Turkmenistan is slowly reforming aspects of its economy and government to be more in line with international standards. Economic modernization is well underway; however, issues with transparency of governance remain. With one of the lowest internet penetration rates in the world, no independent media, and tightly controlled access to most data and statistics, Turkmenistan’s small civil society sector finds it difficult to operate and initiate positive change.
Although the years of centralized control have resulted in a society with decidedly limited civic enfranchisement and engagement, USAID has maintained a sound relationship with the Turkmen government. Through demand-driven programs in economic growth, governance and health, USAID supports local efforts to foster a more open and integrated society, contributing to stability in a region where democratic governance remains a work in progress. USAID’s work in Turkmenistan is supported by a public-private partnership with Chevron in support of macroeconomic reform and privatization, providing opportunities for young people to gain practical skills in economics and entrepreneurship, such as through Junior Achievement, and health information outreach for vulnerable youth.
- A USAID-developed market economics curriculum is now taught throughout Turkmenistan’s national secondary education system.
- To improve livestock quality for dairy and meat production, USAID introduced advanced artificial insemination techniques in Turkmenistan. Participating dairy farmers experienced a 90 percent increase in their milk yields.
- USAID contributed to a 32 percent increase in the tuberculosis treatment success rate in-country between 2000 and 2013.
U.S.-funded programs focus on increasing access to key services to help prevent the transmission and contain the expansion of tuberculosis (TB) and HIV. USAID supports activities that improve the delivery of prevention, care and treatment services for TB, enhance the capacities of institutions to address multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB, and develop systems to strengthen diagnosis and improve infection control practices of MDR TB. USAID and the World Health Organization work together to improve TB data management and introduce new models of outpatient treatment for TB and MDR TB, including training doctors and nurses on the latest proven treatment approaches. USAID also cooperates with UN agencies and local non-governmental health organizations to support HIV/AIDS prevention efforts among the most at-risk populations.
Democracy and Governance
Turkmenistan has expressed an interest in adopting certain international best practices and models related to governance, including the select use of e-governance technologies in order to provide better services to its citizens. USAID and other U.S. Government agencies support these efforts and advocate for additional reforms aimed at improving transparency, expanding access to information, and increasing the professionalism and effectiveness of Turkmen government employees. USAID builds the capacity of Turkmenistan’s tiny cadre of civil society organizations (CSOs), helping them to understand and navigate the country’s changing legal and institutional framework. With USAID input, Turkmenistan adopted a new CSO law in 2014, providing clarity on how CSOs can positively engage with their government to address citizen concerns.
Economic Growth and Agriculture
USAID helps Turkmenistan participate more fully in the global economy by supporting economic reform and helping to apply international accounting and finance standards. USAID supports Turkmenistan in diversifying its economy and pursuing inclusive, broad-based growth through macroeconomic stability, enhanced competitiveness and expanded private sector participation. USAID was the first international partner to respond to Turkmenistan’s request for information on how World Trade Organization (WTO) accession could impact its economy and society, as well as the first international partner to improve the valuation sector when Turkmenistan opened its economy after years of state control. By helping the country transition to international accounting methods, understand the reforms needed to join the WTO and more accurately estimate the value of financial assets and liabilities, USAID is assisting Turkmenistan in laying the groundwork for broader participation in the global economy.
In agriculture, USAID provides training to veterinary experts on improving animal health through modern feeding programs and disease protection, and assists farmers in breeding healthier and more productive dairy and beef cows. Veterinarians trained by USAID on modern artificial insemination techniques are critical for the country’s livestock industry and their expertise is used by producers nationwide.
Last updated: December 22, 2015