A New 2013-2017 Local Self-Governance Development Strategy Discussed in Bishkek

24 Sep 2013

imageHead of Kenesh village district in the south of Kyrgyzstan is explaning the work of a new service provided by the administration. They gathered all specialists in one room and now people can consult on various issues in one place and don't have to run around different buildings.
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan – Bishkek hosted a discussion of the new Local Self-Governance Strategy of the Kyrgyz Republic for 2013-2017. Members of Parliament, representatives of local self-governance bodies (LSG), civil society and mass media shared their opinions on the new strategy aimed at making LSG more sustainable, transparent and accountable, as well as at improving the quality of delivered services.
 
The draft Strategy was presented by a member of the Government task force Jalalbek Baltagulov. It was amended taking into account all comments and inputs received during discussions previously held in the regions of the country.
 
Developing the draft strategy, experts of the task force conducted a comprehensive analysis of the current state of the local self-governance in the Kyrgyz Republic, identified main challenges and areas for further improvement. The document identifies strategic goals and tasks in  such areas as  improving organizational and legal framework of LSG, increasing financial sustainability and resource base, as well as strengthening links with citizens and inter-municipal relations. The draft strategy focuses on optimizing of functions, forms and governance patterns, as well as on transparency and accountability of LSG bodies in management of funds, and their openness to local initiatives.
 
“Over the last 20 years a lot has been accomplished, we have gained huge experience in all of  these areas but many serious problems faced by local communities and LSG remain to be resolved today. We are still discussing and searching for ways to improve the living conditions  of people” said Abdymutalip Kochkorbaev, Member of Parliament, Chairman of the Committee on Agricultural Policy, Water Resources and Regional Development.
 
In the follow-up discussion of the strategy, different parties had an opportunity to share their views. Heads of local self-governments told about challenges they faced every day and shared experiences in tackling problems on the local level, which raised a lot of interest of other participants. These problems range from the scarcity of drinking and irrigation water, low quality of education in rural schools, unemployment of rural youth to shortage  of qualified local staff, low income level of population, which have been causing dissatisfaction among population and interethnic tensions lately.
 
Today all primary administrative territorial units in the Kyrgyz Republic – 31 cities and 453 rural districts – function based on local self-governance principles. The aim of this mid-term LSG Development Strategy is to improve access to quality municipal services for residents of these cities and villages through increased efficiency of municipal administration. It sets feasible goals and objectives in LSG area, as well as a range of measures putting interests of local communities under spotlight.
 
According to the Director of the State Agency on LSG Affairs and Interethnic Relations, Naken Kasiev, the strategy is only a framework document and sets the main areas of activity. He stressed that participants’  inputs and comments would further be included in the  action plan of the strategy.
 
The draft Strategy was developed with the expert support of UNDP in the framework of Capacity Development Project. It is based on findings of analytical studies and the National Human Development Report of Kyrgyzstan 2012, which studied the nexus between local self-governance and human development, as well as formulated the Vision of LSG -2020 and 2030.
 
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