In-depth

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What is Democratic Governance?

Democratic governance is crucial for human development. Institutions, rules and standards, and participatory inclusive political processes play an important role in whether countries experience economic growth, whether governing structures are responsive and whether women are empowered.

Democratic governance comprises the mechanisms, processes and institutions, through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their rights, meet their obligations and mediate their differences.
Its basic principles are inclusive participation, responsiveness, transparency and accountability, and empowerment.

UNDP is one of the largest providers of democratic governance technical cooperation

UNDP is one of the largest providers of democratic governance technical cooperation globally by its overall expenditure figures. UNDP helps countries promote human development for all by ensuring that governance systems are grounded in the universally applicable human rights framework and explicitly focus on inclusive participation and accountability.

It believes that, first, participating in the decisions, rules and institutions that shape one’s community is a basic human right and part of human development. Second, more inclusive governance can be more effective. Third, more participatory governance can also be more equitable and trigger a virtuous cycle of development by empowering people to demand their economic, social and cultural rights or by disseminating information about crucial development issues that benefit the vulnerable groups in society.
Sustainable poverty reduction hinges as much on whether poor people have a say in the political process as on their opportunities for economic advancement. For these reasons, advancing human development calls for governance that is of a democratic nature—with inclusive participation by the people and for the people.

The UNDP Strategic Plan (2008-2011) clearly outlines the corporate priorities for contributing to democratic governance as fostering inclusive participation, strengthening responsive and accountable governance institutions, including a deepened commitment to improving governance at the local level, and supporting national partners to implement democratic governance practices in human rights, anti-corruption and gender equality.

Democratic Governance Technical Cooperation in Turkey

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In recent years, changes in the governance structures have taken place in Turkey as a result of structural reforms resulting from and shaped by changing priorities relating to the country’s development and reform agenda that are in-line with its European Union (EU) aspirations. As part of its ambitious development agenda, Turkey is focusing on implementing reforms related to decentralization, public administration reform, and civic engagement.

At the request of national counterparts, UNDP supports democratic governance goals through institutional capacity enhancement of core institutions at national, regional and local levels. Enhancing accountability and responsive institutions is a critical element of democratic governance for human development.

UNDP provides technical assistance in strengthening civic engagement and civilian oversight into legislation making, service delivery and decision making processes through established consultation platforms and mechanisms. These efforts complement with UNDP’s support to the local administration reform program, decentralization, e-governance along with the cooperation in the field of promotion of national human rights system. Promotion of access to justice through increased efficiency of judicial systems by policy recommendations for organizational administration structure and development of mediation practice in the field of criminal justice is one the high priority fields of UNDP’s cooperation with the government.

UNDP also supports government in the engagement of vulnerable groups to policy making such as the internally displaced people to find durable solutions. Similarly, women empowerment is at the core of UNDP’s initiatives. Incorporation of gender mainstreaming to all interventions is a priority for the democratic governance technical assistance. In addition to this cross-cutting endeavor, support to the women candidates and activists for local politics and decision-making processes is an important activity field to support other women empowerment initiatives undertaken both by UNDP and other UN agencies.

Priority areas for Democratic Governance Programme

1.    Access to Justice and Strengthening the Rule of Law
2.    Human Rights and Security Sector Governance
3.    Local Governance and Civic Engagement
4.    Public Administration Reform and Anti-corruption
5.    Women Empowerment and Gender Equality
6.    South-South Cooperation

Contact UNDP in Turkey

Media Inquiries

Phone: 0090 312 454 11 05

undpturkiye@undp.org

Fax: 0090 312 454 4961465

Global Parliamentary Report
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This report features the influence of the parliamentary work, accountability and reponsiveness to public concerns and service to meet citizens' needs.

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Press Clippings
  • Democratic Governance (January 2009-January 2010) English-Turkish
  • Democratic Governance Press Clippings 2 (January 2009-January 2010) English-Turkish
  • Gender and Development Press Clippings (January 2009-January 2010) English-Turkish
  • Gender and Development Press Clippings 2 (January 2009-January 2010) English-Turkish
  • Gender and Development Press Clippings 2008 English-Turkish
Download these Documents
  • Consultation Guidance on Public Institutions English
  • Mediation Toolkit Turkish
  • Consultation Manual for Public Institutions English
  • Consultation on Draft Legislation in Pilot Provinces - Training Manual for the Parliamentary Advisers Association English
  • The Organizational and Administrative Review of the Judiciary Final Report and Policy Options English