Can you tell us something about the scope of your work in particular on public sector reform?
I have been working on the public reform process in Tajikistan since 2003. I have been the head of the Project Coordination Group (the PCG) at the Office of the President since 2007. This is to implement the government’s public administration reform agenda. The PA reform agenda in my country is quite broad, covering particularly institutional capacity building within government ministries and agencies, public finance management, regulatory management, e-government initiatives, and local government reforms. The task of my team is to facilitate government institutions in the implementation of provisions of the Tajikistan Public Administration Reform Strategy. Taking into consideration the best international practices, we conduct functional reviews, provide systematic analyses, and organize workshops, training activities and study tours for civil servants, with technical assistance provided by the World Bank and UNDP.
We are currently assisting the Migration Department at the Ministry of Labour, Migration and Employment to develop and strengthen its capacity to monitor and evaluate migration-related policies, as well as to improve national planning and decision making in the area of labour migration management. We are also involved in the process of developing the National Concept of Local Government Reforms which is a key area in the process of overall public administration reforms. In addition, we are continuing to support the newly restructured Office of the President to become a real Policy Coordination Centre in Tajikistan, which is a high priority in the transition period.
Which aspects require the most attention?
The civil service is an engine of the reform process and civil servants’ capacity building through the introduction of modern human resources management techniques requires specific attention. Here, I would underline the importance of introducing the best practices of competitive selection, performance appraisal, incentives and retention mechanisms for qualified government experts, and training and retraining, given the advanced international methods and curricula as well. Quality improvement of public service delivery is of high importance here as well. In general terms I could call all of this “good governance”, as it concerns economic institutions and public sector management, including transparency and accountability, regulatory reform, and public sector skills and leadership.
As Project Coordinator, what was your main objective when you decided to participate in this course at the Turin Centre?
Learning and studying the best advanced international practices in public sector modernization. The Turin Centre is well known in my country, as many Tajiks have attended various training activities, so I knew where I was going. The other important fact is the exchange of views and experiences participants bring with them from different countries.
What were your institutional objectives in attending the course?
We have recently completed a broad institutional adjustment both to the Executive Office of the President of Tajikistan and the Government Ministries as part of the Public Administration Reform Strategy.
The main objective of the adjustment was to establish a national policy coordination system by applying best international practice. So, the course was suitable to attend to find out about the proper approaches and options to use while implementing public reform initiatives in my country.
How did you learn about this course?
We regularly receive announcements via e-mail from the ITC/ILO.
Can you tell our readers something about your experience of the course?
I enjoyed the way the course was arranged a lot. The highly qualified team at the ITCILO has put great effort into designing a very interesting training programme by attracting experienced consultants who shared their knowledge on issues related to public sector modernization and renewal. The training modules were developed in a way to give us maximum information within a limited time. Case studies were another asset in this sense. On the other hand, the circle of participants made significant contributions to the content of the course by sharing their views and their own countries’ experiences. By exchanging knowledge and experience we got firm practical experience, which we are implementing now in our organizations.
In your opinion, how could this training course contribute to the reform of the public sector in your country?
Within the reform strategy and the country’s development context, we have worked out our own tactics to reach the final destination, so attending the course helped me to have further evidence that we are on the right way as we are following international standards to establish a stable institutional system, addressing deep-seated governance problems that constrain the medium- and long-term prospects for economic and social development in Tajikistan.
Do you think you have gained new ideas and insights into this issue?
I am pretty sure.
What do you plan to do now in your country? Has this course given you inputs and ideas for action?
I first have to report on the study tour outlining key points and suggesting recommendations to push forward PA reform initiatives. I’m planning to focus on a number of critical issues to be considered during the process, particularly establishing the national monitoring and evaluation system with a precise matrix of performance indicators. Secondly, but not least, we have to deeply analyse and upgrade the human resource management system in the civil service. On top of that, we need consistency of actions to ensure a systematic approach throughout the process.
What impact do you think the course will have on your work?
New ideas and practical experience are always helping things to progress so this particular case has been encouraging for me to move faster and remain enthusiastic.
Do you have a special message to convey in this regard?
I would like to sincerely thank the Centre’s management for their generous hospitality and opportunity provided to attend the course. I would also like to express my thanks to the staff implementing and administratively supporting the training activity for their tremendous efforts to make this course interesting and I look forward to more opportunities in the not-distant future to cooperate.