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					United Nations Development Programme




                                       Tajikistan
                                       Local Governance
                                       and Decentralization
                                       Project Assessment



                                       The DGTTF Lessons Learned Series
Tajikistan
Local Governance and Decentralization
Project Assessment
Author: Tomislav Novovic
Project coordination: Darko Pavlovic
Designer: Keen Media (DGTTF Series); of this report, Phoenix Design Aid

UNDP Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication are the authors’
and do not necessarily represent those of the United Nations, including UNDP,
or its Member States.

For further information please contact:

United Nations Development Programme
Regional Centre in Bratislava
Grosslingova 35
811 09 Bratislava
Slovak Republic

europeandcis.undp.org


United Nations Development Programme
Bureau for Development Policy
Democratic Governance Group
304 East 45th Street, 10th Fl.
New York, NY 10017

Oslo Governance Centre
Inkognitogata 37, 0256 Oslo, Norway

www.undp.org/governance
www.undp.org/oslocentre


United Nations Development Programme
Tajiskistan
39 Aini Street
Dushanbe
Tajikistan

www.undp.tj


Copyright ©2011 by the United Nations Development Programme. All rights reserved.
    Table of
    Contents
	    4		   Acknowledgements
	    5		   Preface

	    6		   Executive	summary

	    9		   Introduction
     9     Purpose, scope and methodology
    10     Structure of the report

    11     Country	context
    11     Socio-economic situation
    12     Local governance system in Tajikistan
    12     Legal framework
    13     Financing of local government in Tajikistan

    15     Project	Clean Start for Local Councils –
           Building Accountability at the Local Level (2006)
    15     Relevance
    15     Effectiveness
    16     Efficiency
    16     Innovation
    16     Catalytic effect
    16     Sustainability
    17     Gender

    18     Project	Building National Capacities for Implementation
           of Poverty Reduction Strategies (2007)
    18     Relevance
    18     Effectiveness
    19     Efficiency
    19     Innovation
    19     Catalytic effect
    19     Sustainability
    20     Gender

    21     Project	Building a Framework for Local Planning
           and Budgeting (2008)
    21     Relevance
    21     Effectiveness
    21     Efficiency
    22     Innovation
    22     Catalytic effect
    22     Sustainability
    22     Gender

	   23	    Lessons	learned	and	recommendations

    25	    	 nnex	I:	Codification	of	tools	and	instruments	used
           A
	   26	    Annex	II:	List	of	persons	interviewed
	   27	    Annex	III:	Bibliography
Local Governance and Decentralization




   Acknowledgments
   This report is published by the Regional Centre in Bratislava, in cooperation with
   the UNDP Democratic Governance Group through the Oslo Governance Centre,
   with funding from the UNDP Democratic Governance Thematic Trust Fund. The
   Regional Centre and the Oslo Governance Centre are grateful to the author,
   Tomislav Novovic, the language editor, Tom Woodhatch, and all those who were
   interviewed and consulted in the preparation and writing of this assessment report,
   who are listed here in alphabetical order: Abdugani Mamadazimov, Abdushukur
   Nazarov, Ali Aliev, Alijon Isoev, Dzamsir Nozirov, Halimov Rustam, Ibodullo Fattoev,
   Jamil Oglukov, Jan Bernard De Milito, Malika Boymuradova, Maqsud Aripov, Mirzo
   Olimov, Munirjon Aminov, Rastislav Vrbensky, Rustam Babajanov, Umed Davlatzod,
   Yusuf Kurbonkhojaev, and the project beneficiaries from the water supply project
   in Isfara. Also, we would like to thank Artur Ayvazov, Clare Romanik and Henri
   Schumacher. Javier Fabra has provided invaluable support to the coordination of
   this publication series. The project was coordinated by Darko Pavlovic.

   May 2011




                   4
  Tajikistan Project Assessment




Preface
The Millennium Declaration from the Millennium Summit in 2000 emphasizes
the centrality of democratic governance for the achievement of the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs). World leaders agreed that improving the quality of
democratic institutions and processes, and managing the changing roles of the state
and civil society in an increasingly globalized world, should underpin national efforts
to reduce poverty, sustain the environment, and promote human development.

The Democratic Governance Thematic Trust Fund (DGTTF) was created in 2001 to
enable UNDP Country Offices to explore innovative and catalytic approaches to
supporting democratic governance on the ground. The DGTTF Lessons Learned
Series represents a collective effort to capture lessons learned and best practices
in a systematic manner, to be shared with all stakeholders, to serve as an input
to organizational learning, and to inform future UNDP policy and programming
processes.




                5
                                                                             planning, and in the management and implementation of local
                                                                             development projects. The project strived to enhance local
                                                                             accountability, increase access to rural finance, and improve
                                                                             infrastructure and the delivery of basic services.

                                                                             The three projects supported through the DGTTF were integrated
                                                                             into a large UNDP Tajikistan poverty, rural development, and


Executive
                                                                             local governance portfolio, and were implemented within the
                                                                             Communities Programme framework.



summary                                                                      The first project, Clean Start for Local Councils – Building
                                                                             Accountability at the Local Level, began in 2006 with a
                                                                             total DGTTF contribution of US$200,000. It was designed to
                                                                             strengthen the capacity of local councils to perform their
                                                                             functions professionally, transparently, and accountably. The
                                                                             project also supported citizens’ participation in local decision-
This report contains the findings of a review of three projects,             making processes through citizens’ report cards and the
funded by the Democratic Governance Thematic Trust Fund                      introduction of a Citizen Charter. The project helped to establish
(DGTTF), in Tajikistan in 2006, 2007 and 2008. The review was                participatory planning mechanisms in the pilot districts.
conducted by an independent consultant. The projects were
part of UNDP’s broad efforts to support the development of local             The project promoted an innovative approach to the delivery of
governance and provide assistance to regional development                    public services by introducing new tools, such as citizen report
in Tajikistan.                                                               card surveys and citizens’ charters. It also worked to build the
                                                                             capacity of district councils to comprehensively implement
The review examined the projects’ impacts within the context                 new functions deriving from the reformed legal framework.
of history and political processes, relating specifically to local
governance and regional development. It focused on the                       The project was implemented using the Communities
projects’ effectiveness, efficiency, innovation, catalytic effect, and       Programme management and operational structure. This
sustainability. The report considers key underlying factors, drivers,        contributed to its effectiveness and efficiency, and all planned
and future scenarios, which provide a basis for determining the              results were achieved within the planned timeframe.
projects’ impact.
                                                                             Its catalytic effect is found in its extension to the multi-donor
Tajikistan is among the world’s least accessible countries. Its              funded Communities Programme (2007-2009). This programme
high, mountainous terrain and remoteness, compounded by                      had a total budget of around US$22 million, and was funded by
a lack of infrastructure and a weak governance and regulatory                UNDP, DFID, Asian Development Bank, CIDA, and GTZ.
framework, are significant barriers to external trade, connectivity,
and investment. Its post-independence civil war (1992-97)                    The participation of national partners in all project activities
resulted in substantial economic and human losses. The country               contributed towards a high level of sustainability. In addition,
remains the poorest of the former Soviet Union republics.                    the Strategic Research Centre and the Institute for Civil Service
About 53 percent of the total population, and up to 70 percent               Training adopted project results into their regular work and
of people in isolated rural and mountainous areas, live below                continued with implementation.
the poverty line.
                                                                             DGTTF supported another project in 2007, Building national
UNDP Tajikistan used a multi-sector approach to address poverty,             capacities for implementation of poverty reduction
rural, and local development. Work on poverty alleviation,                   strategies, with US$130,000. This project developed a capacity
decentralization, and local governance began in the aftermath                development programme for elected representatives and civil
of the civil war, and continued with the flagship intervention               servants from district and jamoat levels (third-level administrative
of UNDP Tajikistan Communities Programme (2004-2012). This                   divisions, similar to communes) to promote strategic planning
programme supported the stated goals of the Government                       for socio-economic development. This enabled district
of Tajikistan to improve participatory processes by enhancing                development plans to be prepared in three districts of Zarafshan
opportunities for community participation in local development               Valley. In addition, the project assisted with the improvement of


                                                                         6
                                                      Tajikistan Project Assessment

the government’s information systems for planning, monitoring             a	 project was highly innovative by introducing a new
                                                                           The
and evaluation of public policy.                                              implementation approach to planning and budgeting in
                                                                              Tajikistan. This new approach was reflected in the Meth-
The project began on time and achieved all its planned                        odology for Planning, Budgeting and Monitoring and
objectives. It introduced a unique and innovative approach in                 Evaluation at district and jamoat levels.
Tajikistan in preparing district development plans. These applied
a participatory approach to identifying strategic priorities and          a	
                                                                           The      project supported the implementation of a new
establishing transparent implementation mechanisms. For the                   planning and budgeting practice. For the first time in
first time, a monitoring system based on specific local indicators            Tajikistan, national, (horizontal) and district and jamoats
(aligned with NDS/PRSP indicators) was introduced, and financial              (vertical) planning and budgeting processes were inte-
resources for implementation of priorities were identified.                   grated and coordinated.

A new mechanism for donor aid coordination was supported                  a	 catalytic effect was recognized as the project ex-
                                                                           The
by developing a comprehensive information system, collecting                  panded the scope of the Communities Programme to
data from jamoat, district, and national levels on a wide range               public administration.
of issues.
                                                                          a	 project team was institutionalized in the Ministry
                                                                           The
The project offered a catalytic springboard for a further phase               of Economic Development and Trade. The initial DGTTF
of the Communities Programme: Building a Framework for Local                  project was followed up with a larger UNDP project (US$3
Planning and Budgeting. Funding for this came from the DGTTF,                 million core funding), financed from UNDP’s own resourc-
the UK Department for International Development, and the                      es. Within the framework of this larger project, UNDP in
Canadian International Development Agency.                                    partnership with the Ministry of Economic Development
                                                                              and Trade, expanded activities throughout the country by
Partnership between UNDP and key national stakeholders                        providing technical assistance to the new planning and
were strengthened further. This is reflected in the cooperation               budgeting model.
agreements signed between UNDP and the Ministry of Economic
Development and Trade, the Strategic Research Centre, the                 a	
                                                                           The      engagement of regional authorities and national
Institute for Civil Servants Training, the Ministry of Finance, the           actors in introducing a standard participatory plan-
State Statistic Committee, the Ministry of Labour and Social                  ning methodology was recognized as a key priority for
Protection, and the Parliament.                                               Tajikistan. The methodology’s sustainability in preparing
                                                                              district development plans was strongly supported by
The DGTTF provided US$150,000 for a third project, Building                   national institutions.
a Framework for Local Planning and Budgeting. This
contributed to the development of a comprehensive Programme               a	 sustainability of training programmes for strategic
                                                                           The
of Reform of Tajikistan’s Planning, Budgeting, and Monitoring                 planning, participatory budgeting, poverty mapping, and
and Evaluation Methodology at district and regional levels. It                monitoring was ensured, as they were adopted by the In-
also worked on a Guidelines and Training Curriculum for the                   stitute for Civil Service Training for its regular curricula for
new methodology, and enhanced the capacities of 220 district                  professional advancement of civil servants.
and regional officials to work with the new procedures.
                                                                          Key lessons learned
a	 project was effective in delivering results through
 The                                                                      a	 Citizens’ Report Cards activities represent an effective
                                                                           The
    the Methodology for Planning, Budgeting, and Monitor-                     approach to articulating public perceptions of the per-
    ing and Evaluation at District and jamoat level, backed up                formance of public services. However, local authorities
    with a methodological guidelines and a training/mentor-                   directly concerned with the results of the citizens’ report
    ing programme for planning, budgeting, and monitoring                     cards were not able to bring about change or invest in
    and evaluation.                                                           service improvement. This activity should, therefore, be
                                                                              implemented as a part of a broader decentralization
a	 project was implemented efficiently through the ex-
 The                                                                          process, which should strengthen both downward and
    isting structure of the country programme’s head office in                upward accountability within the governance structures.
    Dushanbe and area offices.
                                                                          a	
                                                                           Successful data-collection systems require national lead-


                                                                      7
                                              Local Governance and Decentralization

   ership and ownership, and should be part of the overall
   effort to increase the transparency and accountability
   of public management. Involvement of the national of-
   fices for statistics is crucial in ensuring that data collec-
   tion methods, along with monitoring and evaluation, are
   properly integrated into the overall system of statistics
   and reporting at all levels.

a	
 Engagement       of all key stakeholders in preparing the
   methodology for district development planning is crucial.
   It ensures that the critical views and comments from the
   national and regional decision makers are reflected and
   included.

a	 clearer link should be established between the finan-
 A
   cial resources needed for the implementation of district
   development plans and budget planning at the national
   level.

a	 sustainability of a participatory planning concept at
 The
   the district level should be ensured. The district develop-
   ment councils should, therefore, be transformed into a
   more meaningful and sustainable institutionalized form
   of (district) development planning.

a	 facilitate horizontal learning and improve access to,
 To
   and exchange of, knowledge developed during projects,
   it is recommended that DGTTF management works with
   the relevant regional service centre to establish a user-
   friendly knowledge management system.

a	
 Changes in the DGTTF implementation framework (ex-
   tended duration of projects and increased budgets) will
   require a robust monitoring system. Given the two-year
   project period, it is recommended that mid-term reviews
   take place after the first year of implementation.




                                                                   8
                                                                       Specifically, the project was designed to support the preparation
                                                                       of regional development plans, which reflected local and
                                                                       regional development priorities. At the same time, links with
                                                                       the national strategic framework and financial resources were
                                                                       established.

                                                                       The second and the third projects are interlinked and it is difficult
                                                                       to review one without also considering the other. While the two
                                                                       projects are presented separately, the similarities are evident.



Introduction                                                           The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of these
                                                                       projects within the criteria of effectiveness, efficiency, innovation,
                                                                       catalytic effect, and sustainability, defined according to these
                                                                       DGTTF guidelines:

                                                                       a	
                                                                        Relevance – How relevant is the project to the country’s
Purpose, Scope and Methodology                                             priority needs, and was the right strategy applied within
The Democratic Governance Thematic Trust Fund (DGTTF)                      the country’s specific political, economic, and social con-
was created in 2001 to provide an opportunity for UNDP                     texts?
Country Offices to undertake innovative activities that could
have a catalytic effect in supporting sustainable democratic           a	
                                                                        Effectiveness – Effectiveness is a measure of the extent
governance.                                                                to which an aid activity attains its objectives.

Within a broader range of UNDP activities in Tajikistan, the           a	
                                                                        Efficiency      – Efficiency measures the outputs in relation
country office implemented three local governance projects,                to the inputs. Were activities cost-efficient and were ob-
funded by the DGTTF, in 2006, 2007 and 2008.                               jectives achieved on time?

The first project, Clean Start for Local Councils – Building           a	
                                                                        Innovation       – Innovative projects address recognized
Accountability at the Local Level, with total DGTTF                        critical democratic governance issues that, if resolved,
contribution of US$200,000, was designed to strengthen the                 may lead to substantial improvements in democratic
capacity of local councils to work professionally, transparently           governance. They are initiatives, in terms of the problem
and accountably. In addition, the project supported citizens’              addressed or the approach taken, that have never before
participation in local decision-making processes through the               been attempted in a given country. And although they
implementation of citizens’ report cards and the introduction              may be potentially risky or less certain of success than tra-
of a Citizens’ Charter. The project supported the establishment            ditional projects, they will position UNDP as a key player
of participatory planning mechanisms in the pilot districts                in democratic governance, one that ‘pushes the frontier’.
embodied in the District Development Councils.
                                                                       a	
                                                                        Catalytic effect – A catalytic project has a high likelihood
The second project, Building National Capacities for                       of receiving support from government or other govern-
Implementation of Poverty Reduction Strategies, supported                  ance institutions (including other donors) for scaling up
with US$130,000 funding from DGTTF, was designed to address                or following up, if the project is successful.
development challenges at the district level by establishing
district development plans, and connecting district authorities        a	
                                                                        Sustainability – Sustainability is concerned with meas-
to civil society and the private sector. The project also worked           uring whether the benefits of an activity are likely to con-
to increase district authorities’ knowledge of budget planning             tinue after donor funding has been withdrawn. Projects
and financial management, and to enhance capacities for aid                also need to be financially sustainable.
coordination, especially with international donors.
                                                                       The methodology utilized for this study consists of a preliminary
The third project, Building a Framework for Local Planning             literature review of all available project documents and reports,
and Budgeting, also supported with US$150,000 from the                 a political economy analysis of the situation in Tajikistan, and a
DGTTF, built on the achievements of the second project.                field visit to Dushanbe and Sughd province.


