Inita Paulovica Deputy Resident Representative Turkmenistan
Local self- governance programme Programme formulation: Elections of Gengeshi - June, 2006 Programme formulation mission – October, 2006 Project proposal agreed by the Government – May, 2007 Implementation period: 2007 -2009 years National agency, responsible for the implementation of the program – Mejlis(Parliament) of Turkmenistan Budget of the program: in 2007 - 93 820 $ USD; in 2008 – 200 000 $ USD Overall direction of the program is improvement of the living conditions of rural people at the local level through achievement of the MDGs The objective of program is sustainable local development through: support to the efforts of the Government of Turkmenistan in creation of high quality institutions of local self governance, and further improvement of the quality services provided at the local level
Local –self governance - Strategy Activities are organized in accordance with five components: Legal and Policy Framework for decentralization; Institution and capacity building; Participatory local development planning; Social mobilization and partnership for quality service delivery; Scaling up through Advocacy and Communication. Approach: Enabling Policy environment Institutional development Human Resources development Partnerships for development Incentives Communication and awareness raising
Initiation (2007) Activities: Agreement on 6 pilot bodies of the local self governance – Gengeshs in Ahal, Balkan and Lebap regions were selected For the coordination of the efforts on support of the local self governance the Inter- ministerial working group was formulated Field trips and round tables in pilot velayats were conducted The study tour to Republic of Latvia on experience share in the field of local self governance was organized, where 3 archins of pilot Gengeshs, 2 chairmen of Committees of the Mejlis and UNDP representative participated Equipment (office furniture and equipment) was purchased for 6 pilot Gengeshs On the proposal of Mejlis of Turkmenistan, the brochures containing Laws on local self governance of Turkmenistan were published in amount of 15,000 copies Results: Local needs and priorities for the 6 pilot Gengeshs identified The main priorities on development of the local self governance bodies for the nearest future were identified and agreed with the participation of local self governance bodies, Work plan for the 2008 elaborated based on five components of the program document
Component № 1 «Legal and Policy Framework for decentralization» Activities: Review of legal and socio-economic operation environment of pilot Gengeshs was conducted In 6 pilot Gengeshs field surveys were conducted (80 questionnaires were collected and summarized) 12 working meetings and 10 consultations with representatives of the local community, archins, superior bodies and stakeholders/interested organizations were conducted More than 200 people participated Results: Recommendations and suggestions on improvement of the legislation that promote the development of local self governance prepared
Component № 2 «Institution and capacity building» Activities: The integrated training program for pilot Gengeshs staff was developed: – “Functions of Gengeshi”, – “Administrative management of Gengeshi”, – “Participatory development planning”, – “Social mobilization and partnership”, – “Local Project development and implementation”. National team of trainers was established and trained on local self governance issues. In 3 pilot velayats first round of 6 two-day training on improvement of local self governance system successfully completed. Archins, secretaries, Gengeshi staff and members, etrap and velayat municipality representatives – in overall 60 people participated. Achievements: Capacities on management and effective coordination of services provided to the local community strengthened Awareness of the pilot Gengeshs’ personnel and members on local self governance administrative management issues has increased Interactions between etrap bodies and Gengeshs and local community on development of local socio- economic programs and projects have significantly increased In order to study the international experience in the field of the local self governance the contacts with the partnership associations in Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan has been established, where the study tour of pilot Gengeshs’ archins is planned.
Component № 3 «Participatory local development planning» Results: To strengthen the management capacity on elaboration of local plans with citizens participation 3-day training on “ Participatory development planning” organized, where 90 representatives of Gengeshi staff and local community representatives have participated. Six 2-day training for pilot Gengeshs staff on “Social mobilization and partnership” were conducted. Participatory Community Appraisal methods were applied during which working meetings and consultation with local communities and pilot etrap municipality representatives were conducted and needs and priorities of the local socioeconomic development were considered Achivements: The outputs of the 18 trainings conducted in the pilot Gengeshs are: Strengthening of management capacity on elaboration of participatory local development plans; Capacity building on participatory planning ; Significant participation of the local community and people in development planning, identification and use of the administrative resources of Gengeshi on community mobilization and social partnership; Skills on writing project-proposals, project management and monitoring are improved.
Component № 4 «Social mobilization and partnership for quality service delivery» Activities Grant Committee consisting of representatives from Mejlis of Turkmenistan, UNDP and project personnel was established Regulations on grant projects selection and approval was elaborated and adopted The training module “Local projects development and management’ was elaborated and 2-day training in 6 pilot Gengeshs for the staff of Gengeshi were conducted to identify socioeconomic priorities and needs, and elaboration of mini projects by participation of local community Achievements: In the framework of training program the assessment of the priority socioeconomic needs of local community was conducted; The main priorities of Gengeshlick development were identified by participation of local communities; Further ideas for enhancing capacity of local Gengeshs and community was developed; By participation of local communities 17 mini projects from 6 pilot Gengeshs were elaborated and presented to Grant Committee; 12 mini projects from 6 pilot Gengeshs were selected by Grant Committee; Financing of mini – projects have been started.
Component № 5 «Scaling up through Advocacy and Communication» Activities: Regular broadcasting of the project activities at the national level More than 15 information releases on local self governance issues in Turkmenistan published in central and local newspaper and magazines Special TV programs on National Television devoted to acute problems of Gengeshi operation and advocacy for the advanced experiences on local self governance Achievements: Through mass media the level of awareness on planning process, program and project preparation procedures at the local level and advocacy of the project results in pilot velayats has increased.
Lessons learned Surveys and field trips to the pilot Gengeshs and meetings and consultations with the representatives of local self governance bodies and communities helped study local needs and problems and possible options of local system and local self governance bodies issues. The quality approach to formation of the team of national trainers has resulted in effective adaptation of modules and conducting interactive training. The management skills of local self governance bodies on social services delivery and interaction with local communities in solving local problems have improved. Joint development planning has become an important tool on introduction of new approaches in identification of needs and socioeconomic priorities at local level with participation of communities. Established system of selection procedures of local development projects elaborated by pilot Gengeshs have allowed taking comprehensively into account the proposals from the community on rural infrastructure development. Support from Mejlis of Turkmenistan and continuous contact of project staff with mass media promoted active information sharing among population on positive achievements in the field of local self governance development in Turkmenistan. Lack of sufficient international and practical experiences is one of the reasons of the low level of participation of inter-ministerial working group in relation to issues of general coordination and support for the locals self governance.
Challenges/Issues After adoption of the new edition of the constitution of Turkmenistan there is need to start elaboration of integrated concept on local self governance development. Further on its base, it is necessary to improve legislative base and prepare national program on local self governance support. These documents would identify mechanism of implementation of legislation, legal and economic guaranties of basic components of local self governance: property, budget, financing, taxation etc. At the national level it is necessary to establish conditions for systematic and targeted capacity building and institutional development of local self governance bodies.