UNDP considers democratic governance to be central to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, as it provides the enabling environment for the elimination of poverty. In Tajikistan, UNDP works both with the central government and on the level of local governments to support a more accountable governance system. On the central level, UNDP supports the government and the parliament to enhance transparency and to fight corruption. Tajikistan continues the implementation of public administration reforms in line with the National Development Strategy (NDS), exercising good governance and strategic management. The strategy gives priority to those Ministries with mandates on MDGs, Poverty Reduction Strategy, Donor Coordination and local government.
As part of UNDP’s work on strengthening an accountable governance system, a new law on Public Administration Bodies was adopted 2012 that regulates the legal and organizational basis of the executive bodies. Amendments were introduced into the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan (RoT) on self-governing bodies requiring knowledge of the Tajik language for elected people into the Jamoat Councils. The Law on Civil Service was revised to include the attestation and social protection of civil servants. The Civil Service Institute introduced new arrangements to improve competitive selection procedures and system incentives. Almost three years of intensive work of the Agricultural Work Group resulted in the approval of the Agricultural Reform Programme for the period of 2012 – 2020.
The Public Administration Reform/Institutional Strengthening [PAR/I.S.] initiatives within the Democratic Governance cluster are based on identifying the strategic mandate, current institutional gaps that hinder delivery, and a capacity development plan that includes staff development along with improvements to the enabling environment and organizational design. The aim is to build a lasting institutional legacy in critical and linked areas. The aim is to help provide a toolkit of important skills and to develop practical skills for implementation in line with their exiting operational plans as an outcome of each training module. The key result of Local Governance intervention is development of Local Governance Vision paper that outlines main principles and components of the local governance system and serves as a platform for future interventions.
Capacity development and institutional strengthening of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the RoT to perform efficient foreign policy and professional staff through training in the country and in diplomatic missions is lagged in comparison to other donor priorities. The modernization of the MFA’s website with the goal of adopting a simplified procedure for issuance of Tajik visa upon arrival is anticipated.
UNDP supports effective national aid coordination through further institutional strengthening of the State Committee on Investments and State Property Management (SCISPM), development of sectoral and regional aid coordination. Great importance is given to implementing the principles of the Pusan Forum. It is planned to further develop the aid information and management system, improve dialogue between the Government of Tajikistan and Development Partners through implementing the principles of aid transparency and expanding national ownership in order to better target the country’s priorities.
Coordination among the donors in Tajikistan is one of the best examples world-wide. The Donor Coordination Council (DCC) is the major platform for the coordination among donor agencies. This mechanism proved to be effective in fostering a unified position of donors vis-à-vis the Government. The best examples of such cooperation are the discussions on agricultural reform, where the unified position of donors pushed the government to implement several reforms in sectors that were not progressing for many years. UNDP (with the support from various donors) is providing support to the DCC Secretariat, which effectively facilitates day-to-day issues.
Integrated Border Management (IBM) activities are working on policy formulation and institutional capacity building of border management, encouraging trans-border cooperation, enhancing professional skills and establishing regional knowledge networks in cooperation with the OSCE Border Management Staff College in Dushanbe. To increase legal trans-border trade and prevent smugglers, traffickers, and trans-border crime, IBM initiatives continue to build the capacity of the Afghan Border Police and Customs Agencies through the provision of training and exposure to good practices of IBM for the leadership of all agencies involved in border management.
The Government of Tajikistan prioritized the mainstreaming of the human development concept into development strategies ensuring sufficient national capacity and contributing to formulating policies consistent with Human Development principles. Human development is one of the major components of the new mid-term development strategy.
The justice system and legal reform process needs to become more responsive to the needs of citizens, to link bottom-up concerns with adequate top-down responses. UNDP’s goal is to strengthen the policy dialogue on these issues under the umbrella of the on-going legal and judicial reforms in Tajikistan and establish an effective and efficient framework for the provision of legal aid to marginalized groups by profiled NGOs through established Legal Aid Centers. At the national level, a legal advocacy campaign is undertaken in close cooperation with the Ministry of Justice.
- UNDP conducted a comprehensive capacity building programme at the national and local levels enhancing the skills of 8,791 senior and middle level managers of 14 national government agencies and in 19 districts and 65 Jamoats, including civil society organizations (CSOs) and private sector representatives on strategic and business development planning, performance management, risk management and evaluation. About 50 staff of the MFA enhanced their skills through targeted trainings and internships in diplomatic corps of Tajikistan abroad
- The Government of Tajikistan through the SCISPM progressed in national aid coordination management and monitoring, including investment promotion in Tajikistan. The 2011 survey established the baseline and targets for 10 out of 15 indicators. The targets for 2 indicators, coordinated technical cooperation and reliable public financial management systems, have been met; progress has been made on the results-oriented frameworks indicator, while the untied aid indicator has experienced setbacks. Progress in aid coordination and monitoring, as well as the analysis of the current situation and trends are reflected in the publications of "Development Partner Profiles and Foreign Aid Reports for 2012". A new on-line Aid Information Management System became operational and accessible to most beneficiaries ensuring transparency of aid flows. It is envisaged institutional strengthening and capacity development of sectoral and regional aid coordination. About 20 staff members of the State Committee for Investments and State Property Management participated in capacity building exercises through 12 trainings on aid coordination.
- Mainstreamed into the new mid-term national strategy the human development concept will articulate into advocacy and awareness raising at the local level. National Human Development Reports on “Tajikistan: Institutions and Development” and “Poverty in the context of climate change” were launched, published in three languages and distributed throughout the republic, among development partners and CSOs. Manual on human development was developed and distributed among 8 institutions of higher education systematizing a human development course at the universities.
- The BOMCA/BOMNAF regional initiatives are successfully continuing to reinforce border management capacity and trans-border cooperation in the Northern Provinces of Afghanistan. In addition to physical infrastructure development, 75 border guards, 39 customs and 55 Ministry of Interior, Migration, Veterinary and Sanitary Services representatives were trained on different topics to improve their professional skills through participation in 11 regional trainings, 2 study tours to Latvia and Turkey, Regional BOMCA Steering Committee in Austria and international IBM Conference in Kyrgyzstan.
- UNDP successfully leads the Rule of Law Working Group holding discussions in the framework of policy dialogue with Government partners and CSOs, and provides technical assistance to the existing Working Group on the development of Legal Aid Law. It is envisaged to conduct needs assessments of Civil Marriage Registration Office (ZAGS) and Notaries, Training Institute of the Ministry of Justice, civil society institutions in order to develop comprehensive project interventions.