Enhanced Enabling Environment

Participants of the ICNL global forum on civil society listen to Kyrgyzstan’s experience of defending civil society.
Participants of the ICNL global forum on civil society listen to Kyrgyzstan’s experience of defending civil society.
ICNL

Duration: October 2014 - September 2018

Budget: $800,000 (Kyrgyz Republic)

Implementing Partner: International Center for Not-for-Profit Law

Key Partners: Association for Civil Society Support Centers

Activity Locations: Nationwide

The program promotes an enabling legal framework for civil society in all five countries of Central Asia to support a more vibrant and sustainable democratic culture in the region.

MAJOR FOCUS AREAS

The program works with government and civil society organizations to enhance conditions for development of civil society by providing legal analysis, technical advice, training courses and advocating for positive legislative and regulatory reforms. In addition, the program promotes broader public understanding of the role of civil society in democracy, local ownership, public participation, and citizen engagement in decision-making.

 The elements of this approach include:

  • Identifying stakeholders and their priorities for enabling environment reform
  • Deepening the interest and capacity of local partners on the substance and process of reform through educational programs, international networking, and other initiatives
  • Undertaking research to develop the analytic basis for reform
  • Providing technical assistance as laws go through the legislative process (e.g., by providing comparative analysis and comments on draft legislation)
  • Encouraging proper implementation after the enactment of legislation by developing implementing regulations, pro forma documents, training of implementing officials
  • Legal assistance to civil society organizations to help them stay aware of their rights and obligations
  • Monitoring and evaluating the impact of legislation
  • Raising awareness on the role of civil society in public policy development and improved service delivery

The program’s activities are designed to complement each other to ensure the greatest possible impact.

EXPECTED IMPACT AND RESULTS

  • Along with other stakeholders, the program supported the civil society organizations in developing an effective advocacy campaigns that prevented adoption discriminatory draft laws limiting freedom of association and assembly as well as the draft that would label NGO’s receiving foreign funding as “foreign agents”.
  • The program consulted the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic on international best practices in supporting civil society through legal regulations like the Law on Charitable Organizations that can promote income-generating activities for charitable organizations and foster domestic philanthropy.
  • Kyrgyz civil society organizations received more than 16,000 copies of informational materials to help them understand their legal rights and responsibilities and ensure their operations are in compliance with the law.
  • The program organized more than 1,280 legal consultations to civil society organizations and individuals. Additionally, over 160 civil society leaders and lawyers participated in training courses on international standards on regulating activities of civil society and preparing draft laws.
  • In cooperation with the Civic Participation Fund, the E3 Program provided assistance to the State Financial Intelligence Service (SFIS) to develop a risk assessment of the CSO sector in Kyrgyzstan, which will be used to inform an upcoming Financial Action Task Force (FATF) evaluation in March 2017. The FATF evaluation process is an important moment for both the government and CSOs to identify the actual risks within the CSO sector, collaborate on a joint approach, and avoid both overregulation and closing space for civil society.
  • The E3 Program directly assists the Prime Minister’s Office with implementation of the Law on Public Councils of State Bodies that regulates public councils created under dozens of government bodies, and closely collaborates with other development partners to strengthen this important civic participation mechanism in Kyrgyzstan.

Last updated: March 28, 2017

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