Good governance promotes local development in the South Caucasus

Programme description

Title: Good Governance for Local Development (GGLD), South Caucasus
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Country: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
Lead executing agency: Armenia (AM): Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure (MTAD); Azerbaijan (AZ): NN; Georgia (GE): Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure (MRDI); Ministry of Finance (MoF)
Overall term: 2020 to 2023

Context

The South Caucasian countries Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia have ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government of the Council of Europe. In doing so, they have committed themselves to strengthening local self-government and democracy, and to creating the necessary legal and institutional framework conditions. 

With the Caucasus Initiative, the German Government is contributing to strengthening democracy, municipal development and the rule of law in the region. Furthermore, since 2009, all three countries have been part of the Eastern Partnership (EaP), which is a regionally adapted joint cooperation initiative between the European Union (EU) and its Eastern European neighbours. The aim of the EaP is to promote stability, democracy, the rule of law and economic development.

In the period from 2017 to 2020, the following three projects have already made significant progress in modernising public finance and local government systems, in promoting municipal and regional development, and in aligning legal systems more closely with European standards. These include: Good Local Governance in South Caucasus, Public Finance Management in the South Caucasus and Advice on Legal and Judicial Reform in the South Caucasus. 

But although the three countries have already considerably improved their public service delivery, they still face major challenges, especially in the municipalities: there are still significant regional discrepancies in quality and access to administrative services, public infrastructure and basic public services. Especially in rural and remote regions, there is a lack of social and economic infrastructure. In addition, legal, financial and administrative framework conditions for providing services for citizens in line with the 2030 Agenda are still not adequate in all three countries. Citizen participation is also still insufficient and represents a major challenge, both for public institutions and for citizens themselves.

Objective

Public institutions in the South Caucasus region are better able to provide citizen-oriented public services.

Approach

The regional project is part of the Good Governance South Caucasus programme and builds on the results and lessons learned from the above-mentioned projects. In addition to funding from Germany, the project in Armenia is co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The measures financed by SDC are implemented jointly with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Council of Europe.

The project is designed to strengthen the capacities of public institutions and their staff, particularly in districts andin municipalities. To ensure a comprehensive approach the activities are intended to build and strengthen systems and structures at all government levels. . Moreover, thepromotion of gender equality and the participation of women in local governance also plays a central role. In summary, the project operates in the following five fields of action:

  • Improving the legal and institutional framework for providing citizen-oriented public services 
  •  Strengthening the capacities of key stakeholders to deliver citizen-oriented services and to finance them
  • Introducing public participation mechanisms
  • Strengthening the procedures, institutions and instruments of regional and local economic development
  • Promoting exchange of experience and cross-border learning

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