For general information about the country profiles click here.
HDI ranking: 125/187
HDI score: 0.622
Since October 2011, Kyrgyzstan has been taking a “real step” towards democracy, but many problems still remained such as inefficiency, poorly trained officials, and corruption (Freedom House, 2012).
Local governance at a glance
- The republic of Kyrgyzstan consists of seven provinces and 40 administrative districts headed by the prime minister, deputy prime minister, ministers and chairmen of state government committees (Advantour, 2014).
- Municipalities are elected by the local citizens to perform public functions (Publicadminreform, 2007).
- There are four tiers of a local government system, which are parish councils, small towns, large towns, and counties (Publicadminreform, 2007).
- Kyrgyzstan has no legislative gender quota at the subnational level (Quota Project, 2014).
Civil society actors include
- Global Civil Initiatives (GCI) is a non-profit organization that aims to achieve sustainability through research and practical training.
- Association “Taza Shailoo” works to promote effective local government, encourages citizen participation in the decision-making process, and provides local government transparency.
- Coalition for Democracy and Civil Society is an organization in Kyrgyzstan that promotes democracy, transparency and accountability of the government authorities.
Capacity building institutions
- The Association of Municipalities formed in 2006 with the purpose of promoting cooperation between municipalities and strengthening local governments.
- The Association of Towns and the Association of Villages were established to assist with decentralization efforts to local governments.
- Local authorities have the power to collect local tax. However, Regional governments in Kyrgyzstan have had little freedom in negotiating tax share rates with the central government (EJBE, 2012).
- The locality specific revenues are returned to the region of origin and additional national funds are transferred to lower level governments by a transparent formula (EJBE, 2012).
Key initiatives for participatory local governance
- In 1991 with devolution of self-governing functions onto the regional levels, the various localities introduced their own taxes and fees and were responsible for their budgets without direct accountability to the national government (EJBE, 2012).
- In the late 1990s, a major accomplishment of the Kyrgyzstan decentralization program was the smooth transfer of state-owned assets to rural municipalities (Freedom House, 2012).
- In 2001, the law “On Local Self-government and Local State Administrations” was adopted regulating the activities of organs of local state power and local self-government (UCLG, 2008).
- A 2008 law on local governance was designed to ensure that local officials have the financial and political resources to meet the needs of the population (Freedom House, 2012).
- Since the April 2010 regime change, local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have been able to function more freely, without fear of government oppression (Freedom House, 2012).
Challenges for participatory local governance
- While Kyrgyzstan has formally achieved its goals on decentralization, most local government officials lack the professionalism and experience to govern according to the new legislation, and thus they are criticized for a lack of efficiency (Freedom House, 2012).
- Many members of local councils are unaware of their own roles and responsibilities, while heads of villages (ail okmoty) do not pass their knowledge and experience on to their successors (Freedom House, 2012).
- Kyrgyzstan has publicly recognized devolution of authority to locally elected officials as an important step toward more responsive and transparent governments. However, both leaders have failed to match their words with action (IASC, 2006).
Recent posts on this website about this country:
- The land governance assessment framework : identifying and monitoring good practice in the land sector (2012)
- Innovations in land rights recognition, administration, and governance (2010)
- Social research on transformation in developing countries : results of interdisciplinary PhD-school participants (2003)
List of sources (in order of citation):
Freedom House, 2012: Kyrgyzstan
Advantour, 2014: Political system of Kyrgyzstan
Publicadminreform, 2007: A “Road Map” for the development of Local government in Kyrgyzstan
QuotaProject, 2014: “Kyrgyzstan”
Eurasian Journal of Business and Economics(EJBE), 2012: Fiscal Decentralization and Revenue Stability in the Kyrgyz Republic, 1993-2010
UCLG, 2008: “UCLG Country Profiles: Central Asia”
International Assessment and Strategy Center (IASC), 2006: Decentralization Reforms in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan: Slowly and Unsteadily