                                                                   9
                                                Local Governance and Decentralization

Structure of the report
The report is structured in four sections, in the following manner:

a	 order to situate the DGTTF projects assessed in this
 In
    report, the first section, Country Context, presents an
    overview of the socio-economic situation as well as the
    local system in Tajikistan.

a	 second, third and forth sections provide an analy-
 The
    sis of the impact of the DGTTF projects Clean Start for
    Local Councils – Building Accountability at the Local
    Level (2006), Building national capacities for imple-
    mentation of poverty reduction strategies (2007) and
    Building a Framework for Local Planning and Budget-
    ing (2008), following the above-mentioned criteria.

a	
 Finally, lessons learned and recommendations are pre-
    sented in the fifth section.




                                                                      10
                                                                              sustainable national development2. Following the PAR Strategy, a
                                                                              new public administration system for the country was adopted3,
                                                                              and work on reorganizing public entities and institutions began.

                                                                              Corruption remains one of the most serious problems for
                                                                              Tajikistan. One of the first steps taken to address the issue
                                                                              was the OECD’s Anti-Corruption Plan, adopted in Istanbul in


Country
                                                                              20034. The government developed the National Anti-Corruption
                                                                              Strategy, 2008 – 2012, as a nationwide anti-corruption plan. The
                                                                              State Committee on Financial Control and Fighting Corruption5

context                                                                       is responsible for implementing the anti-corruption measures.

                                                                              Socio-economic trends and developments
                                                                              Tajikistan’s macroeconomic performance has improved steadily
                                                                              in recent years. It has seen GDP grow at 8 percent annually,
                                                                              declining inflation, greater fiscal discipline, and a manageable
A small, landlocked nation with a population of about 7.2 million,            external debt. Growth was fuelled mainly by high world prices
Tajikistan is one of the world’s least accessible countries. Its high,        for aluminium and cotton, Tajikistan’s principal exports, and by
mountainous terrain and remoteness are compounded by a                        remittances.6 The economy is gradually diversifying, and this is
lack of infrastructure and a weak governance and regulatory                   reflected, inter alia, in the much smaller share of aluminium and
framework. These are significant barriers to external trade,                  cotton in value added products7, and an increase in the output
connectivity, and investment. It remains the poorest of the                   of non-traditional products. But Tajikistan remains the poorest
countries that emerged from the former Soviet Union and its                   of the former Soviet Union republics, with income per capita
fragile economy, still heavily reliant on agriculture, aluminium,             reaching just US$2,020 in 20108. It has made progress in terms
and hydroelectric power – as well as on its neighbours, especially            of enabling the business environment9, but efforts are still far
Uzbekistan, for international trade and transit – is vulnerable to            below those of neighbouring countries10. Poverty has declined
unexpected shocks, such as the severe 2007-08 winter, the 2007                since 1999 (from 72.4 percent in 2003 to 46.7 percent in 200911),
upsurge in world food and fuel prices, and, more recently, the                but still remains high. About 53 percent of the population,
global economic crisis. Its post-independence five-year civil war             rising to 70 percent in isolated rural and mountainous areas,
(1992-97) resulted in significant economic and human losses                   lives below the poverty line12.
amounting to an estimated 60 percent of GDP, and up to 50,000
deaths, and greatly complicated its initial economic transition.
                                                                              1
                                                                                Approved by Presidential Decree No. 1713 on 15 March 2006.
Tajikistan is a presidential republic, with a bicameral legislature.          2
                                                                                Specific objectives are to i) Increase effectiveness of the national development
The heavily centralized country is led by the President, Imomali              management: ii) Improve public administration in line with the market economy
                                                                              principles; iii) Increase effectiveness of the public finance management; iv) Form
Rahmon. The People’s Democratic Party of Tajikistan, led by the               modern professional civil service; v) Develop administrative and territorial mana-
President, won the February 2010 general election with 71.04                  gement; vi) Form local self-governance capable to provide qualitative services to
                                                                              the population.
percent of the vote, and controls both houses. Real power                     3
                                                                                Presidential Decree 541 (September 2008).
is concentrated in the executive rather than the legislative                  4
                                                                                 http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/51/3/37228458.pdf Last access: 26 April
branch of government. The role of civil society in politics, policy           2011. In particular, the Istanbul Action Plan of the ACN creates a peer review
                                                                              mechanism for a group of ex-Soviet countries. Tajikistan made its first status
development, and decision-making processes remains weak.                      report to the group in January 2004, and remains committed to implement
                                                                              the resulting 21 recommendations.
                                                                              5
                                                                                Signed by the President on 24 January 2008.
The public sector is also weak. Many public institutions are                  6
                                                                                Remittances rose from $82 million (5% of GDP) in 2003 to $2.6 billion (50%
inefficient, lacking accountability and transparency in financial             of GDP) in 2008.
                                                                              7
management and internal controls. The systems, procedures, and                  10% in 2006 compared to 30% in 2000.
                                                                              8
                                                                                Compared for example with USD 2291 Kyrgyzstan and 3,084 Uzbekistan for
capacity to fight corruption are frail, and the legal and regulatory          more details ref. to: http://hdrstats.undp.org/images/explanations/TJK.pdf
frameworks remain underdeveloped. The government has,                         Last access: 26 April 2011.
                                                                              9
                                                                                World Bank’s Doing Business 2011 report showed improvement from 149 in
though, attempted to deal with these deficiencies. In March
                                                                              2010 to 139 in 2011.
2006, it adopted the Public Administration Reform Strategy                    10
                                                                                 For example: Kazakhstan (59) and the Kyrgyz Republic (44).
                                                                              11
of the Republic of Tajikistan1 (2005-2015), whose goal was to                    MDG Progress Report.
                                                                              12
                                                                                 Projections based on World Bank. 2008. Tajikistan Living Standards Measure-
develop an effective public administration system as a basis for              ment Survey, 2008. Washington, DC.



                                                                         11
                                                 Local Governance and Decentralization

Since early 2009, the global economic and financial crisis has              Tajikistan’s territory is divided by regions (oblasts) that, in turn,
negatively affected Tajikistan’s fragile economy. Remittances from          are sub-divided into districts, towns and villages. The Gorno-
migrant workers fell by almost 15 percent13, affecting private              Badakhshan Autonomous Region is a special territorial and
consumption, reducing imports, and reducing construction                    administrative unit with more autonomy than Sughd and
activities. In addition, labour migrants returning to Tajikistan,           Khatlon regions. Among the country’s administrative and
mainly from Russia, are placing new demands on public services              territorial units, only the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous
and pressurizing the country’s social fabric14. As a result, poverty        Region enjoys the right of legislative initiative. Formation and
rates are likely to increase in the short to medium term. Job               abolishment of regions is the responsibility of Parliament, when
creation and fiscal stimulus measures are challenging under                 requested by the government.
current macroeconomic conditions.
                                                                            The administrative structure has another specific feature: 13
The fundamental challenge facing economic policy and future                 districts do not have a regional authority, but are directly ruled
reforms in Tajikistan is to ensure an acceptable post-crisis                by the centre, including three towns, 91 jamoats and three
growth for the economy, to alleviate poverty, and to increase               settlements. This is because these districts are located close to
employment.                                                                 the centre. In most cases, towns are directly accountable to
                                                                            regions and the central government17.
In 2005, the government, in partnership with UNDP, undertook
a detailed assessment of resources needed to achieve the                    The local government structure is organized as follows:
MDGs. A key conclusion highlighted a large resource gap and
recommended donors to double aid to help the country to                     a	 community level: village and town governments in
                                                                             The
meet its MDG targets by 2015. The assessment formed a basis                      rural areas (jamoat, shakhrak and dekhot).
for alignment of national development strategies and policies
with MDG priorities.                                                        a	 district level: administrations of cities and districts
                                                                             The
                                                                                 (rayons) subordinated to regions (oblasts), four Dushanbe
Following this assessment, the Government of Tajikistan,                         city districts subordinate to Dushanbe city government
with UNDP’s support, designed and adopted the National                           as well as those of thirteen districts directly subordinate
Development Strategy15 2006-2015. This strategy focuses on                       to the Republic.
three interlinked goals: (a) promotion of sustainable economic
growth, (b) improvement of public administration, and (c)                   a	 regional level: administrations of Dushanbe, the Gor-
                                                                             The
development of human resources.                                                  no-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, and Khatlon and
                                                                                 Leninabad regions, all of which are directly subordinate
Two poverty reduction strategies (2004-2006 and 2007-                            to the national government.
2009) were also developed to help implement the National
Development Strategy. The government subsequently                           Local authorities consist of representative and executive bodies
adopted a third poverty reduction strategy (2010-2012), which               that act within their terms of reference. Representative bodies
included an action plan with much more realistic and focused                in regions, cities and districts are assemblies (majils) whose
targets. However, implementation of that action plan remains                delegates are elected for a period of five years. The khukumat is
challenging, as there are no direct links between the strategic             the assembly’s executive body. Both the representative and the
framework and financial resources from the national budget.                 executive bodies are headed by a chairman, who is appointed
                                                                            by the president and approved by an assembly18. In contrast,
Local governance system in Tajikistan
Legal framework
                                                                            13
                                                                               The Country Partnership Strategy for Tajikistan 2010-2014 by the Asian De-
The administrative and territorial structure of the Republic of
                                                                            velopment Bank
Tajikistan did not change after independence from the Soviet                14
                                                                               According to the Asian Development Bank Country Partnership Strategy
Union. It is still determined by the country’s administrative-              2010-2014, the number of labour migrants returning to Tajikistan is estimated
                                                                            at 460,000.
territorial structure16, defined in the Law on Local Government             15
                                                                               http://www.untj.org/principals/files/nds/nds_first_draft.pdf- National De-
and the Order of Formation and Restructuring of the                         velopment Strategy for the Republic of Tajikistan 2006-2015. Last access: 26
                                                                            April 2011.
Administrative-Territorial Units.                                           16
                                                                               Art. 76-80 and 83 of the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan.
                                                                            17
                                                                               These are so-called ‘direct rule towns’, which have a population of less than
                                                                            200,000, but are of significant administrative, industrial and social and cultural
                                                                            importance. However, the legislation does not clearly define the concept of
                                                                            ‘republican importance’ and ‘direct republican rule’.



