The USAID Kyrgyz Republic Active Communities project (AC) helps communities address local issues around solid waste management, public health, gender-based violence, and public safety by supporting collaboration and deepening relationships between civic leaders and organizations, government officials, and businesses in Kyrgyzstan. In 2022, AC partnerships expanded from 10 to 20 municipalities.
To tackle solid waste management in a sustainable way, AC focuses on strengthening local communities’ capacity to plan, finance and implement solutions while ensuring public commitment and accountability to see those solutions through. AC supports individuals and local nongovernmental organizations, including International Centre Interbilim, Eco Maksat, CARSI, Talas Regional Youth Council, Naryn Youth Center and the civil society support centers in Jalal-Abad and in Nookat, to advocate and enact solutions to issues that are important to local communities.
Recognizing the importance of engaging community members in local policymaking through collaborative governance, AC has supported the formation of 19 groups that are working to involve individuals and businesses in mobilizing resources to solve local issues. One municipality, for example, established a private company to manage solid waste disposal and initiated negotiations with factories in nearby towns for them to supply the company with plastic waste.
AC has also strengthened citizens’ understanding of their legal rights. Through the project, lawyers and civil society organizations are advocating for law and policy changes needed to overcome barriers to justice.