Major unprecedented activities were conducted in the Kyrgyz Republic starting from 1999 aimed at development of the Comprehensive Development Framework of Kyrgyz Republic by 2010 (CDF) later adopted at the National Assembly (29 May 2001). National Strategy of Poverty Reduction for 2001-2003 (NSPR) – an interim program was being developed simultaneously with the main CDF document.
An overriding CDF principle adopted at the early stages of its development was the principle of wide and comprehensive partnership, creating maximum opportunities for open participation of all groups of population and civil society as a whole in determining the vision, goals, priorities, objectives, and mechanisms of country’s development for the coming 10 years. Open participation of representatives of civil society and all branches of state power was ensured on all stages of CDF development – from initial identification of methodological approaches and framework of the document to wide discussion and final adoption of the document.
For the first time in Kyrgyz history such significant document as CDF which is of tremendous value for the country’s development prospects was developed with active and direct participation of all branches of state power and the civil society – non-governmental organizations, regions, scientific research institutes and universities, businesses and culture.
This work was conducted in direct contact with and assistance of many international organizations, including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, International Monetary Fund, UNDP, and many other organizations that have provided their experts and consultants and in the process have rendered substantial financial and technical assistance. All participants of the CDF development process appreciated kind assistance of the international community.
Number of mass activities conducted during 1999-2001 were aimed at preparation of the CDF document and discussion of country’s development prospects. Such activities engaged different groups of the civil society, political parties, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), mass media, private sector and other agencies.
Consultative CDF Team headed by the Prime Minister was established pursuant to the KR President’s Decree of May 24, 1999. Decision of the Prime Minister of KR (3 June 1999) established working CDF consultative groups comprising representatives of public administration, both chambers of Jogorku Kenesh (Parliament), NGOs, and businesses.
Five representative international CDF workshops were conducted by the Kyrgyz Government with the World Bank assistance in the period between 1999 and 2001:
7- 8 July 1999 – First Workshop on CDF;
15-16 February 2000 – Poverty Reduction and Social Protection;
16-17 May 2000 – Sustainable Economic Growth;
6 - 7 July 2000 – Good Governance, Legal and Judicial Reforms;
8 December 2000 – Final CDF Workshop;
Workshops’ plenary and group discussions were marked by active participation of the President of Kyrgyz Republic, officials and leaders of all government branches, civil society, international organizations and donor countries.
Many proposals were submitted in the process of discussing CDF by international organizations and donor countries on their vision on discussed issues.
The materials presented by NGOs, as well as ideas expressed by their representatives during presentations were widely discussed at the workshops and were used in development of CDF/NSPR strategy.
The opinion of representatives of non-governmental sector were found to be the most valuable in addressing the issues related to evaluating poverty status, defining reforms in the health sector, education, social protection, employment, and pension systems.
A separate session in one of the Republican workshops was devoted to formulating NGOs’ role in effective management and participation in CDF.
With a view to ensure more productive and efficient discussion, the issues were disseminated to appropriate ministries, departments, NGOs, oblast administrations and scientific institutions prior to the workshops. After the receipt of feedback, materials were summarized and presented to workshop participants. Over 2000 people took part in the workshops.
In April 2000 the Draft CDF document prepared by the Consultative Team was printed in mass media in order to ensure active and objective discussion of the draft document by the public.
From 27 March through 11 April 2000 interim materials and results of the previous workshops were actively discussed in all seven oblasts of the Republic at the Poverty Reduction and Social Protection regional workshops with 800 copies of CDF/NSPR Programs distributed among participants.
Another series of poverty reduction workshops were held jointly with UNDP volunteers in November 2000. The aim of these workshops was to explain the goals and objectives of the poverty reduction strategy. In order to ensure participation of wide range of stakeholders and guarantee maximum transparency of selection process the Government had clear selection criteria for participants of consultations. All institutions and public organizations of the country were advised to review their possible input into attainment of CDF/NSPR goals. In addition to that they were recommended to include in their agenda CDF action plans in order to achieve co-operation agreements on implementation and monitoring of the CDF activities.
