Kyrgyzstan, April 30, 20 participants, Organizer: Global Civil Initiatives, Inc. (GCI)
Participatory Democracy is not a foreign notion in Kyrgyzstan, at least not for the Kok-Moinok area of the Issyk-Kul region, where the Global Civil Initiatives, Inc. (GCI) has recently conducted a Survey in partnership with The Hunger Project and UNDEF.
Instead of the planned 5 to 7 attendees of the meeting, more than 20 people showed up, ranging from librarians, local entrepreneurs, and school teachers, to lawyers, local government representatives, UN agencies, NGO leaders, women-led and minority groups. Such active attendance showed the level of trust and readiness for social change. During the meeting the organizers and the attendees discussed the challenges that participatory democracy entails and the innovative ways to address them.
The meeting participants expressed their need for further education and public awareness of civic responsibility, accountability, transparency, gender budgeting and many other issues related to local governance and local communities’ participation. The participants admitted that while they do understand in theory the notion of participatory democracy, they have very little comprehension on how to better apply it to reality. The attendees suggested creating a long-term training project to ensure that all citizens are actively involved in all important decisions that affect their lives.
– Raissa Muhutdinova, Executive Director, CGI