About how the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (MEDT) is collaborating with UNDP in the framework of implementation of important strategic programs tells us Mr. Umed Davlatzod, Deputy Minister. 

- Umed Davlatovich, work within SENACM was planned in 4 sections: functional, economic, social and process control section to implement the Strategy. Under which section joint work is conducted with UNDP? 

- Our collaboration with the UNDP Project is conducted on all 4 blocks. Functional block refers to those activities that are directly related to reforming government control system, such as improving access to public services, ensuring transparency and accountability. In this section, the work is performed on a high-level government. In the economic section, real economy sector will be affected. And within this section by activating and stimulating economic activity we will implement three strategic goals of Tajikistan: output of the transport impasse, achieving energy independence and food security. As regards the social section, the work is implementing which is aimed at improving the state policy in the sphere of social protection of the population, such as the provision of equal access for all citizens to education and health. Process control section to implement the strategy, including the development of M&E mechanisms, the accounting system and others are also held in conjunction with the Project. 

In each section except the Ministry that is implemented by SENACM, a number of other ministries and departments are involved. Our work with the Project coordinates the activities of each structure. In addition, the Project contributes to the Ministry in conducting meetings of the National Development Council under the President of Tajikistan and Development Forum.

- What are the difficulties while implementing strategic programs? 

- Perhaps the main problem is that, on the one hand, we adopt many sectorial and regional programs, concepts, strategies, for instance, according to last data, there are more than 180 names but we do not have a single M&E system nor common methodology development. Understanding of the programs’ development stages is not always present: how differs the concept from the strategy, how to set goals, objectives and funding sources. Unfortunately, so far there is some fragmentation is seen in the programs’ implementation. All this leads to the fact that pessimism is formed in a society, citizens feel that the programs do not work. Although, this is not quite true.   

We are working in this direction together with the Project as well. For example, we have the development of cities and districts Program in Tajikistan (DDP), for which a clear procedure for implementation is designed. Now this document is under consideration of the government and when it is approved we will develop a common methodology. 

Next, we will need to develop a common procedure for the preparation of documents on sectorial policies, strategies, concepts etc. 

- An important role in this work plays an effective M&E system, the implementation of which is also engaged by the Ministry together with the Project. How do you assess the progress of this work? 

- If I say that I am satisfied, so it is required to complete the Project. Partly, the objectives that have been identified within this work have already been achieved. But during its implementation, we faced with new challenges that were not anticipated.

To effectively carry out this work the Ministry together with the Project is working on the introduction of new and improved M&E system to implement medium and long-term strategic documents. The new M&E system uses advanced technologies. It will provide tracking the results of strategies and programs at the sectorial and regional level by strengthening the coordination role of the Ministry in managing the implementation of the medium-term and long-term strategic documents.  

I am very grateful to the UNDP for their flexibility in such situations that does not look at the chart as on dogma and makes changes. There are problems and we settle them. 


- When implementing SENACM and other development programs the experts noted that relationship of the program priorities and budgeting was not close enough. Tell me how is relevant this question now? 

- Unfortunately, the implementation process was slightly linked with budgeting. We estimated that the programs’ financial support was at the level of 50-60%. However, the improvement is already noticeable: financial security of SENACM is about 75%. 

In this direction, we are working to provide advice in developing a resource mobilization plan and enhancing the effectiveness of the DDP implementation at the local level, trainings are conducted on fundraising and resources mobilization. New instruction of the Ministry of Finance was assisted in improving to develop local budgets; recommendations for the budget development based on the DDP were provided to this ministry. 

- And is there any rule of budget deficit in the implementation of strategic programs? 

- Such rule was not provided for the strategies but based on the fact that we have already faced similar problems in practice, we have laid 25% of budget deficit in SENACM. 

To achieve financial security for the SENACM implementation, the Ministry is actively working with donors and private sector. That work has already produced results: today the main activities are the sources of funding. As for the others, who have not yet secured, we have prepared a proposal (which is now under consideration by the government), according to which each competent authority is obliged to find sources of funding. 

In parallel with the SENACM implementation there is a process to ensure linkages between the development programs of national and regional scale. During meetings with local authorities the fact was discovered that the regions are not always aware of the targets set for the national level. That is Chairman of Hukumat may not know that the new road will be built next year in his district because such decision was taken in the center, and it allocates funds from the local budget for the same road construction. However, other sectors remain unfunded. Our work is aimed to prevent such situations in further.

- How are your efforts to involve donors among local entrepreneurs in the implementation of programs? 

- In the framework of DDP for local authorities an opportunity is provided to create development councils headed by the chairman of the district; they can include donors, NGOs and entrepreneurs. Creation of such councils is a recommendation, but those areas that listened to our advice are successfully implementing development programs. 

For example, local authorities in Isfara signed seven documents with entrepreneurs, according to which the executives committed to provide their district with social facilities. That is, they build educational, medical facilities, and local authority facilitates their bureaucratic procedures for this, provides an access to a dedicated electrical networks etc. This is an example of successful cooperation when the local government sees not subordinated but equal partners on the development in the private sector.