Improving public services and strengthening governance in rural Uzbekistan
In 2017, the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan launched a massive nationwide reform programme. The ultimate goal of the reforms is to transform the government into a transparent system that prioritises citizens’ well-being. Large parts of the reforms focuses on improving public service delivery and on the transparency of local governments.
Putting people first in public service delivery
The EU-funded project “Improved Public Service Delivery and Enhanced Governance in Rural Uzbekistan” is a timely support to the Government’s efforts to develop a citizen-centric public service delivery and strengthen the local governance system in addressing environmental, social and economic concerns and interests of local citizens more effectively. The project is also well timed to support the country’s digitalisation processes and facilitate contactless service provision in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.
By improving delivery of public services, the project will contribute to improving the quality of life of the population in rural areas, particularly the vulnerable - such as women, youth and children, the elderly, and people with disabilities – by improving their access to public services and by increasing the quality of service delivery. This project also aims to strengthen citizen participation in local decision-making and increase people’s access to information.
Awareness raising and access to information on the use of public services is crucial to ensuring the effectiveness of the service delivery and feedback mechanism. Within the project, two trainings have already been organised for communication specialists of local governments.
The help of professional trainers who provide us with effective tips, techniques and other tools can be very constructive to improve our work setting. (..) we did not expect them to be as effective as they prove to be- Ravshanova Mohidil, Specialist in Public Relations and Mass Media of the PSA of Kashkadarya region
“I am happy and feel lucky to have been part of two trainings organised and held by the project. Sometimes our creativity gets lost in daily routines and the help of professional trainers who provide us with effective tips, techniques and other tools can be very constructive to improve our work setting. (..) we did not expect them to be as effective as they prove to be.’’ (Ravshanova Mohidil, Specialist in Public Relations and Mass Media of the PSA of Kashkadarya region)
To support the specialists in adjusting to work environment during the COVID-19 crisis, one of the trainings was dedicated to crisis communication, stress management and time management skills.
‘’As a result of these trainings and support I received, I feel more creative, more energized and I am determined to inspire and empower others to be and to do the same!” (R.Mohidil)
The way forward
By the end of this project, approximately 40,000 people will be receiving high quality public services through the nationwide network of public service centres. Other beneficiaries of the project are local businesses that will be able to register and manage their legal and financial obligations online.
At least 5 public service delivery centres will be fully modernised based on ergonomic principles and equipped with adequate IT hardware and software and play corner for children. It is expected that around 1000 civil servants – of which at least 350 women – will be trained throughout the project cycle.
Project will also work for the improvement of legislation by introducing new public service standards and proposals on improving service delivery. The local government executives and councils will build their capacities to conduct public hearings, with local citizens and civil society organisations, on budgetary processes, aiming to raise budgetary resources and allocate them according to local needs.
In the long-term, a more inclusive decision-making at the local level and an improved access to information and key public services will stimulate regional development and help to decrease rural-urban inequalities.