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CEPPS in Kyrgyzstan

Since 2004, CEPPS has been working in Kyrgyzstan to strengthen its democratic transition by helping to establish more inclusive, transparent, and accountable government institutions that are responsive to citizens. These efforts are complemented by increasing the demand for reform through greater citizen participation in political processes.
CEPPS Overarching Goals:

CEPPS works with political parties, government officials, civil society organizations, the Central Election Commission (CEC), members of parliament, media representatives, academia, and other international organizations to achieve increased participation among all citizens in democratic processes.

CEPPS Approach:

CEPPS recognizes the importance of building the technical capacity of local partners by providing the tools and skills necessary for sustained democratic progress. To ensure the adoption of democratic processes, CEPPS utilizes local expertise, supports active civil society institutions and builds connections between government and political stakeholders and citizens to motivate long-lasting change.

To promote meaningful participation of all citizens in Kyrgyzstan, CEPPS works with women, youth, ethnic minorities and persons with disabilities as informed citizens and leaders. In addition to specific activities promoting the inclusion of under-represented groups, CEPPS employs an inclusive approach throughout its wider programming to ensure participation of all citizens in contributing to, and leading democratic progress.

In supporting the integrity of electoral and political processes in Kyrgyzstan, CEPPS remains committed to political neutral programming. To ensure that a variety of citizen voices are reflected in political discourse, CEPPS works across the political and ideological spectrum to promote a competitive political environment in Kyrgyzstan.

CEPPS Key Achievements in Kyrgyzstan:

Strengthening the sustainability and integrity of elections

  • Throughout the current electoral cycle (2016-2020), CEPPS has worked with authorities to strengthen the legislative and electoral framework, in addition to providing needed assistance to the CEC by building its capacity in electoral administration, electoral operations and supporting the participation of all citizens. CEPPS has also provided key support on political finance oversight by working with international and local experts in facilitating a series of stakeholder discussions, as well as aiding the development, submission and eventual adoption of a new law on political parties related to campaign finance within the Jogorku Kenesh (Parliament). The new legislation is designed to ensure transparency and accountability regarding political party spending in the electoral cycle.
  • CEPPS has pioneered awareness on the access and inclusion of persons with disabilities in elections through targeted programming, including trainings for electoral stakeholders and the 2017 Accessibility Audit of more than 2,300 polling stations. In March 2019, these efforts contributed to the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the Jogorku Kenesh.
  • CEPPS cultivates local election expertise to improve the accountability of, and trust in, electoral systems in Kyrgyzstan. In partnership with local organizations, CEPPS supports domestic election observation efforts to credibly monitor and suggest improvements to the electoral process.

Empowerment of traditionally marginalized groups

  • CEPPS has facilitated a greater understanding of, and engagement in, decision-making processes for youth. Through the strengthening of formal education programs, community organizing initiatives, and advocacy training for youth organizations, CEPPS has enhanced youth leadership skills across the country, serving more than 300,000 community members in the process. Furthermore, the Camp Alumni Network, which includes over 3,000 members from CEPPS’ Democracy Camps and extended youth civic education programming, helps ensure sustained civic engagement through ongoing community initiatives and action projects led by members throughout Kyrgyzstan.
  • Since 2012, CEPPS supported the Forum of Women Members of Parliament to expand women’s political influence by building members’ outreach, policy development, and communications capacity to ensure more sustainable and institutionalized representation of women at the highest levels of Kyrgyzstan’s government.
  • CEPPS has supported the development of the Zhenskaya Demokraticheskaya Set (ZDS) as a nationwide organization articulating the interests of women and promoting their greater representation in political and social life. ZDS has more than 7,000 members across the country.

Increased capacity for objective and responsive political actors

  • CEPPS provides increased opportunities for citizens to interact with their parliamentary representatives through media programs, in-person outreach, and online platforms, directly engaging more than 27,000 citizens across Kyrgyzstan since 2015. At the same time, CEPPS’ support to the Parliamentary Press Service has resulted in a permanent platform where parliamentarians can connect with their constituents, provide information on policy initiatives and receive feedback.
  • Through consultations facilitated by CEPPS, parliamentarians have increased the quality and relevance of more than 50 pieces of legislation by integrating citizens’ feedback and expert recommendations into policy. With a better understanding of citizen concerns, faction representatives have introduced legislation addressing a number of prominent issues, including unemployment, infrastructure, clean water access, and education.
  • CEPPS conducts nationwide public opinion polls each year to assess the priorities of the general population with regard to policy and help inform government and civic actors in developing appropriate responses based on evidence and responsive to public interests.
  • CEPPS works with local village councils and administrations to encourage greater efficiency and transparency in the use of local budgetary funds, identification of citizen priorities, and clarification of the roles and separation of powers of various government bodies.
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