                                                                       12
                                                      Tajikistan Project Assessment

Figure 1 Administrative and territorial structure of the Republic of Tajikistan


                                                      REPuBLIC	of	TAjIkIsTAn



            GoRno-
                                               kHATLon                                 suGHD
         BADAkHsHAn
                                                Region                                 Region
       Autonomous	Region
                                                                                                                     13	direct	rule	districts
                                                                                                                       3	direct	rule	cities
                                              24	districts
           7	districts	and                                                         14	districts
                                         3	direct	rule	districts
                1	city                                                       7	cities	of	region	rule
                                         1	town	of	region	rule



                                             130 jamoats                   20 urban type settlements                         91 jamaots
             43 jamaots
                                             6 settlements                       113 jamoats                                3 settlements


the village-level local administration is represented by a directly         Financing local government in Tajikistan
elected village jamoat.                                                     Distribution of responsibilities between the central and local
                                                                            governments, and the procedure of planning and operating
The way that local government functions is defined by the                   local budgets, are defined by the Constitution, the laws on
Constitution, the Law on Local Public Administration, and the               Self-Government Bodies in Settlements and Villages, on State
Law on Local Self-Government in Villages and Towns.                         Finance, and annual Public Budget laws.

Local governments’ functions are categorized as their own                   Article 5 of the law on State Finance of the Republic of Tajikistan
(exclusive), delegated, joint, and those functions based on                 deals with local budgets: a) the budget of the Gorno-Badakhshan
voluntary initiatives. Local governments have their own                     Autonomous Region and its cities and districts, b) the budgets
responsibilities and can propose initiatives, make decisions, and           of regions, cities and districts of regional rule, c) the budget
implement activities autonomously. Any issues not previously                of Dushanbe and its districts, d) the budgets of directly ruled
delegated to other authorities and involving local interests are            cities and districts, and e) the budget of jamoats. However,
referred to the local government. In addition, the Constitution             financial autonomy in Tajikistan can be considered only at the
grants local governments some authority to develop and                      level of regions, cities and districts. Therefore, jamoats do not
implement their own budgets in coordination with national                   have financial autonomy and their basic expenses are financed
institutions, and to establish local fees, taxes, and duties. The           from city and district budgets22.
Law on Local Public Administration allocates income tax to local
budgets, to be utilized for the social needs of the territory in
keeping with the Law on Social Insurance.
                                                                            18
                                                                               The Assembly has a right to carry out a vote of no-confidence in the head
                                                                            and other officials of local administration.
The Constitution states that a jamoat is an institution of self-            19
                                                                               In this law, local self-governance is described as “the system of organizing
government in towns and villages. The framework for their                   public activities to address issues of local importance autonomously and at
                                                                            their own discretion, directly or indirectly, in accordance with the legislation of
authority is set forth in the Law on Local Self-government in               Republic of Tajikistan. Local self-governments resolve issues within their com-
Towns and Villages19. Jamoats are formed on a territorial basis             petence directly or through their representatives.”
                                                                            20
                                                                               The Constitutional Law “On Elections to Local Councils (Madjlis) of People’s
and possess legal status and an official seal. Town or village              Deputies” was proposed and adopted in December 1999 (effective as of 2000).
self-government revenue sources include budget allocations                  It reflects the new political realities and enables participation of political par-
from city or regional councils, voluntary donations from citizens,          ties and community organizations in the election process. In addition, this
                                                                            law stipulated that the establishment of no less than 70 single-seat electoral
and working collectives.                                                    constituencies for the elections of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous region,
                                                                            regional and Dushanbe city councils, and no less than 40 single-seat electoral
                                                                            constituencies for elections of district and city councils.
The Law on Self-Activity and the Law on Public Association                  21
                                                                               Currently active are makhallia (community) committees, microraion coun-
(kishlak – village organizations20) regulate the workings of local          cils, housing block committees or other kishlak (villages).
                                                                            22
self-government institutions21.                                                According to the amendment made in the law in 2009, jamoats can have
                                                                            their own budgets with effect from 2011. But the mechanism for implementa-
                                                                            tion of this amendment has not yet been developed.



                                                                      13
                                              Local Governance and Decentralization

The Tax Code (2004) specifies the local tax revenues: property
tax, transport tax, state duties, and retail taxes. However, all
other taxes are national and are shared between central and
local budgets23. This is done in accordance with the Public
Budget law for the following year. Non-tax revenues and duties
include the proceeds from privatization, the sale of shares,
patent fees, dividends on government shares, interest on state
capital investments, administrative fees, fines, and penalties.
Local budgets also receive revenue in the form of targeted
funds, bank loans, and transfers for mutual settlement or the
reduction of budget deficits.

The budgeting process is centralized, with the Ministry of
Finance playing a key role. It determines, on the basis of norms
and estimations and required subsidies, the revenues and
expenditures of local budgets. The gap between expenses and
generated revenues has to be covered by the annual review of
national tax distribution between central and local budgets, as
well as by subsidies.




                                                                        23
                                                                           Taxes are shared in accordance with the Public Budget law for the following
                                                                        year.



                                                                   14
                                                                            transparency and accountability, as defined in the revised legal
                                                                            framework (e.g. the Law on State Administration strengthened
                                                                            the position of district councils in their budgetary and
                                                                            administrative oversight). The scope of the intervention


Project
                                                                            was valid, appropriate, clear, coherent, and had a consistent
                                                                            set of objectives in line with national priorities.

                                                                            The real time assessment showed that the project remained
Clean Start for Local Councils –                                            highly relevant throughout its implementation. Its targets
Building Accountability at the Local                                        and results defined during the formulation phase were
                                                                            appropriate, and adjustments were not needed. By addressing
Level (2006)                                                                key development priorities, such as strengthening of local
                                                                            councils, reform of public administration, anti-corruption,
                                                                            transparency and accountability in the public sector, results
                                                                            contributed towards the development of good governance
                                                                            in Tajikistan.

