and Rural Access in Uganda


Social identity defines citizens’ voice and their ability to exercise agency to demand for their right to access services and hold public bodies to account. Some identities are socially excluded on account of inter alia their sex, age and disability. Others, such as persons with disability [PWDs] are stigmatised identities. Socially excluded identities are often denied rights, opportunities, participation and resources.

The paper argues that promoting responsive, equitable and accountable transport policy, plans and budgets requires not just an engaged citizenry, but an informed one. This, in part, requires adopting inclusive planning approaches which specifically advance the rights of disadvantaged social identities and enhance their entitlements as well as improve their access.

The paper explores social identity and citizen voice as they relate to access to social services as well as participation in economic and civic activities in rural Uganda. It moves the discussion of mobility and rural access from the purely technical and instrumental point of view to that of a transformative agenda.

The paper is primarily based on rural citizens’ voices with a particular focus on women and PWDs who, owing to their social identities, experience restricted mobility and thus limited accessibility. On the supply side, the paper examines to what extent transport policies and plans meet the rights, needs and interests of the disadvantaged.


Tanzarn, N. Social Identity, Citizen Voice and Rural Access in Uganda. (2012) 23 pp.

Social Identity, Citizen Voice and Rural Access in Uganda

Published 1 January 2012