WFD Kyrgyzstan supports public institutions to interact more with citizens and enhance citizens’ participation in decision-making and oversight processes. By strengthening the local parliament in decision-making and oversight processes the programme will achieve an improved accountability between local parliaments and civil society.
Since 2016, the programme has looked at how to improve the way laws are implemented and services are delivered. WFD’s approach invests in the development of councillors and officials, as well as improving engagement between citizens, institutions and decision-makers to improve trust in governance. City councillors will be skilled to successfully implement oversight activities which is crucial and needed on the local level.
The programme is implemented in four partner cities and proactively tries to create opportunities to engage the parliament in oversight and monitoring activities implemented at the regional level.
The programme aims to work towards achieving two outcomes – accountability and inclusion. The Programme is funded by DFID/FCO.
Following decades of Soviet rule and two revolutions, the Kyrgyz Republic is the only parliamentary democracy in Central Asia. This commitment to democratic consolidation and a society based on law and order, is central to our work. WFD supports Kyrgyz efforts through providing technical support, sharing UK expertise, and facilitating peer-to-peer learning and exchange, in and outside of the country.
Enhancement of oversight capacity of four local councils will be in the centre of this programme. To that end, WFD will develop a handbook on oversight competencies and obligations of local councils, and avenues for cooperation with the local executive institutions and engagement of citizens. A Handbook will include compilation of legal provisions from Local council’s Rules and Regulations on conducting oversight and monitoring obligations and prerogatives of local councils.
WFD works with women councillors to enhance their meaningful participation in decision making processes through creating a network of women local councillors in four provinces, providing capacity building support and more importantly, giving an on-job-opportunity to practice new skills. That is expected to lead to women councillors growing in their roles, increasing their meaningful participation in political processes and finally building their political capital to be re-elected in the next local election in 2020.
Radio programmes contributes to challenging negative dominant discourse about women’s participation in decision making-processes and increase public support for women candidate. They are also expected to motivate women to stand in local elections.
WFD has established a network of women city councillors. The network plays an important role in mobilising current women councillors to stand in elections, share information and good practice. It is also instrumental in providing a mentoring role in providing a support to women who decide to run in local elections for the first time.
As a result of this activity, four city councils have a good understanding and knowledge/skills of oversight mechanisms and monitoring obligations and prerogatives. Councils at partner cities have developed an action plan for scrutinizing the identified issues of the city and started to pilot their activities.
WFD has been working on developing a new Code on Local Self-governance with State Agency on Local Self-Governance and Inter-Ethnic relations (SALSGIR) and other donors and national CSOs (USAID, Swiss Development Cooperation – SDC, Helvetas Swiss Inter Co-operation , Development Policy Institute, etc). WFD will ensure the engagement of our four partner city councils in the drafting and WFD will have shared authorship of the new law.
In December 2019 WFD began implementing a programme focused on supporting sustainable media sector reform for elections-related conflict prevention in Kyrgyzstan, as part of the consortium of European NGOs. WFD works with political parties and the Electoral Commission to support efforts to eradicate hate speech during an electoral campaign. Furthermore, WFD supports the parliament to pass legislative reforms promoting media pluralism and sustainable freedom of expression, to mitigate political destabilisation ahead of the upcoming elections.