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HDI ranking: 125/187
HDI score: 0.622
The Republic of Tajikistan is working on draft laws, improving main forms of local self-government and elections, and strengthening economic and financial basis for local authorities. However, decentralization in Tajikistan is hindered due to rampant corruption and local leaders’ loyalty to the central government due to their appointment by the president (UCLG, 2008; Freedom House, 2012).
Local governance at a glance
- Tajikistan is divided into four administrative divisions, which are the provinces of Sughdand Khatlon, the autonomous province of Gorno-Badakhshan, and the region of Republican Subordination. The regions consist of 58 districts and 367 jamoats (communes), led by local government officials (UNPAN, 2004).
- There are three tiers of local government: the community level, district level, and oblast (regional) level (UNPAN, 2004).
- Local self-government authorities, a historically ingrained governing body in Tajikistan, are elected by the citizens of a given administrative territory (UNPAN, 2004).
- The Ministry of Territorial Administration has responsibility for local government (UNPAN, 2004).
- There is no legislative gender quota at the subnational level (IDEA, 2010).
Civil society actors include
- The Center for Civic Initiative is an organization that focuses on establishing and promoting democratic processes (CCI, 2014).
- The Independent Center for the Protection of Human Rights aims to promote the transparent implementation of access to information by conducting training seminars, advocacy, and a legal aid center (NED, 2013).
Capacity building institution
- The Local Governance and Citizen Participation Project (LGCP), funded by USAID and operated by the Urban Institute, works with the national government to strengthen democratic local governance by building capacity of local officials, expanding opportunities for citizen participation, and broadening access to information (Urban Institute, 2014).
- Local authorities have the right to develop and implement their own budgets and to establish local fees, taxes and duties (UNPAN, 2004).
- Local budgets comprise one-third of all budget revenues (UNECE, 2001).
- The relationship between central and local budgets is determined annually. After taxes and expenditures funded from local budgets are forecast, Parliament establishes the local share of national tax revenues and fees as well as the amount of targeted transfers to cover local budget deficits (UNECE, 2001).
Key initiatives for participatory local governance
- In February 1991, Tajikistan passed a law on Local Self-government and Local Finance, initiated the establishment of local self-government and the revision of the administrative-territorial structure according to principles of decentralization (UNECE, 2001).
- In the mid-1990s, Conventional nonprofit, charitable, and voluntary organizations came into existence in Tajikistan (UNPAN, 2004).
- Five states in Tajikistan have adopted laws regarding the activities of local bodies and local state powers, which are “On Local State Power” of 1994 and “On Elections of Deputies of Local Councils of People’s Deputies” of 2007 (UCLG, 2008).
- In December 1994, the Constitutional Law on Local Public Administration and the Law on Self-government in Towns and Villages were adopted by Parliament, which instituted a new legal framework for local governance (UNECE, 2001).
- In December 1999, Parliament passed a Law on Local Council Elections, which regulated the procedures for local body elections (UNECE, 2001).
Challenges for participatory local governance
- Since the 1990’s, public administration reform does not practically exist as most local governments (hukumat) are bogged down by an inflated organizational structure, outdated legislation, and rampant corruption (UNPAN, 2004).
- Improvement and reform of local governments’ interrelations is not carried out. This hinders necessary efforts to clearly define a framework for interrelations, delegated powers, and contract relations, and to specify the powers of local organs(UCLG, 2008).
- Most local leaders are appointed by the president, and thus have a certain allegiance to the national government (Freedom House, 2012).
- The national government has little time and resources to retain civil servants (UNPAN, 2004).
Recent posts on this website about this country:
List of sources :
Center for Civic Initiative (CCI), 2014: http://tajikngo.centreict.net/en/component/k2/item/1390-oo-tsentr-grazhdanskaya-initsiativa.html.
Freedom House, 2012: “Tajikistan.”
International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), 2010: “Republic of Tajikistan.”
National Endowment for Democracy (NED), n.d.: http://www.ned.org/where-we-work/eurasia/tajikistan.
United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), 2008: “UCLG Country Profiles: Central Asia.”
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), 2001: “Local Government in Tajikistan.”
United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN), 2004: “Republic of Tajikistan: Public Administration Country Profile.”
Urban Institute, 2014: http://www.urban.org/center/idg/projects/europe/tajikistan_LGCP.cfm.