Good governance has been a key building block for the young Kyrgyz Republic, which has been undergoing a complex nation-building process since it gained its independence in 1991.
UNDP’s Democratic Governance Programme (DGP) focuses on three main areas: 1) decentralization and local self-governance (LSG); 2) access to justice/anticorruption; and 3) parliamentary reform.
DGP has facilitated a number of processes to bring about better governance practices and structures that benefit the common man. For instance, in 2008, the programme launched the Citizens’ Report Cards survey on a quality of critical public services delivery at the local level. The survey was outsourced to an independent NGO “El-Pikir” with the technical assistance provided by an Indian NGO “Public Affairs Foundation.” Recently, the country’s prime minister established a working group to support the DGP in the survey process. This groundbreaking initiative aims to strengthen the local accountability frameworks to improve overall service deliver in country.
Decentralization is defined as a priority in the Country Development Strategy for 2007-2011. A UNDP assessment found that local councils were the weakest point in the LSG system. In response, the DGP conducted 65 intensive trainings for 1,643 local councilors in 2007. In 2008, the programme developed the updated e-versions of the training modules that became a useful addition to the capacity development toolkit of the local council members and municipal servants. This specific initiative links to UNDP support to e-governance at all levels since 2002. E-governance is now cross-cutting for all governance projects in the country, and UNDP supports e-municipality and e-services at all levels. Citizen’s access to online services is an effective means of reducing corruption.
In 2008, DGP supported an analysis of legal justice business processes in pilot courts aimed to help the poor in the area of land disputes, issues of registration, examination, adjudication and enforcement of courts’ decisions. The programme also helped develop the guidelines on land disputes.
More than 20 NGOs working with the people with disabilities established a Coalition to Promote the Ratification of Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The process was facilitated by DGP and OHCHR. It generated publicity for the problems the disabled people among key publics, i.e., deputies, government officials and society at large. With OHCHR, DGP keeps assisting the Ombudsman Institute in development of its strategic plan and capacity development to handle complaints.
The Civil Service Agency’s Testing Center in Osh improved the employee competitive selection process and civil servants’ performance evaluations as a result of equipment upgrades provided by DGP. The Center becomes a reliable mainstay for eradication of corruption and lobbying group interests. Furthermore, the Agency with DGP’s support developed a draft Civil Service Law and discussed it with the government and civil society representatives. The programme supported the Stakeholder Analysis to reflect all actors in anticorruption area and submitted the report to the President Administration, Government Office, and Anticorruption Agency.
The Parliament (Jogorku Kenesh) is a powerful agent of democracy and a potential force for positive development in the country. UNDP’s partnership with the Kyrgyz Parliament dates back to 2001. The Parliamentary Reform Project provides a package of integrated technical assistance, strengthening the three main functions of the Parliament: lawmaking, oversight and representation. Among other activities, the project puts great emphasis on developing the capacity of the professional staff of the Parliament. In 2007, UNDP, with funding from the European Commission (EC), helped develop the Standards of Bills Appraisal to comply with human rights, gender environment, anti-corruption considerations and legal law drafting techniques. These standards were adopted by the Parliament in January 2008 and compliance is now mandatory for bill to become a law. EC-UNDP assistance in 2007 also improved the infrastructure of the Jogorku Kenesh with updated electronic voting and an electronic status system for legislation that allows deputies to track the status of legislation. The database is accessible not only for deputies and parliamentary staff, but also for line ministries and citizens.