Building better public access in Kyrgyzstan

Efforts for democratization and development in Kyrgyzstan continue to be hampered by political and administrative corruption that limits access to public goods and services. Vulnerable groups are excluded from access to land, water, shelter, sanitation, clothing, healthcare and education, as well as from participation in decisions that affect their lives.

UNDEF funds a project implemented by Transparency International Kyrgyzstan to bridge the gap between public demand and the responsiveness of local authorities and public representatives. Through Development Pacts with local communities, the initiative creates incentives for public office-holders to deliver public services more effectively and transparently, strengthens the capacity of local communities and civil society to use democratic spaces for public decision-making, and works for higher benchmarks in accountability and integrity of local authorities. It brings together committed local leaders and communities around locally identified development challenges and priorities to build public consensus. Communities start with small projects that they can fund by themselves, or where they can provide their labor. Successful micro-projects become examples to bring to the attention of regional and state authorities when seeking funding for bigger local enterprises.

UNDEF Programme Officer Christian Lamarre (pictured above, centre) visited one of the micro-projects in December 2012 -- the ongoing work to repair a bridge in the village of Kuu Maidan that was destroyed by seasonal floods.