Promoting socially inclusive and gender-responsive policies at the local level

27.04.2021 16:02
Public Service Improvement project (further the Project) is funded by the Government of Switzerland through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by a consortium of HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation and the Development Policy Institute.
Promoting socially inclusive and gender-responsive policies at the local level

The Public Service Improvement Project, in partnership with the LSG Union, continues to work with local civil society organizations from two project areas to promote "socially inclusive and gender responsive (further SIGR) policy in the sphere of services at the local level." Four CSOs on a competitive basis were selected for this task, whose representatives were invited to the city of Bishkek to undergo a three-day training on the subject. The training took place from April 19 to 21, where 11 representatives of selected organizations took part.

The first two days of the training focused on the project's strategy for the advancement of socially inclusive and gender responsive approaches in public services at the local level; to analyze municipal documents for the presence of SIGR aspects, in particular local development programmes, as well as to conduct a thorough analysis of the local budgets (revenue and expenditure parts) and to draw up an action plan to integrate the SIGR approaches based on the analysis of the documents. Participants also got acquainted with the presentations on public budget hearings, their legislative frameworks, including the topic on the citizen budget. The experts conducted the training in an interactive form, involving participants in practical tasks to better understand the topics covered and the ways of applying them in practice.

The third day of the training covered the development of local service registries, with regard to the development of an additional list of local service registries for each municipality. This topic has played a particularly important role, as in most cases, the services included in the additional list of local service registry are aimed at the social problems of the local population, including the needs of vulnerable groups. Moreover, the development of an additional registry of services implies mandatory allocation of funds from the local budget, which ensures their sustainability and long-term maintenance. The knowledge gained during the training was also enshrined in practical examples and group tasks for a more visual understanding. Participants on this day, among other things, received information about the online platform "LSG Best Practices Portal" and got acquainted with the expanded features offered by this online resource.

According to many participants, the knowledge gained from experts was very useful and would help them to do productive work on the grassroot level. According to them, the analysis of local socio-economic development programs, their further development with the SIGR aspects, including the consolidation of the tasks with resources from the local budget will lead to tangible results of reviving the "dead documents" dedicated to development. In addition, all the work done should help municipalities to adopt a comprehensive approach in the provision of local services and to conduct financial statements in accordance with the requirements of state law.

At the end of the training, the participants together with the project staff and the representative of the LSG Union drew up their final plans for work for 2021 and signed cooperation agreements.