Experts of the "Support to Effective National Aid Coordination and Monitoring of the National Development Strategy (NDS) and Strategies to enhance the population well-being in Tajikistan (SENACM) Project" tell about cooperation between UNDP and the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (MEDT).

For the past 7 years, UNDP has been cooperating with the Ministry in the implementation of strategic planning mechanisms for local development, the introduction of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system and others. Implementation of the strategic national programs, including NDS, SENACM is impossible without the effective use of these mechanisms. 

Local development plan allows choosing the development goals, and how they can effectively achieve considering the limited material resources and insatiable needs of the society. In other words, the local development plan should answer the following questions: "Where are we?", "What do we want to achieve in the future?", "How and by what means?". 

Every year the government’s requirements for planning and accountability of the strategic programs are increasing. This is supported by appropriate actions to improve the regulatory and legal acts. Now, based on the planning methodology the Ministry has prepared instructions for the development of local development programs, which are presented to the government for review. Adoption of this document will strengthen the legal status of local development planning and ensure its introduction in the system of local government.

In the direction of planning jointly by UNDP and the Ministry a textbook on designing and implementing the districts development programs (DDP) was prepared and adopted. 

The project contributed to the preparation of DDP in 33 administrative units and currently it is implementing activities to support local authorities even in 8 districts and 1 city, out of which 8 refer to GBAO. 

The main problem to implement DDP is a lack of funding components of their projects. Unfortunately, local governments cannot provide funding for programs since 90% of the funds go to social clauses or salaries of employees in budgetary organizations. Ten percent of the budget funds are spent for utilities, traffic management, disaster prevention etc. In addition, 0.5% only is allocated to the development projects. 

This sphere requires the introduction of new financing mechanisms that would ensure the relationship of planning with budgeting. Therefore, our project conducts activities on planning local budgets and increasing the capacity of professionals in the budgets’ development taking into account the DDP priorities. 

Monitoring and Evaluation System 

The processes of socio-economic and social development, introduction of new technologies, and the impact of economic trends in Tajikistan open up new opportunities for development, but at the same time increase the price of administrative errors. The authorities of the country faces a problem of choosing ways for development. Such choice must be done carefully and with the community support. A concentration of financial resources to solve problems is not enough. Increasing attention is drawn to synergistic activity of all sectors of society and cooperation between the various development actors, including the private sector and civil society.

A significant role in these processes plays the M&E system for strategic programs. That allows it to monitor the quality of strategic planning and identify the advantages and disadvantages for subsequent adjustments. 

Currently, the Ministry is strengthening its efforts to improve the legal and regulatory framework for the strategic programs monitoring. In addition, the Ministry of Economic Development being supported by our Project is working on the development of automation software for the strategic documents’ M&E system that should be implemented at the national, sectorial and local levels. 

Technical support to strengthen the analytical capacity of the Ministry staff, as well as representatives of other ministries and local authorities on M&E and reporting system is one of the Project important activities. Our project facilitates the process of improving the existing M&E system of strategic documents, development of a new format for reporting; improving the legislative framework in the field of strategic documents’ M&E. 

The project provides consulting and methodological assistance to the Office of Regional Development and Monitoring of the Ministry’s strategic documents in the preparation and improvement of the structure and content of the reports provided on the implementation of the strategies to enhance the population well-being in Tajikistan for 2013-2015 on an annual basis. To provide such support the Project attracts professionals and international consultants except experts on designing. 

Given that, the M&E system is variable in connection with the tasks set out in the national strategic documents; our Project regulates approaches to the monitoring process by improving the forms, templates, spreadsheets and formats to present the implementation progress at the national and local levels.