The participants explored how citizens can participate in the budgetary process, plan the local development of economy, space and society, and monitor services based on the experiences from several countries, such as Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Latvia, the Netherlands, the Russian Federation, Turkey, Mongolia and the Kyrgyz Republic. The participants learned about the Online Civic Budget experience during the pandemic in Kyrgyzstan and how local services are provided with the support of NGOs of Kyrgyzstan. Lessons from Russia, Mongolia, Switzerland, and Kazakhstan were also discussed. All conference materials and best practice examples will be posted at the Best Practice Portal.
The international conference was held in the framework of the “Strengthening Voice and Accountability” project financed by the Swiss Government and implemented by the Development Policy Institute. The project has contributed to improved access of citizens to local decision-making. Since 2015, over 100’000 participated in budgetary hearings and over 700’000 benefitted from the improvements in local service provision and social infrastructure, such as pre-school and school facilities, better drinking water provision and solid waste management, installed or rehabilitated street lightening, improved or diversified services in the area of recreation, sports and culture.
“In today's world, success of a territory is determined not so much by available resources as by the ability and skills to apply new management tools and benefit from creative engagement of the population. An important factor in the success of local self-government is meaningful and effective interaction with citizens, providing them with opportunities to make a difference and improve life in their community by contributing to local development”, says Bekbolot Bekiev, the project manager.
Olivier Bangerter, Ambassador of Switzerland to the Kyrgyz Republic, says: “In Switzerland many concerns of citizens are addressed and solved at the local level. This works well because it is the fastest way to identify an issue and solve it. Local governance is a key element of Switzerland’s development, including of the economy.”
The conference was co-hosted by the State Agency on Civil Service and Local Self-Government of the Kyrgyz Republic under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Union of Local Self-Governments of the Kyrgyz Republic, the “Development Policy Institute” and the Academy of Local Governance of Central Asia.