Thirty round table discussion on the issues of the National Workshops were conducted in 2000 by regional NGOs in all regions of the Republic. Such discussions covered over 500 representatives of private sector and NGOs. Representatives of NGOs made over 700 proposals and recommendations in 17 key CDF areas, including reduction of poverty, social protection, sustainable economic growth, improving state governance, legal and judicial reforms, development of civil society. All proposals were summarized and presented at the National Workshops and were conveyed to CDF/NSPR unit established under the Ministry of Finance.
Active participation of private sector and civil society in development of CDF continued throughout 2001.
Forty five local and oblast level round table discussions conducted in February 2001 brought together 766 people, of which 515 represented NGOs. The purpose of the round table meetings was to discuss: CDF/NSPR; specific input of civil society in implementation of the Program; mechanisms and forms of participation. 850 copies of both CDF and NSPR Programs were produced and distributed.
Co-operation areas proposed by participants of the round tables included: developing and enhancing capacity of the civil society; needs assessment for the population; strengthening democratic foundation of society and building continuous education and science systems; assisting in employment; mass media; developing business, health care, agriculture, and tourism; supporting socially disadvantaged population; addressing issues of environmental protection, water supply, and irrigation in remote areas; joint planning; monitoring CDF and NSPR; etc. The round table meetings resulted in development of: 1) NGO Participation Plan stipulating participation of NGOs in implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of CDF; 2) NGO database; 3) recommendations on improvement of the Programs and Participation Matrix.
Over 300 representatives of NGOs took part in meetings held by Ministry of Finance in January-March 2001 on specific issues related to reduction of poverty, participation of civil society in implementation of CDF, sources and mechanisms of funding.
Substantial input in development of CDF and NSPR Programs was made by Jogorku Kenesh (the Parliament) and courts of Kyrgyz Republic whose representatives suggested numerous proposals on reforming legislative and judicial branches of the state power.
In November 2001 the Parliament of KR initiated a symposium - “Optimizing management in the system of state governance and local self-management in KR at the threshold of XXI century».
Jogorku Kenesh together with the Ministry of Finance and State Committee on Foreign Investments and Economic Development (Goscominvest) published “CDF Strategy Bulletin”.
The CDF development process was widely covered in mass media, including newspapers, TV, and radio. In 2000 the Government initiated a contest among journalists for the best coverage of the CDF Program. Over 300 newspaper publications, TV, and radio programs were reviewed under the competition. 34 journalists of republican and local mass media agencies received awards under this contest. Wide discussion of CDF along with the contest for the best publication continues.
An Internet web-page was opened on Goscominvest’s web-site posting the results of the national CDF workshops, draft CDF document, and other materials. The same site accumulates proposals of stakeholders including NGOs, foreign citizens, and international organizations. The creation of the web-site has considerably improved the participation process.
All proposals received during the workshops, round table discussions, and consultations were reviewed and wherever possible included in the strategy. A Resource Book which will be regularly updated summarized all those proposals and recommendations received in the process of developing the strategy. The Book will also serve an information base for development of individual projects and programs under CDF/NSPR.
Substantial work on discussion of CDF was conducted with participation of civil society in the actual process of preparing and conducting the National Assembly.
In May 2001 Association of NGOs conducted round table meetings in all regions of the country discussing the improved CDF document and selecting delegates to the National Assembly. Each round table adopted a resolution approving the Program.
The final CDF document published in mass media was widely discussed by organizations and institutions, labor unions, local councils (kenesh), local communities, as well as non-government organizations and political parties.
The National Assembly took place on 29 May 2001 and gathered over 1100 people including the President of KR Akaev A., Jogorku Kenesh leaders and deputies, representatives of courts, executive power, civil society, private sector, and mass media. Participants represented all regions and groups of population.
The National Assembly resulted in approval of the Comprehensive Development Framework of KR by 2010. Proposals expressed at the National Assembly will be also considered during implementation of the CDF.
Joint development and discussion of CDF Program carried out by government agencies and representatives of civil society in 1999-2001 revealed that certain objective conditions necessary for attainment of national consensus have formed in Kyrgyzstan, and such conditions are prerequisite for successful implementation of programs aimed at reducing poverty, ensuring sustainable economic growth, and developing society and the state at large.