AKF supports development of civil society in Tajikistan

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While the government has pledged support for the development of civil society organizations (CSOs), Tajikistan faces challenges with the legal enabling environment for non-governmental organizations, with implications for the financial sustainability of the non-profit sector, according to the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).


Meanwhile, the decreasing number of young adults engaged within civil society reportedly may undermine CSOs’ role in supporting Tajikistan to realize goals within its National Development Strategy.  There is need to build the organizational and technical capacity of CSOs to improve their productivity and enhance their impact, while supporting the public’s understanding of civil society’s role in developing and advancing concepts of national unity, social cohesion and civic engagement.


The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) reportedly aims to develop resilient, values-based civil societies, which demonstrate greater competency, legitimacy, accountability, and sustainability.  Community-based civil society structures are the foundations of development.  Since 1993, AKF has engaged over 1,900 village organizations to empower women, men and youth to meaningfully participate in local decision-making processes.


AKF reportedly establishes, strengthens, and partners with community-based CSOs representing over 1.4 million rural constituents in governance, education, health, emergency management, water and sanitation, and natural resource management sectors.  Through its engagement with CSOs, AKF reportedly supports the implementation of inclusive, efficient, transparent, and accountable governance of development activities.


In 2017, AKF supported the country’s first-ever Parliamentary Committee focused on the role of civil society in realizing goals outlined in the National Development Strategy of Tajikistan for 2015 – 2030, and related UN Sustainable Development Goals. In 2019, it advanced the hearing recommendations for closer engagement between civil society and government by facilitating the fifth national civil society forum, attended by more than 40 Public Organizations across the country, including representatives from President’s Office, Parliament, Ministry of Justice, Tax Committee, donors and intergovernmental agencies.  The resultant joint resolution was shared with President’s Office and relevant Ministries to create an enabling environmental for the development of civil society in Tajikistan.


In 2020, AKF and the Committee on the Local Development of the Parliament of Tajikistan facilitated policy discussions on the Public Self Initiative Bodies Law of Tajikistan (PSIB).  The meeting participants presented recommendations for improvement of the PSIB law to the Parliament, while members of parliament presented possible amendments to the law.


AKF reportedly empowers all segments of the community – women, men, youth, and the elderly – to participate meaningfully in local decision-making processes. AKF supports village development planning workshops for communities to identify their key priorities through a participatory process involving the most marginalized members of communities.


Source: Asia Plus