Institute of Public Policy and Administration Hosts Symposium on the Policy-Making Process in Tajikistan

Date: 25 March 2014
Other languages: Русский язык |
The University of Central Asia’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration (UCA-IPPA) and the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) under the Executive Office of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan convened a symposium on Policy-Making Process in Government in the Republic of Tajikistan on 21 February 2014 at IPA in Dushanbe.
 
The symposium was organised as part of UCA’s ongoing effort to build the capacity of public servants in evidence-based public policy development. In his opening remarks, IPA Rector Dr Roziqzoda Abdulhakimi Sherali noted that the symposium represented the start of a long-term partnership between IPA and UCA in the field of policy studies. 
 
Mr Tojiddin Jurazoda, Coordinator of Public Sector Reform Group under the Executive Office of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan addressing the symposium. To his right, the previous speaker, Mr Yusuf Madjidov, Deputy Head of Strategic Planning and Reforms, Department of the Executive Office of the President.
 
Attended by representatives of the presidential administration, government ministries, state committees, and members of the academic community, the symposium included presentations on the Tajik policy process and international best practice.
 
“The policy process in government is rarely discussed and this symposium is one of the few occasions when this topic is broached. The participation of such a wide circle of civil servants and institutions training civil servants in this event is heartening. The problems facing Tajikistan are complex and there are no easy answers. A robust policy process will allow inputs for government decisions informed by the best available research and analysis,” said Dr Bohdan Krawchenko, UCA Director General.
 
Mr Yusuf Madjidov, Deputy Head of Strategic Planning and Reforms Department of Executive Office of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, welcomed participants saying, “Due to the process of globalisation, the policy process in Tajikistan must adopt new characteristics, criteria and requirements. According to a recent Decree of the President, significant structural changes have been made in Government and the Executive Office of the President, and the Department of Strategic Planning and Reforms has worked to improve the policy process in Tajikistan.” 
 
Mr. Tojiddin Jurazoda, Head of the President’s Executive Office Rapid Social Response  in Tajikistan spoke on The Agenda and Processes of Public Administration Reforming in Tajikistan. He focused on the history of public administration in Tajikistan, reforms to date and the need for continued improvements in analysis.
 
IPPA researcher Shokhboz Asadov described the dynamics of the highly centralised policy-making environment and policy-making process in Tajikistan. The existing process has benefited negligibly from public participation and underutilises the country’s intellectual, analytical and media resources. Mr Asadov noted a deficit of analytical and administrative resources within government for proper policy formulation, leading to the frequent adoption of legislation that requires urgent amendments. He urged IPA to review its curriculum and play a greater role in building the capacity of civil servants to better formulate policies based on evidence and in-depth regulatory impact assessments.
 
IPPA researcher Cholpon Nogoibaeva dealt with Policy Development in the Executive Branch of the Kyrgyz Republic,  based on an exhaustive examination of laws, resolutions and normative acts adopted since independence. Ms Nogoibaeva showed that a legal foundation exists for a robust and defined policy-making process in government.
 
“There is little need to revise the normative framework. Instead, we need to implement what has already been mandated,” said Ms Nogoibaeva, “Kyrgyzstan has excellent statutory requirements on regulatory impact analysis for economic legislation. There is even a handbook on how to conduct such analysis. However, these requirements are rarely adhered to.”
 
Following the presentation, Tajik civil servants posed numerous questions about the policy process in the Kyrgyz Republic.
 
Dr Krawchenko presented an analysis of best practices within OECD countries on the policy-making process in government. This included a discussion of the origins of policy, the practice of policy development in government and the resources necessary to perform this task effectively. Dr. Krawchenko highlighted the example of the Canadian Privy Council in supporting the Prime Minister by advancing and vetting policy ideas.
 
His presentation and the ensuing discussion were complimented by summaries of two IPPA occasional papers, Policy Analysis as Profession in Government: Who Does What and How? by Dr Mahabat Baimyrzaeva and Public Engagement: Building Institutional Capacity by Tyler Knowlton, presented by IPPA Research Assistant, Nazgul Abdrazakova.
 
“Today’s presentations show how the analysis of policy and strategic decisions is a massively technical effort and requires a professional environment and the associated attention and resources,” Dr Roman Mogilevskii, IPPA Project Coordinator, remarked in the symposium’s closing. He also noted that IPPA will be offering in 2014 a Certificate Program in Policy Analysis to address the needs identified during the symposium and encouraged civil servants and civil society actors to apply.
 
This symposium was organised within the framework of the University of Central Asia’s Research and Public Policy Initiative (RPPI). RPPI aims to ground policy-making processes in Afghanistan and Central Asia in sound evidence and policy analysis by building the capacity of researchers to conduct independent and critical studies and by expanding the ability of policy professionals to utilise such research in policy development. RPPI is supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Aga Khan Foundation Canada.