Good governance requires that governments are effective, efficient, participatory, transparent, responsive, and equitable and that they can be held accountable for their actions. When government fail to abide to the principles of good governance this often leads to corruption (such as “petty” corruption in the form of bribes), abuse of office for personal gain and eventually the erosion of public trust. There is a growing recognition among decisionmakers, scholars and practitioners alike that good governance is key to overcoming poverty and economic stagnation and paramount for long-term and sustainable policy implementation.
Although Kyrgyzstan is officially recognized as a parliamentarian democracy, it is subject to egregious corruption at all levels of government and every-day-life. On the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, Kyrgyzstan ranks position 123 from 168.
Especially the Kyrgyz energy sector is a prime target for, and source of corruption, owing to its time-sensitive nature of energy resources, the possibilities of generating considerable economic rents from energy extraction, transformation and use, as well as the need for large capital investments in infrastructure. In recent years, widespread corruption within the energy sector has heavily eroded public trust and thwarted the implementation of important reforms that are necessary for improving energy services and overhauling the obsolete energy supply infrastructure. Such lack of public trust can have dramatic and detrimental effects in Kyrgyzstan, and can easily lead to a spiral of public violence. This was demonstrated by the 2010 riots, which were driven to a large extent by public accusations of illegal water sales and public mistrust towards the government.
Unison supports the Kyrgyz government in adopting good governance practices that help restore public trust and increase transparency in the energy sector. Unison informs and guides government leaders to integrate good governance, accountability and transparency into the core of their government plans, agendas and policies. Unison’s activities involve the active participation in the Fuel and Energy Transparency Initiative (FESTI), advocating for a greater participation of civil society in energy decisionmaking, strengthening of energy consumer rights and literacy, improvement of public sector skills and facilitation of democratic leadership.
Learn more about Unison’s Good Governance Programs: