The University of Central Asia’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (UCA SPCE) conducted action planning and local self-governance (LSG) trainings in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic and Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Participants included LSG representatives from the two countries.
“I found the training very important and relevant. It provided us with opportunities to learn new approaches to local governance,” noted participant Saatbek Egeberdiev, Head of the Leilek aiyl aymak (village level administrative unit). “This training helped me become confident in identifying solutions and making decisions. I am certain this training has similarly positively impacted my fellow local self-governance colleagues.”
The Good Governance through Community Engagement: Cross-Border Initiative to Promote Inclusive and Accountable Local-Self Government in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan project works with targeted communities in Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic to develop self-governance, expand outreach, and organise workshops on joint planning and local governance.
From 28 to 30 September 2016, the first Joint Action Planning of Local Communities and Local Self Governance for Resolving Local Challenges through Cross-Border Collaborations training was held in Bishkek for representatives from Leilek, Ak-Suu and Kulundu aiyl aymaks in the Kyrgyz Republic. Topics covered included enhancing understanding of different approaches to planning, shared experiences of municipal governance in the Kyrgyz Republic, expanding community participation in local governance, and addressing local and cross-border challenges through joint planning, among others. A follow-up workshop was also held from 24 to 29 October for 51 participants from the same regions.
A similar three-day training programme for 10 LSG representatives from Mujum, Ovichkalacha and Khistevarz communities was organised from 5 to 7 October 2016 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Participants learnt about integration of local communities into local governance, key principles of International Law, and the experience of the Kyrgyz Republic with the participatory approach, through involving communities, towards local governance. A follow-up workshop was held with local communities from the same communities from 31 October to 5 November for 59 participants, 56% of whom were women.
In both Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, trainees developed initial joint project plans to address local priority challenges such as local economic development, state services, inter-ethnic relations and gender equality. “In Ovchikalacha, Tajikistan, to address the challenge of water scarcity, which is critical in irrigation and drinking, there is a need to limit water usage for irrigation purposes by both sides especially during dry seasons,” said workshop participant Ghoibnazar Khudonazarov.
“This training has prioritised local government through a systematic series of workshops especially adapted to local challenges. It is important to work closely with local government institutions, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders to identify mutually beneficial goals and priorities, which, in turn, lead to better developed public services in both countries,” explained SPCE’s Project Coordinator, Urmat Cholukov.
The project Good Governance through Community Engagement: Cross-Border Initiative to Promote Inclusive and Accountable Local-Self Government in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan is funded by Embassy of Canada to Kazakhstan, through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives. The project is implemented by UCA’s SPCE. SPCE is Central Asia’s first provider of post-secondary, short-cycle education giving young people and adults professional and vocational qualifications in a flexible learning format that improve employment and income generating opportunities.