Much of the current work of the UNDP Azerbaijan’s Governance Programme focuses on issues of e-governance, public administration reform and youth participation.
UNDP Azerbaijan puts emphasis on institutional capacity development in public administration through the introduction of adapted Information and Communications Technologies solutions. Overall, we have observed important gains in the effectiveness, efficiency and accountability of our partner institutions, which is corroborated by a number of independent evaluations commissioned by UNDP. Through automation of processes such as the competitive recruitment examinations to the civil service, management of pension accounts, or collection and storage of personal data on citizens in a centralized register, key public institutions - the Civil Service Commission, the State Social Protection Fund, the Ministry of Justice, and the State Customs Committee, to name but a few - are becoming more transparent and the potential for abuse and mismanagement is being minimized. In consequence, the trust placed by citizens into these institutions is increasing.
Register of Population is one of the core registries of the nation and the development of on-line services is impossible without proper citizens digital data. UNDP partners with the Ministry of Justice to establish a State Register of the Population, a single and reliable, full and detailed database on the population of Azerbaijan. The database will ease the registration of the civil status acts and issuance of certificates and national citizens documents. It also lays foundation to develop a wide range of governmental online services and promote e-government solutions among other governmental institutions, businesses and citizens.
UNDP supports the State Social Protection Fund in advancing the pension reform agenda. The project helps modernize the SSPF offices, introduce state-of-art ICT tools and build capacities of the SSPF staff. It has considerably contributed to the achievement of higher productivity of the system, improvement of client service and increase in the enrolment of employees into the modern social insurance scheme.
UNDP is a long standing partner of the Government in the area of customs modernization and border management. With EU support, UNDP assisted the State Customs Committee to develop a new Customs Code that complies with the European standards. UNDP also supports the customs authorities in taking steps to speed up customs clearance of air cargo, processing of passengers and prevention of smuggling. Furthermore, UNDP, jointly with the State Border Service and State Customs Committee, runs the EU-funded South Caucasus Integrated Border Management Programme that supports development of the Border Code and facilitates bi-lateral cooperation between the Azerbaijani and Georgian authorities.
UNDP is also engaged in the capacity building programme for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The joint project has helped to roll-out a new document management system and establish a reliable, secure and cost-efficient communication system between MFA headquarters in Baku and diplomatic missions abroad.
UNDP was the first international partner to support the Civil Service Commission under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan in promoting the civil service reform. Initially, the support was focused on rapid establishment of the Civil Service Commission and robust capacity building for its just-recruited personnel. Later, UNDP shifted its focus to the implementation of key civil service reforms, such as establishment of competitive civil service entrance exams and the creation of a computerized Testing Centre, ongoing revisions of the legal framework, and capacity building in human resources management, performance assessment and ethical conduct.
In 2012, Azerbaijan will host the 7th Meeting of the International Governance Forum, a forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue on key issues of internet governance held annually under the UN auspices. UNDP supports the Ministry of Communication and Information Technologies in the establishment of an IGF Secretariat with relevant teams and coordination mechanisms for the organization of this high-calibre event. The proposed main theme of the meeting is ‘Internet Governance for Sustainable Human, Economic and Social Development’.
Last but not least, UNDP advocates for youth participation in the policy-making and implementation. Recently, UNDP has teamed up with the Ministry of Youth and Sports to develop skills and capacities of young Azerbaijanis as future leaders and public servants. The project also seeks to strengthen the monitoring and evaluation framework of the State Programme on Azerbaijani Youth for 2011-2015.