Turkmenistan is an autocratic state with limited opportunities for promoting good governance and democratic reform. While the Government of Turkmenistan has expressed strong interest adopting best practices and models from other countries, the overall democratization process remains slow. The government operates in a highly bureaucratic manner and limits interactions with foreign government officials. The country’s small civil society sector has limited international interactions, and many activities must be pre-approved by the Government of Turkmenistan. An exclusively state-controlled media and limited Internet availability make access to alternative sources of information about developments inside and outside of the country difficult for the average citizen.
USAID and the U.S. Government continue to advocate for social and economic reforms that will help improve social services, expand access to information, and increase the development of markets and agriculture. USAID programs in Turkmenistan cooperate with ministries, governmental organizations, businesses, and communities to create jobs, increase incomes, improve professional knowledge, and better manage available resources. USAID’s programs in Turkmenistan are focused on supporting civil society and building select government bodies’ capacity to engage in good governance practices.
- USAID supported both new and continued registration of the limited number of independent non-governmental organizations in order to maintain their status to legally operate.
- USAID fostered cooperation between the government and civil society in the fight against human trafficking and the rehabilitation of trafficking survivors.
- USAID assisted with the incorporation, for the first time, of “e-governance” measures, in order to increase citizen access to government services and to increase transparency in government operations.
- USAID supported the formation of independent waters users’ associations, binding thousands of farmers together in mutual self-help bodies that efficiently and equitably manage precious natural resources using democratic governance principles.