Kyrgyzstan: Switzerland helps local municipalities provide quality services to population


BISHKEK (TCA) — Municipalities of Sakaldy, Lenin and Masy in Jalal-Abad oblast as well as Kumbel and Bostery in Issyk-Kul oblast in Kyrgyzstan improve the quality of public services delivered to their citizens. This result is part of the Public Service Improvement project, financed by the Government of Switzerland through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by a consortium of partners, Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation and Development Policy Institute, the Embassy of Switzerland in the Kyrgyz Republic said on November 30.

Switzerland is financing the Public Service Improvement project, which supported the implementation of a 35 Service Improvement Action Plans for a total of 91 million soms, including municipal contributions amounting to almost 28 million soms. The project aims to improve the efficient and quality of public services at local level.

The Swiss grant for the four municipalities mentioned above amounts 18 million soms, while the contribution of the municipalities amounts 4 million. Switzerland joins forces with the municipalities to finance priority projects identified through a participatory process involving all citizens and selected through a competitive process involving more than 40 municipalities. Service Improvement Action Plans describing how the project was selected, how maintenance and sustainability will be ensured, who the beneficiaries would be and how implementation will be monitored were submitted by the municipalities to a selection committee.

In Chon-Bagysh village of Sakaldy municipality, the drinking water system was rehabilitated and upgraded, enabling 450 households to be connected to the water system. In order to finance operational costs and maintenance, a fair tariff for drinking water was introduced after being discussed and approved by the citizens. In the Lenin municipality of Suzak rayon, a recreational park was rehabilitated and equipped with benches, LED lights and a playground for children. In Masy municipality, the kindergarten “Altyn-Beshik” was rehabilitated and equipped, allowing 181 children to benefit for pre-school education; 16 new staff was recruited and their salary will be financed by the municipality.

In Bostery municipality, classes adapted for children with special needs were opened for the first time in the Issyk-Kul region. To ensure sustainability of the service, these classes were opened within the “Mamytov” school-gymnasium. By studying in such classes, children with special needs will benefit from quality education and communication with their peers. In Kumbel municipality, over 800 residents of a new suburban settlement could access safe drinking water thanks to the installation of a new drinking water supply system. To ensure the sustainability of the drinking water service provision, the municipality introduced innovative management decisions, including outsourcing and calculation of adequate tariff levels.

“It is crucial to keep in mind that improving service provision is an ongoing process. It is not only about procurement of new equipment or renovation of buildings. It is mainly about efficient, transparent and participatory management of local resources by local self-governments in order to ensure delivery of most needed and quality services to the population. The aim of the Swiss grant, which was complemented with local contribution, was to respond to immediate needs while developing mechanisms that enhance relations between citizens and local governments, enhance accountability of the local authorities and ensure sustainability of the infrastructures financed by the project,” said Véronique Hulmann, Ambassador of Switzerland to the Kyrgyz Republic, during her trip in the Jalal-Abad region.

Sergey Kwan