                 Clean Start for Local Councils – Building
 Project	title
                 Accountability at the Local Level
                                                                            Effectiveness
                                                                            The project was implemented effectively, and all planned results
 Duration        January – December 2006                                    were achieved.

 funding         US$200,000 from DGTTF                                      The capacity development component provided technical
                                                                            assistance to district and jamoat-level civil servants in the five
                 Strengthen the capacity of local councils to
                                                                            pilot districts (Isfara, Vahdat, Tavildara, Rasht, and Kolkhozobad)
                 better guide local policy development to ensure
 Aim             a professional level of self-government, with              on topics related to public administration and local governance.
                 a minimum of corruption, and a maximum of                  The project also addressed capacity needs of elected councillors
                 accountability
                                                                            at the jamoat and district levels in those five districts, increasing
                 a	Capacity development programme for newly                 their knowledge of decentralization, civic participation, strategic
                      elected district councils
                 a	Citizen Report Cards introduced to measure               planning, and municipal budgeting.
 Results           citizen satisfaction with public services
                   (delivered by local governments)
                 a	Citizen charters introduced as a tool to increase        Citizen Report Cards were designed and implemented in
                   accountability at the local level                        the same five districts. Approximately 4,000 households
                                                                            participated in the survey (the first pilot district accounted
                                                                            for 900 households – 600 rural and 300 urban). The project
The project aimed to develop the capacities of newly elected                supported the implementation of the post-survey actions,
district councils. Specifically, they worked to generate better             such as informing stakeholders of the survey findings, and
performance, and to provide policy guidance to local councils               defining and implementing activities to improve specific
by reflecting citizen satisfaction and measuring performance                aspects of service delivery. At the project level, the population
through citizens’ report cards. The project also worked to increase         of the five pilot districts reported a marked improvement in
local government accountability and commitment through                      the quality of communal services delivered in 2007 in areas
the introduction of a Citizens’ Charter. The project achieved all           identified by the Citizens Report Cards in 2006 as problematic
of its objectives.                                                          in 2006.


Relevance                                                                   Citizens’ charters in the jamoats were prepared with the
The project was evaluated on its design phase and real time                 assistance of the Institute for Civil Servants Training. Support
relevance.                                                                  to citizen participation in local decision-making processes
                                                                            was strengthened by establishing district development
There was a high level of design phase relevance. The                       councils in the pilot districts. These are multi-sector forums
project addressed the specific needs of newly elected                       with representation from the public, private, and civil
local government structures in Tajikistan (at district and                  society sectors. Four projects were selected by the district
jamoat levels) to carry out their functions with increased


                                                                       15
                                                  Local Governance and Decentralization

development councils and supported with small grants of                      Catalytic effect
US$3,00024.                                                                  The Government of Tajikistan took firm ownership of the project
                                                                             and its immediate results. Activities initially implemented in
Efficiency                                                                   five pilot districts were expanded to a further six districts. The
The project was implemented under the UNDP Direct Execution                  Strategic Research Centre led implementation of the citizens’
Modality, whereby UNDP Tajikistan took overall responsibility                report cards and citizen charters, while the Institute for Civil
for its general and financial management.                                    Service Training directed the capacity development programme.
                                                                             These activities were supported financially by UNDP, DFID, ADB,
Implementation was efficient, with timely outputs and fund                   CIDA, and GTZ, through the multi-donor funded Communities
utilization. The implementation mechanism developed for the                  Programme 2007-2009. The total project budget for this
Communities Programme was used, and that further increased                   period was approximately US$22 million, while this particular
efficiency in terms of using available resources in the office.              component was supported with around US$3.5 million25.

Innovation                                                                   The District Development Committees established with support
The DGTTF funds have enabled UNDP Tajikistan to strengthen                   from the DGTTF project introduced development plans in the
local governance by creating partnerships between the public,                five districts. The follow up project, Building National Capacities
private, and civil society sectors at the jamoat and district levels.        for Implementation of Poverty Reduction Strategies (US$130,000),
The project addressed gaps in the capacity of district councils              helped communities to identify development priorities through
to comprehensively implement new functions arising from                      the interaction of public, private, and civil society sectors
the reformed legal framework. It has also enabled UNDP to                    represented in the committees. This approach was expanded
introduce innovative tools, such as citizen report card surveys              further in a large scale Rural Growth Programme (funded by
and citizens’ charters, to improve public service delivery.                  DFID, UNDP, and GTZ). A total of US$5 million is allocated for
                                                                             the 2010 – 2012 Good Governance component, whose key
The project applied the following innovative methodology                     focus is development planning for 14 districts and 65 jamoats.
and tools:
                                                                             Sustainability
a	 project pursued a systematic approach to training,
 The                                                                         The review of each project’s sustainability suggests a very high
    encompassing the following key elements: situation anal-                 level of sustainability for elements of the project.
    ysis and training needs assessment (focused on analys-
    ing the existing problem and identification of the training              Training for the Institute for Civil Servants adopted the
    needs); design of training (including model and meth-                    programme used to train civil servants in the pilot districts. In the
    odology, learning objectives, and the content of training                preceding three years, nearly four thousand civil servants from
    based on the results of the analysis); implementation of                 the central and local governments, as well as local authorities,
    training (including mentoring and on the job-training                    were trained. Then, in 2009, the Institute for Civil Servants
    to ensure that the training is relevant and practical), and              launched a Master’s Degree Programme in Public Administration,
    evaluation of training.                                                  where 61 civil servants are now continuing their education26.

a	
 Citizen Report Cards were developed for the first time                      The Institute for Civil Servants also took responsibility for
    to reflect public perceptions of the Poverty Reduction                   implementing the Citizens Charters, which are now funded
    Strategy through transparent and systematic analysis of                  from national resources.
    public services. The mechanism was based on a survey
    of the actual users of public services: the feedback of the              Meanwhile, the President of Tajikistan’s Strategic Research Centre
    households on their experiences with public services was                 took over responsibility for the implementation of the Citizens
    collected, analysed and disseminated.
                                                                             24
                                                                                 The approved projects were: the construction of an IP telephone station in
a	
 Citizen charters were designed to complement the citi-                      Tavildara, the construction of a women’s hospital in Kolkhozobod, the rehabi-
    zens’ report card system. They list services that local gov-             lition of a water supply system in Isfara, and the reconstruction of a women’s
                                                                             clinic in Vahdat.
    ernments provide, along with information on fees and                     25
                                                                                 UNDP (2009) : Outcomes Evaluation Report: Communities Program in Tajikis-
    service charges, including the time required to complete                 tan, prepared by Ton de Klerk, Elena Krylova-Mueller.
                                                                             26
    a formal administrative procedure or provide requested                       The official presentation of the Institute for Improving the Qualifications of
                                                                             Civil Servants of the Republic of Tajikistan: www.dtixd.tj Last access: 26 April
    service.                                                                 2011.



                                                                        16
                                                     Tajikistan Project Assessment

Report Cards, and this has become one of its core services. It
is driven and financed by the Strategic Research Centre and
the survey reports are released regularly in each calendar year.

District Development Councils were established as a model
for inclusive and transparent decision-making. They brought
together local stakeholders, including government, civil society,
and the private sector around common development challenges.
These councils built trust between government, civil society, and
the private sector, as well as helping to include some groups
that have traditionally had limited access to decision-making27.

Gender
Since gender indicators were not included at the project design
stage, gender mainstreaming was difficult to assess. Therefore, an
analysis of the gender dimension within this project was done
indirectly, reviewing activities, processes and analysing outputs.

The training delivery reports show that all training sessions had
an equal number of women and men. The project also promoted
a gender balance in the district development councils. It will
be more challenging to identify how district development
priorities and goals affect women and men differently, and
how to promote gender equality in implementing the strategy.




                                                                          27
                                                                               e.g. opposition or small political parties.



                                                                     17
                                                                            team with partners from the central and local level. The analysis
                                                                            included a review of results from the previous Communities
                                                                            Programme (including DGTTF projects) and the key objectives
                                                                            and priorities as highlighted in the national development


Project
                                                                            framework28. Therefore, by addressing regional and district
                                                                            development discrepancies, capacity gaps at the district levels
                                                                            in planning, budgeting, and financial management, along with
                                                                            lack of aid coordination mechanisms at the district level, the
Building national capacities for                                            project proved highly relevant.
implementation of poverty reduction
                                                                            The project intervention remained valid and relevant throughout
strategies (2007)                                                           its implementation: its results and targets, defined during the
                                                                            formulation phase, remained relevant during its implementation
                                                                            and adjustments were not needed.

                                                                            Effectiveness
                                                                            The project’s expected results were completed, contributing
                 Building national capacities for implementation of
 Project	title
                 poverty reduction strategies
                                                                            to the achievement of the overall objective.

 Duration        January – December 2007                                    The project’s key achievements included:

 funding         US$130,000 from DGTTF                                      a	 district development plans, which were implement-
                                                                             The
                                                                                 ed in three Zarafshan Valley districts, based on locally
                 To address district development differences through
                                                                                 identified priorities and results of a baseline survey. The
 Aim             participatory mechanisms for identification of
                 development priorities                                          documents were also linked to National Development
                                                                                 Strategy, Poverty Reduction Strategy, and MDG indicators
                 a	District Development Plans elaborated in three
                      Zarafshan Valley districts                                 to balance local needs with national priorities. From the
                 a	Comprehensive capacity development                            perspective of district authorities and district develop-
 Results           programme for elected representatives and civil
                   servants from the district and jamoat level                   ment committee members, the plans served as a mecha-
                 a	Improvement of the government’s information                   nism for coordinating the contributions of different actors
                   systems for planning, monitoring and evaluation
                   of public policy
                                                                                 to local development, including international assistance.
                                                                                 By linking budget/financial resources with the District De-
                                                                                 velopment Plan, local authorities and citizens increased
                                                                                 their awareness of the budget allocation system and re-
The project aimed to address district development differences
                                                                                 forms needed for full-fledged application of bottom-up
through participatory mechanisms for identifying development
                                                                                 planning and budgeting.
priorities. Specifically, it facilitated preparation District
Development Plans in three Zarafshan Valley districts, using
a participatory approach. In parallel, the project worked to
                                                                            a	 project designed and implemented a comprehen-
                                                                             The
                                                                                 sive training programme: i) training on planning for dis-
enhance the capacities of elected representatives and civil
                                                                                 trict authorities and jamoat representatives; ii) training
servants from the district and jamoat levels to prioritize poverty
                                                                                 on poverty reduction planning and monitoring for the
reduction activities. At the national level, the project supported
                                                                                 Economic Reforms, Statistics, and Finance departments,
improvement of the government’s information systems for
                                                                                 the Land Committees, the District Employment Centres;
planning, monitoring, and evaluation of public policy. The
                                                                                 and iii) training for participatory budgeting and planning
project achieved all its objectives.
                                                                                 for councillors (local council deputies) and district finance
                                                                                 officers.
Relevance
The project was designed coherently and based on a detailed
participatory approach involving stakeholders (target groups
and beneficiaries) from the central government and district
levels. The programming process followed an established model:              28
                                                                              Priorities are highlighted in the National Development Strategy, the PRS and
the situation and needs analysis were conducted by the UNDP                 the Public Administration Reform Strategy.



                                                                       18
                                                     Tajikistan Project Assessment

a	
 Although       information on the effectiveness of training              development plans. It used a participatory approach to identify
    inputs is missing, district level actors and interviewed              strategic priorities and to establish specific local mechanisms,
    stakeholders from the district development committees                 instruments and indicators, aligned with National Development
    confirmed that training provided in the process of elabo-             Strategy and Poverty Reduction Strategy indicators, and to
    rating district development plans made them better able               allocate the required financial resources to implement priorities.
    to contribute to the planning process. Inclusion of dis-
    trict council members in the training proved beneficial               In addition, the project provided tailor-made capacity
    for their understanding of the potential role of mid-term             development programme (training and mentoring) on poverty
    planning in the local development process.                            reduction planning and monitoring, plus design of district
                                                                          development plans.
a	 project helped improve the government’s informa-
 The
    tion systems for planning, monitoring, and evaluation of              Finally, the project supported a new approach to donor aid
    public policy. This was done by introducing district and              coordination through a comprehensive information system.
    regional authorities to new information collection and                This system encompassed data from the jamoats, and from
    registration tools, and aligning collected data with na-              the district and national level on a wide range of issues and in
    tional indicators of MDG, National Development Strategy               particular, as a matter of priority, on development and poverty
    and Poverty Reduction Strategy targets. In addition to the            reduction trends in different parts of the country.
    main statistical data entry tool, other instruments were
    also introduced, such as socio-economic baseline survey               Catalytic effect
    and citizen report cards (these instruments were origi-               The project operated within an existing partnership between
    nally development within the framework of the DGTTF-                  UNDP and key national and international development partners,
    supported project Clean Start for Local Councils – Building           because it was implemented as a part of the Communities
    Accountability at the Local Level).                                   Programme.

Efficiency                                                                The positive experience and achievements of the project set
In recognition of the special development situation of                    the ground for the next phase of the Communities Programme.
Tajikistan and the limited capacity of local authorities to               The project had secured additional funding from DGTTF (for the
execute the project, it was agreed to use the Direct Execution            Building a Framework for Local Planning and Budgeting project,
implementation modality. The project was implemented directly             which was integrated into the Communities Programme), as
by UNDP Tajikistan under the umbrella of UNDP’s Communities               well as from the UK Department for International Development
Programme in close collaboration with the government. This                and the Canadian International Development Agency.
arrangement ensured efficient project delivery, with the overall
responsibility for the management of the project resting with             In addition, the project contributed directly to enhancing
the Communities Programme.                                                partnerships between UNDP and national partners. This is
                                                                          reflected by the agreements signed between UNDP and the
The Communities Programme adapted its structures as required,             Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the Strategic
and established transparent project administration procedures             Research Centre, the Institute for the Civil Servants Training, the
and operation systems. This helped ensure the scheduled                   Ministry of Finance, the State Statistic Committee, the Ministry
delivery of inputs and production of outputs. The project’s               of Labour and Social Protection, and the Parliament.
financial management was based on UNDP procedures, and
regular financial reports were prepared.                                  Sustainability
                                                                          Based on the results of the DGTTF project and following the
Innovation                                                                same approach, the District Development Plans were prepared
In post-conflict Tajikistan, the gap between districts deepened           for the new six districts (in addition to those targeted by the
as a consequence of the existing differences in the economy,              project). At the same time, three districts that had already
infrastructure, employment, income, and living standards                  adopted development plans focussed on their implementation.
between the country’s regions. At the same time, there was a              These activities were implemented within the framework of the
lack of a comprehensive methodological framework to address               Communities Programme.
priorities at the national, regional and local level and establish
links between planning and budgeting processes. The project               The key role in this preparation process and implementation was
introduced a unique and innovative approach to prepare district           and remained with the district development councils. They fulfill


                                                                     19
                                                 Local Governance and Decentralization

a number of functions that in a long run should become the
responsibilities of district authorities and their departments (e.g.
strategic development planning, decision making on resources
allocation, updating, maintaining and analysing district socio-
economic database, coordination of development plans, and
investments with external actors). The councils are currently
supported through different projects and activities, which is
why their sustainability remains critical.

The sustainability of training programmes designed and tested
with support of this project was ensured, because the Institute
for Civil Service Training adopted them for its regular curricula.
Training was delivered to district stakeholders in districts that
have started to prepare development plans. However, capacities
available at the district level are still weak, which affects the
sustainability of the participatory planning concept. Despite
intensive local capacity development efforts, the process of
developing plans is being led to a large extent by national level
experts, which is why further work on improving capacities at
the district level is required.

Improving the government’s information systems for planning,
monitoring and evaluation of public policy helped to improve
informed decision making and planning process. It also helped
in monitoring and evaluating development inputs based on
up-to-date and accurate data available at the district level. The
introduction of multiple data collection and assessment tools
required effort in terms of developing local partner capacities,
but it currently operates well.

The citizen report cards method became an attractive tool for
monitoring changes based on citizens’ perception. The Centre
for Strategic Research is leading and coordinating all activities
related to collection of this information.

Gender
Gender indicators were not included at the project design stage,
so gender mainstreaming was difficult to assess. The gender
dimension within this project was, therefore, indirectly analysed,
by reviewing activities, processes and analysing outputs.

According to the training delivery reports, in all training sessions
there were equal numbers of women and men. In addition, the
project promoted gender balance in the district development
councils. The data collected through the information system
were disaggregated for men and women. This is the first required
step in preparation of more gender sensitive policies.




                                                                       20
                                                                              centralized and uncoordinated budgeting and a general lack
                                                                              of capacities among the civil servants.

                                                                              The project intervention remained valid and relevant throughout
                                                                              its implementation. The results and targets defined during the
                                                                              formulation phase remained relevant during its implementation


Project
                                                                              and adjustments were not needed.

                                                                              Effectiveness
Building a Framework for Local                                                Implementation of the project was effective. The expected
                                                                              results were completed, contributing to the achievement of
Planning and Budgeting (2008)                                                 the overall objective.

