February 3, 2015

Improving Good Governance in Tajikistan

Transparency and active civic participation are the bedrock of effective public management. For one alumna, this is more than a principle: it is a call to action. Since returning to Tajikistan, Hubert H. Humphrey alumna Ms. Gulru Azamova has become a pioneer in the promotion of good governance by improving the efficiency of local institutions and inspiring a new generation of youth with the spirit of public service. 
In 2007, Ms. Azamova studied Public Administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill through the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program. Soon after returning to Tajikistan she founded an NGO called the Center for Municipal Development to promote capacity building for public institutions in Tajikistan. Since its inception, the center has mobilized resources at the municipal and national level and developed new methodologies to sponsor reforms in local planning, budgeting, and management across Tajikistan.
Ms. Azamova’s projects in good governance reach beyond the municipality to directly empower citizens as informed civic actors. In 2012, Ms. Azamova led trainings aimed at promoting the economic mobility, leadership, and self-confidence of women in rural Tajikistan. After the program, all of the participants cited improved empowerment and self-worth, and 60 women from five rural districts went on to launch their own small businesses.
On top of Ms. Azamova’s extensive work improving public management, she remains a committed leader within the alumni community in Tajikistan. Since 2010, Ms. Azamova has helped facilitate and coordinate annual alumni networking conferences in Tajikistan, which bring together over 300 alumni from across the country. She has served as a teacher and mentor, organizing community service projects for youth and workshops on leadership development, critical thinking, and women’s empowerment. 
While Ms. Azamova continues her mission to promote openness and reform in Tajikistan, her accomplishments and leadership serve as a reminder of the capacity of individuals to inspire and sustain change within their own societies.
Each month, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) Alumni Affairs Division, which supports alumni as they build on their exchange experiences, recognizes one outstanding alumnus or alumna. Gulru Azamova is this month’s outstanding alumna, and her work will be recognized throughout February on the International Exchange Alumni website, ECA’s official website which serves more than one million Department-sponsored exchange alumni worldwide.