The United Nations Development Program, is recording sucesses in Kyrgyzstan after over 5 years of involvment. Here is a look at how to program work.
Kyrgyzstan became as independent country in 1991. It is a young developing state with a democratic system. Many foreign countries have helped Kyrgyzstan in this process. Also, United Nations Development Program work in Kyrgyzstan, which aims to provide support in poverty alleviation. One of UNDP Program is "Local Governance".
This Program works in pilot regions of six Provinces: Jalalabat, Osh, Talas, Chui, Naryn, Issyk-Kul. The main goal of the Program is strengthening the Local Goverment through decentralization. Since Kyrgyzstan got its independence, the local governance system started its developing , where the decentralization process took place. The Local Governance of UNDP helps to build effective Local Governance systems.
The Program is being implemented through 6 components:
1. Social Mobilization
2. Participatory Planning
3. Information Center
4. Capacity building
5. Micro-Capital Grant
6. Micro Enterprise Project.
Social Mobilization is the process of establishing a community based organization, where people form themselves into groups. People solve the socio-economic problems of local community, they have their own savings they use for solution of social-economical problems. They contribute a lot to improve the suburban life.
Participatory Planning is the process of planning village development. The representatives of the community organizations, the local governance bodies, state structures, and UNDP volunteers participate in the village Development Planning. The rural people proposed their grass root initiatives for improving the infrastructure of the village.
Information Center opened in each UNDP office. There is a data base of Local Governance: the land, infrastructure, geography, demographic situation, agriculture, population, education, medicine and etc. Anyone is able to get this information.
The UNDP volunteers conduct training, seminars for developing of human capacity. The staffs of Local Governance bodies, state authorities, the members of Community Organizations are trained by UNDP volunteers on various topics, concerning Local Governance development.
Micro-Capital Grant is fund delivered to community organizations as a stimulating means for developing village infrastructure: capital repair and construction of schools, hospitals, roads, educational centers, issue of drinking and irrigating water, Hydro-Electric Station construction and others. UNDP supports 40% of the total amount of the project, the rest should be the contributions of the population, Local Governance, State Authorities and other donors. Just in this case the priority projects are supported.
The last component is Micro Enterprise Project. Arab Gulf Fund invested in each pilot local Governance 10.000 $ for development of micro Enterprise. These resources are set aside for Community Organizations. So, the members of Community Organizations establish micro farms, cattle farms, oil mills, micro shops on manufacturing of national items, etc
All these components work well in the areas where they are implemented. Because UNDP's way of working is close to Kyrgyz mentality. For instance, since the ancient times Kyrgyz people used to implement some work by "ashar" method, i.c. mobilizing all human and financial resources. I think for the implemented period this program of UNDP contributed so much in the field of Local Governance development. The rural people" woke up", started to participate actively in decision of socio-economic, cultural life of the village.
Here is a successful story happened in a pilot village participating in the UNDP Program.
"Shirin" Community based Organization.
The people of Jany-Dyikan village of the Suzak region were "sleeping", until the UNDP Program started its activity in this area. After the training organized by UNDP volunteers, ten women from the Jany-Dyikan village, came to the together to establish the Community based Organization "Shirin. Chinara Jusupova was elected chairperson of the CBO,. Monthly the women gathered in a general meeting, collected the savings and credited it. They prepared a plan of social development of the village. The big problem of the villagers was absence of drinking water. The members of "Shirin" CBO initiated a project proposal to UNDP "Local Governance Program" in order to insure pure drinking water in the village. They mobilized their human and financial resources, and with the UNDP contribution on an amount of 2000 $, created a water supply system. With this experience, the inhabitants of the village believed, that being part of a Community Organization helps solve problem.
Next the "Shirin" CBO set out to raise money for repair of the kindergarten, which were not servicable, due to the lack of resources. For that, they proposed the project to another UNDP Program "Poverty Alleviation" and got the required resources. The CBO members made their own contribution and using all resources finished the project. After the project were completed, women of the CBO cooked biscuits, pies and bread which were offered for sale. The money were used to supply the children in the kindergarten, with food, because the state authorities and local government did not offer financial support for this. The women worked in the kindergarten free of charge. Then the CBO members proposed the project to British Fund "Save the Children ", in order to create a micro farm for cattle breeding, it would generate funds for feeding the children. The project was approved and the kindergartens farm opened. Where before the children might have brought food for their teacher, today the kindergarten supply food for the children. Following their success, the active women of the CBO proposed a initiative proposal to the SOROS Fund for equipment for kindergarten, it was also supported by the Fund, and the children got an opportunity to be educated in very good conditions ; they got beds, tables, chairs, TV sets and books which are required for effective education of children. Now there are 50 children in the kindergarten.
But this were not the last achievement of the strong women.
Since Jany-Dyikan was a new district, there were no roads. And the women decided to construct roads by laying a sand-gravel mixture. UNDP "Local Governance Program" supported this project on an amount of 78 000 soms, also there were the contributions of the population, local governance, state authorities.
In such way, the women of Jany-Dyikan village participate in solution of the infrastructure problems. Now the Community Organization "Shirin" have become a non governmental organization. The leader of the NGO is an active public worker. She conducts training for CBOs, NGOs and civil society, works as a trainer. She is a qualified expert on the issues of Local Governance development.
This is just one case among a hundred ones. More than 1000 community organizations succeeded in implementing activity of local governance development and poverty alleviation.
The Kyrgyz proverb "never doubt that a group of men can change the world" might be a suitable conclusion, it have proved true in small local Kyrgyz communities, wherever groups of men or woman have been willing to but their energy and effort behind their communities, these CBO groups have brought blessings and prosperity to their communities.