Posted on 18 Jun, 2024 by Rasul Momunaliev, Senior National Expert ARAKET

From 17-20 April 2024, 100 residents from four new settlements in the city of Osh were trained on how to access digital public services. This training was part of the project ARAKET: For a Better Life in New Settlements in Kyrgyzstan of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Similar training sessions were conducted in March for around 50 residents of seven new settlements in Bishkek, the capital city. During the project's first phase (2023 – 2027), the GFA team on behalf of SDC is particularly involved in awareness raising and motivating public authorities and residents to engage in advocacy and dialogue for better service delivery.

The settlements targeted by the Araket project are among the most underdeveloped and marginalized in Kyrgyzstan. Many of these settlements were initially illegal and self-occupied, resulting in a lack of proper registration and restricted access to public services. However, efforts to legalize these settlements are ongoing. Yet, residents do not automatically gain access to public services. This is a dilemma as more and more services are delivered online. Citizen with a cloud digital signature can access most public services through the Tunduk application. Tunduk offers services and information across six categories: healthcare, family status, property, business, social benefits, and other official information and certificates.

But most residents of the settlements targeted by the Araket project face difficulties accessing public services due to their lack of official registration and the absence of local public institutions. Digitization of public services allows residents to apply for services regardless of their place of residence, making it crucial to train them on how to use such online services.

In March and April, members of initiative groups, community leaders, and active citizens from all eleven target settlements were trained on accessing public services online. Qualified trainers and developers of the Tunduk software led the workshops, assisted by a GFA team of experts. Participants also learned how to use other applications like "My city" for municipal services, "My electricity" for paying electricity bills, "Early one" and "Sanarip clinic" for online bookings, and how to access information from government websites.

Trained residents will pass on their knowledge to at least ten other residents each. Tunduk and other applications for accessing public services are user-friendly, enabling residents to use their mobile phones to get the services they need. GFA experts together with their local partners take up this success story in their efforts to achieve the ultimate goal of the Araket project.