The Second Country Cooperation Framework between the State of Kuwait and UNDP for the period (2002-present) witnessed numerous interventions to strengthen public administration reform. Particularly, emphasis has been given to institutional and individual capacity building through enhancing the planning, judiciary and state audit functions. UNDP Kuwait has supported the Supreme Council for Planning and Development in the formulation of the National Development Plan. UNDP Kuwait has supported the General Secretariat of Supreme Council for Planning and Development in the formulation of the strategic vision and first five year development plan for the State of Kuwait. Performance management has been enhanced through replicating performance measurement systems across a number of ministries. UNDP Kuwait also continues to support e-government initiatives through promoting greater use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to automate key government institutions.
UNDP Kuwait has supported Kuwaiti women to enter the political sphere after acquiring their political rights in May 2005 through a series of awareness campaigns and capacity building workshops. UNDP has recently launched the equitable political participation project.
The State of Kuwait’s ratification of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2007 marked a major cornerstone instigating a few initiatives in UNDP Kuwait to promote and exchange knowledge on the implementation of the UNCAC. A comprehensive programme is underway in the upcoming Country Programme (2009-2013) to support the implementation of the UNCAC.
The Government of Kuwait realizes that in order to maintain economic growth and social stability, it should create a capable and efficient public administration and an effective system of governance. Plans for improving management and performance of ministries and public agencies are given high priority in the Government Action Plan, and several projects have been planned to achieve this goal. Kuwait is at a crossroads at this stage of its development. The Government and the professional community are aware that continued dependence on oil wealth is unsustainable. At the same time, the role of the State as the sole provider in the economic and social spheres is being seriously questioned and is considered a weak foundation on which to build a future in a highly globalized market economy.
The following are UNDP’s interventions in the area of Governance and Development Planning:
- The ‘Preparatory Assistance for Technical and Advisory Services to the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development (GSSCPD)’ project was launched in October 2009 with the purpose of providing local/international experts to support the Supreme Council for Planning and Development in developing the National 5-year development plan for Kuwait and providing advisory services to the council as well as capacity-building for the its staff. The project timeframe has been extended to September 2011.
- UNDP and the Central Statistics Office (CSO) are engaged in a project to provide technical support and capacity-building to the CSO to restructure its internal organization and develop their information systems to aid in development planning. This will be achieved through technical interventions to support information management, monitoring and evaluation of human development and economic indicators, centralizing the information networks within the state and developing new policies to support decision-making by utilizing the latest analytical tools and statistical methodologies. The project seeks to promote new information management policies to enhance development planning through decision-support systems. This project aims to reinforce the statistical function within the state and reclaim CSO’s role as a lead agency for development information and national statistics. The project is slated for three years with a planned budget of USD 3.5 million.
- UNDP and the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development (GSSCPD) have endorsed a project to support the State Audit Bureau in the design and implementation of a National Performance Management Framework with the purpose of enhancing governance, accountability and the performance of governmental organizations within Kuwait and increasing the effectiveness of the State Audit Bureau in exercising its monitoring and control activities of the performance of the different governmental entities. The project is planned for three years with a total budget of USD 2.5 million.
- UNDP and the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development (GSSCPD) have endorsed a project to support the Kuwait municipality to develop an urban observatory monitoring system with support from UN-HABITAT. The project has a timeframe of three years with a budget of USD 3.5 million.
- UNDP and the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development (GSSCPD) have endorsed a project to provide technical support to the Kuwait National Assembly to develop the capacities of parliamentarians through the utilization of the best training methodologies for parliamentary affairs and upgrading the skills of the secretariat thereby enhancing its role in passing legislations and providing quality service to its members. The project is planned for two years with a budget totaling just under one million dollars.
- The General Secretariat for the Supreme Council for Planning and Development has approached UNDP requesting a comprehensive support project to the GSSCPD through the provision of technical specialists and advisors to lead the planning and implementation of the Mid-range Development Plan (2009/10-2013/14). UNDP is still discussing this intervention with the senior management of the SCPD. The project builds on UNDP’s mandate and strategic vision and aims to promote Governance in the Public Sector. It corresponds to the commitment of the UNDP Kuwait CO to address Planning and Strategic in its Country Programme Action Plan 2009-2013 and its Increase Efficiency and Transparency in Public Agencies. The Planning and Implementation System in Kuwait has been overshadowed by the many institutional changes that have occurred over the past few decades. The situation has changed in the last three years. The recent GS-SCPD management is determined to develop professionalism in the work of this sensitive and central planning entity, create climate of performance, and enhance its standing as an agent of substantive input into national development policy.