                                                                              The project delivered the following key results:

                                                                              a	 Methodology for planning, budgeting, and moni-
                                                                               The
                                                                                   toring and evaluation at district and jamoat levels: the
                 Building a Framework for Local Planning and
 Project	title
                 Budgeting
                                                                                   methodology was based on the Proposal for Reform of
                                                                                   Tajikistan’s Planning and Budgeting System, prepared
 Duration        January – December 2008                                           by the National Expert Working Group29. In addition, the
                                                                                   methodology reflected practical experience and results
 funding         US$130,000 from DGTTF                                             from the previous DGTTF projects, including lessons
                                                                                   learned and recommendations.
                 To strengthen effective and responsive governance
                 by partnering with national level government
 Aim
                 institutions to reform the planning and budgeting            a	
                                                                               A      comprehensive capacity development programme,
                 processes at the district and region levels                       which comprised methodological guidelines and a train-
                 a	The methodology for planning, budgeting                         ing/mentoring programme for planning, budgeting, and
                   and monitoring and evaluation at district and                   monitoring and evaluation was developed.
                   jamoat level
                 a	Proposal for reform of Tajikistan’s planning and
 Results           budgeting system                                           a	
                                                                               Training was delivered to 220 district and regional offi-
                 a	Capacity development programme for planning,                    cials, and the results were evaluated.
                   budgeting, and monitoring and evaluation
                 a	Training for district and region officials and
                   results evaluated
                                                                              Efficiency
                                                                              Like the other projects in this review, this project was directly
                                                                              executed in accordance with the DEX guidelines under the
The project aimed to prepare a comprehensive programme of                     umbrella of UNDP’s Communities Programme and in close
reform of Tajikistan’s planning, budgeting, and monitoring and                collaboration with the government. This arrangement ensured
evaluation methodology at district and regional levels. It also               efficient project delivery, with overall responsibility for the
aimed to prepare guidelines and a training curriculum for the                 project’s management, including financial management, resting
new methodology to enhance the capacities of 220 district and                 with the Communities Programme.
regional officials to comply with new procedures. The project
achieved all of its objectives.                                               The project was implemented through the existing structure of
                                                                              the Communities Programme’s head office in Dushanbe. Area
Relevance                                                                     offices in Ayni, Khujand, Kulyab, Shaartuz, and Gharm were
In terms of the design phase, the project was highly relevant.                responsible for assisting local councils and district development
It established a clear rationale for the intervention, with a well-
defined hierarchy of objectives and a set of robust progress
indicators at each stage. In terms of content, the project was                29
                                                                                 National Expert Working Group represented the partnership between UNDP,
designed to address some of the most challenging governance                   the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, and the Ministry of Finance,
issues in Tajikistan: public sector inefficiency, lack of coordination        with the principle role being to identify current planning and budgeting prac-
                                                                              tices and determine how it can be best incorporated into the government’s
and accountability in the public finance system, including
                                                                              existing planning and budgeting framework.



                                                                         21
                                                Local Governance and Decentralization

committees in following up on the training, and for backstopping           country by providing technical assistance to implement the
the activities.                                                            new planning and budgeting model.

The project management structure ensured efficient                         Sustainability
implementation, with all results produced within the                       Engaging regional authorities and national actors into a standard
proposed timeframe. In addition, it enabled swift integration              participatory planning methodology was deemed an absolute
of achievements into the Communities Programme.                            priority. The sustainability of methodology for preparation of
                                                                           district development plans was strongly supported by the
Innovation                                                                 key national institutions (including the Ministry of Finance,
The project introduced a new implementation approach to                    the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, and the
planning and budgeting in Tajikistan. This was elaborated in               Strategic Research Centre under the President), resulting in its
the methodology for planning, budgeting, and monitoring                    adoption as the national platform for planning at district level.
and evaluation at district and jamoat levels. At the same time,
the project supported a new planning and budgeting practice.               Implementing the participatory planning and budgeting
For the first time in Tajikistan, this integrated and coordinated          methodology has experienced some limitations, such as the
national (horizontal), and district and jamoats (vertical) planning        lack of financial resources (especially the unpredictable transfers
and budgeting processes.                                                   from the central level), insufficient links to sectoral programmes
                                                                           and reforms, the State Mid-Term Expenditure Framework, the
The project tested an innovative model in capacity development,            ongoing public administration reform, and the overall discussion
which consisted of a well-balanced combination of training and             over decentralization of responsibilities and fiscal powers.
mentoring. Learning by doing with the support of experienced
peers proved an excellent tool for improving performance.                  The sustainability of training programmes on strategic planning,
                                                                           participatory budgeting, poverty mapping, and monitoring was
In terms of innovation, the project enabled the Communities                ensured by their use by the Institute for Civil Service Training as
Programme to expand the scope of its intervention into a new               its regular curricula for civil servants’ professional advancement.
area, reform of public administration.                                     It is supported from the national budget and is an ongoing
                                                                           activity of the centre.
Catalytic effect
The project expanded the scope of the Communities Programme                Gender
to public administration reform, and built on the quality and              Gender indicators were not included at the project design stage,
impact of past interventions. It strengthened UNDP’s presence              so gender mainstreaming was difficult to assess. Therefore, an
at the national level and enhanced partnerships with the key               analysis of the gender dimension within this project was done
national institutions.                                                     indirectly, reviewing activities and processes, and analysing
                                                                           outputs.
The project supported the development of the methodology
for planning, budgeting and monitoring and evaluation at                   Gender mainstreaming was addressed indirectly. The training
district and jamoat levels. This methodology was endorsed by               delivery reports show that all training sessions had an equal
the government and adopted as the official, national policy for            number of women and men.
planning and budgeting at district and jamoat levels.
                                                                           It is difficult to know whether gender mainstreaming was
Although the policy framework was adopted, the issue of scarce             considered during the design of the methodology for preparation
capacities for its implementation remained evident. Therefore,             of district development plans. Nevertheless, during the review
after positive experience with DGTTF-funded activities and initial         it was confirmed that the Ministry of Economic Development
success in implementation of planning, budgeting, monitoring               and Trade was working with local authorities to update the
and evaluation in pilot districts, the project (including the              methodology to consider cross-cutting issues, including gender.
project team) was institutionalized in the Ministry of Economic
Development and Trade. The initial DGTTF project was followed
up with a larger (US$3 million) UNDP project, financed from
UNDP’s core resources. Within the framework of this larger
project, UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Economic
Development and Trade expanded activities throughout the


                                                                      22
                                                                           indicators related to the national MDG targets, and National
                                                                           Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy targets).


Lessons                                                                    The project’s results established a basis for improving governance
                                                                           practices, especially in evidence-based policy and decision-

learned and                                                                making, and in monitoring and evaluation of public policies.
                                                                           Unfortunately, this was utilized only to a limited degree, as


recommen-
                                                                           Tajikistan remains heavily centralized and the collected data
                                                                           and information are not publicly available.



dations                                                                    Therefore, development of a data collection system and a
                                                                           sound mechanism for monitoring and evaluating public policies
                                                                           have to be implemented in parallel with other activities aimed
                                                                           at improving the transparency and accountability of public
                                                                           institutions.

Citizen Report Cards have limited impact                                   The involvement of the National Office for Statistics is needed
in the centralized decision making system                                  to ensure that the data collection methods and monitoring
The development of tailor-made citizen report cards as an                  and evaluation are properly integrated into the overall system
alternative and innovative tool to monitor access to, and quality          of statistics and reporting at all levels.
of, basic public services in Tajikistan was a key achievement of
the DGTTF. Initial activities showed for the first time how people         Engagement of all key stakeholders in
perceived services and service providers.                                  preparation of Methodology for district
                                                                           development planning was crucial
The citizen report cards method is currently the responsibility of         The training provided through the DGTTF project support during
the Centre for Strategic Research. Progress in its implementation          the preparation of district development plans strengthened the
is noticeable – it has spread to all districts – and it is becoming        abilities of the district development councils to embark on the
an attractive tool for monitoring changes based on citizens’               planning process. The inclusion of district council members in
perception.                                                                training activities proved beneficial for their understanding of
                                                                           the potential role of mid-term planning in local development
However, the Tajikistan experience suggests that the real impact           processes.
of citizen report cards is limited by centralized planning and
decision-making. There is little evidence to suggest that local            Engaging regional and national authorities proved crucial for the
authorities directly concerned with the results of the citizen             success of the project, as it ensured that the critical views and
report cards are able to bring about change and invest in                  comments from the national and regional decision makers were
service improvement.                                                       reflected. The proposed methodology was adopted as a standard
                                                                           participatory planning approach compatible with the overall
Therefore, in order to ensure that citizen report cards improve            system of planning and budgeting in Tajikistan. In this way, the
performance, they should be part of a broader decentralization             DGTTF project introduced an innovative and unique practice
process. That should strengthen downward and upward                        in Tajikistan that differed from other similar district planning
accountability within governance structures30.                             initiatives. Currently, the Ministry of Economic Development
                                                                           and Trade and the Ministry of Finance, in partnership with UNDP,
Successful data-collection systems require                                 provide technical support to district development committees
national leadership and ownership                                          in formulating their plans.
The DGTTF projects supported improvement of the government’s
information systems for planning, monitoring, and evaluation
of public policy. This included strengthening the capacities of
regional and district authorities in data collection. This new
approach enabled the alignment of collected data from district
and regional levels with national level indicators (primarily,             30
                                                                             UNDP (2010): Fostering Social Accountability: from Principle to Practice. A Gui-
                                                                           dance Note. Page 9.



