UNDP’s new pilot region for local governance modernization
United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative in Uzbekistan Stefan Priesner discussed with the Khokim of Tashkent Region, Senator Akhmadjon Usmanov the cooperation within the Local Governance Support Programme/Phase -2 (LGSP), jointly implemented with the UNDP and Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan.
The first phase of LGSP was implemented in 2010-2013 in Djizak and Namangan regions with a view to strengthen the legal, technical and human resources capacity of local governments, above all the khokimiyats. In December 2013 with the approval of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan the LGSP was extended until 2017 with the inclusion of Tashkent region as a pilot region.
Main priority areas of LGSP/Phase 2: a) sustainable territorial development; b) development of private businesses; c) modernization of public administration; d) enhancing the openness and accountability of bodies of state authority and administration; e) enhancing the capacity of local civil servants; f) strengthening the budgeting and investment powers of local governments.
At the meeting Mr. Priesner familiarized the participants with main objectives of UNDP’s activity in Uzbekistan, which are in line with the tasks and objectives, outlined in the Concept of the President of Uzbekistan “On further deepening the democratic reforms and formation of civil society in the country”.
“In Uzbekistan UNDP, through joint projects, has been providing comprehensive support to the Government in the promotion of national reforms, decentralization of governance, strengthening of the powers of local authorities in sustainable socio-economic development and enhancing of civil participation in local government, while ensuring the effective democratic governance in the country”, noted Mr. Priesner.
The Head of UNDP Uzbekistan emphasized that UNDP’s advanced experience in foreign countries may be used in supporting the further development of Tashkent region that possesses huge industrial and investment potential. The work in the pilot region will be an important part of the new Country Programme Action Plan for 2016-2020. In this regard, strengthening the capacity of local governments plays an important role in implementing the comprehensive measures, aimed at improving the organizational and legal framework of local government’s engagement with civil society institutions and private sector in tackling urgent issues of huge economic and social significance.
Regarding the promising areas of cooperation of UNDP in Tashkent region, it was noted that one should give high priority to the dissemination of several successful pilot results of LGSP/Phase 1. Given the enactment of the new Law “On openness of bodies of state authority and administration”, UNDP expressed its willingness to support the efforts of Tashkent regional khokimiyat in the implementation of the said legislation at the local level. The offered support foresees the technical and methodical assistance in establishing modern Information Centers at regional khokimiyat and at one of the city khokimiyats, as well as upgrading their official web-sites and creating on their platform the system that supports the provision of interactive public services and consideration of the appeals of people and private enterprises.
The participants also discussed the opportunities to further expand the application of “e-Hujjat” electronic document management system at district, city and regional khokimiyats as a mechanism of two-way communication with citizens and businesses, as well as to upgrade the multichannel system of interactive public service delivery through “One-Stop-Shop” system.
As for the cooperation in territorial development, the parties specified it promising to disseminate the best practices of Zaamin district on community based tourism in Bostonlik district of Tashkent region. It is worth noting that the quality of the snow in Chimgan mountains is much more better than the one in Alpine and other mountains of Europe, which creates a unique opportunity to develop skiing tourism in the region. Moreover, Khokimiyat of Tashkent region proposed to consider the possible co-participation of UNDP in the development of tourism in Chimgan-Charvak resort and recreational zone within the implementation of the special Governmental Programme on the Development of Tourism Sphere in Tashkent region in 2013-2015.
One of the main achievements of the meeting was the preliminary agreement between UNDP and Tashkent regional administration to conduct a series of joint researches on the following issues:
- development of the long-term complex development strategy for Chirchik city;
- conducting functional analysis to enhance the powers and functions of state authorities at all levels;
- improving the activity of local Kengashes of people’s deputies in local governance and enhancing civil society’s participation in local development;
- modernization of civil service system and strengthening capacity of civil servants;
- Raising the attractiveness of regions for foreign investors, elimination of administrative and regulatory barriers, impeding the development of private businesses.
The negotiations resulted in the agreement to conclude the Annual Joint Action Plan and organize regular meetings to discuss the reports about its implementation.
The meeting was attended by Deputy Khokim of Tashkent region A.Abdukadirov, Director of regional Center for Computerization C.Muzaffarov, head of regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry F.Mamanov, leading specialist of the Regional division of the Ministry for Foreign Economic Relations, Investment and Trade Kh.Farmonov, UNDP National Officer on Parnership Building S.Sakhipov, Head of Good Governance Unit UNDP A.Umarova, UNDP Legal Advisor A.Bakhadirov, LGSP Project Manager D.Isroilov.
Public administration reform is a core area for UNDP’s worldwide support. Today, UNDP is implementing numerous projects in more than 120 countries worldwide, covering various aspects of local development and governance reform.