                                                                      23
                                               Local Governance and Decentralization

Implementation of the District Development                                and evaluation at district level, a methodology for regional
Plans requires financial resources from                                   development planning, and a number of practical documents
national budgets                                                          and learning materials to support transparent and accountable
The methodology introduced for district development planning              governance. However, this knowledge is not collected and
promoted a new development paradigm in Tajikistan. But the                captured systematically. Some of these documents are either
implementation of district development plans remains a much               stored in the project archives or are unavailable because of
more challenging task, mainly due to limited financial resources.         changes in the project management, or because of closure of
Financing district development plans is restricted mainly to              project tools and products.
mobilizing extra-budgetary funds (local and international) with
no link to the national or regional budgets. Implementation               Opportunities to establish a comprehensive and user-friendly
is also hindered by cumbersome financial and reporting                    knowledge management system to codify and store generated
procedures imposed by international development partners.                 knowledge should be explored. This will facilitate the horizontal
                                                                          learning process and ensure better exchange of information
The Tajikistan experience shows that participatory planning               and access to knowledge derived from different DGTTF projects.
could be successful during the planning phase. But to ensure
that priorities are acted upon, planning processes must be                DGTTF should improve monitoring practice
linked to the national budgeting and expenditure frameworks.              The review of the DGTTF projects in Tajikistan showed that
For better utilization of funds from international funding                monitoring (and, to a large degree, reporting practice) was
opportunities, there is a need to develop commonly adopted                critical in the management of projects. Projects were approved
procedures in parallel with planning.                                     and implemented without a clear and measurable set of
                                                                          indicators at different levels of intervention logic (outcome,
The sustainability of a participatory planning                            objective, results). Monitoring visits were not organized during
concept at the district level has to be ensured                           implementation. This review was the first on-site visit to DGTTF
District development councils supported through the DGTTF                 projects in Tajikistan and it occurred long after completion of
projects served as a coordination mechanism for different                 projects.
activities within the district development framework. By bringing
together local stakeholders, including government, civil society,         Changes to the DGTTF implementation framework (extended
and the private sector around common development priorities,              duration of projects and increased budgets) would require a
the councils have served as a platform for building confidence            robust monitoring system. Considering that the project duration
and trust among them and for participatory decision and policy            is two years, it is recommended that mid-term reviews are
making.                                                                   conducted after the first year of project implementation. This
                                                                          could identify deficiencies in the project implementation and
The establishment and functioning of the district development             provide recommendations for the remainder of the project
councils is inherently linked to sustainability. The district             period. Therefore, it will be essential to concretely define the
development councils were an effective interim solution in                results (outputs) at the formulation phase so that they are
the aftermath of the civil war and during the transition period           expressed in a manner that enables effective monitoring and
for the establishment of the national (governance) institutions.          subsequent evaluation31.
However, there is a need to transform district development
councils into a more meaningful and sustainable form of
(district) development planning. The DGTTF support provided
a solid basis for sustainability, especially by addressing gaps in
technical expertise. Therefore, it will be essential to start with
the transformation of district development councils, taking into
consideration activities and results of the DGTTF supported
projects in Tajikistan.

DGTTF – need for comprehensive
knowledge management
DGTTF projects in Tajikistan produced valuable tools and
knowledge products, such as citizens’ report cards, citizen               31
                                                                            In other words, the results should be S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attaina-
charters, a methodology for planning, budgeting, and monitoring           ble, Realistic, and Time-bound)



                                                                     24
 Tajikistan Project Assessment




Annex I:
Codification of tools
and instruments
used
a	
 Citizen Report Cards

a	
 Citizens’ charters

a	
 Methodology for preparation of District Development Plans (and district de-
    velopment plans from three districts)

a	
 Training curricula and learning materials:

    i) training on topics related to public administration and local governance
    (for civil servants)

    ii) training on decentralization, civic participation, strategic planning and
    municipal budgeting (for elected councillors at the jamoat and district levels)

    iii) training on planning for district authorities and jamoats representatives

    iv) training on poverty reduction planning and monitoring for the Economic
    Reforms, Statistics, and Finance departments, the Land Committees, the
    District Employment Centres

    v) training for participatory budgeting and planning for councillors (local
    council deputies) and district finance officers

a	
 Information systems for planning, monitoring and evaluation of public poli-
    cy.

a	 Methodology for Planning, Budgeting and Monitoring and Evaluation at
 The
    District and jamoat level.

a	
 Methodological guidelines and training/mentoring program for planning,
    budgeting, and monitoring and evaluation was developed.




               25
Local Governance and Decentralization




  Annex II: List of
  persons interviewed
   Abdugani Mamadazimov, Chairman, National Association of Political Scientists

   Abdushukur Nazarov, Director, NGO Municipal training centre, Khujand

   Ali Aliev, Deputy Rector, Institute for Civil Service Training (ICST)

   Alijon Isoev, Research Director Centre for Sociological Research “Zerkalo”

   Dzamsir Nozirov, Dr, Director of the Hospital in Vahdat

   Halimov Rustam, Coordinator Centre for Strategic Research (SRC) under the President

   Ibodullo Fattoev, DDC Chairman Meeting with DDC Isfara and district Majlis deputies

   Jamil Oglukov, Head of Jamoat Kistakuz, Gafurov districts

   Jan Bernard De Milito, Councillor European Commission- Mission in Tajikistan

   Malika Boymuradova, Khujand, NGO ASTI

   Maqsud Aripov, Area Manager, UNDP CP Khujand Area Office, UNDP Tajikistan

   Mirzo Olimov, Planning and budgeting project coordinator and the team, UNDP
   Planning and budgeting project based at the Ministry of Economic Development
   and Trade (MEDT), UNDP Tajikistan

   Munirjon Aminov, Head of Jamoat Resource Centre, Jamoat Kistakuz, Gafurov districts

   Rastislav Vrbensky, Country Director, UNDP Tajikistan

   Rustam Babajanov, Mainstreaming Human Development Project, Project Manager,
   on economic policy issues, UNDP Tajikistan

   Umed Davlatzod, Deputy Minister Ministry of Economic Development and Trade

   Yusuf Kurbonkhojaev, Senior Local Governance Officer, Communities Programme,
   UNDP Tajikistan

   Project beneficiaries , Visiting water supply project in Isfara


                   26
  Tajikistan Project Assessment




Annex III:
Bibliography
United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for Tajikistan 2010-2015

Country Programme Document for Tajikistan 2010 – 2015

Country Programme Action Plan for Tajikistan for 2010 – 2015

Assessment of Development Results- Republic of Tajikistan, 2009

Tajikistan Living Standards Measurement Survey, 2008. Washington, DC

Joint Country Support Strategy 2009-2012

Millennium Development Goals Report

Shadow economy report

Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, 3 (2010-2012)

National Development Strategy (2007-2015)

Public Administration Reform Strategy for Tajikistan

Communities Programme Document 2004-2007, 2007-2009

Annual Work Plans and Annual Progress Reports for the period

External Evaluation of the Local Governance by Luigi de Martino, 2007

The Constitution of Tajikistan and other laws of Tajikistan

UNDP (2009): Outcomes Evaluation Report UNDP: Communities Program in
Tajikistan”; prepared by Ton de Klerk, Elena Krylova-Mueller

UNDP (2010): Fostering Social Accountability: from principle to practice. A guidance
note. Oslo and New York

Other documents and materials related to the projects that were reviewed




               27
United Nations Development Programme
Regional Centre in Bratislava
Grosslingova 35
811 09 Bratislava
Slovak Republic
europeandcis.undp.org

Bureau for Development Policy
Democratic Governance Group
304 East 45th Street, 10th Fl.
New York, NY 10017
                                       May 2011




Oslo Governance Centre
Inkognitogata 37, 0256 Oslo, Norway
www.undp.org/governance
www.undp.org/oslocentre

				
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