80 Experts Gather at Second Annual Life in Kyrgyzstan Conference in Bishkek
The University of Central Asia's Institute of Public Policy and Administration (UCA IPPA) and an international consortium of research institutions jointly convened the second annual “Life in Kyrgyzstan” conference in Bishkek on 6-7 October 2016.
The two-day conference brought together more than 80 national and international experts from the government and public sector, development agencies, non-governmental organisations, academia and research institutions, and media to exchange knowledge and experiences on recent socio-economic developments in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia and to promote evidence-based policymaking.
Dr Bohdan Krawchenko, UCA Director General and Dean of Graduate Studies welcomed participants to the conference. “This year we aim to corroborate success of last year’s event and continue contributing to the spread of evidence-based research. This conference is a place to share discoveries, make an argument and find innovative solutions that have a generational impact on the socioeconomic development in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia,” he noted.
The conference was organised by UCA IPPA, Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), International Security and Development Center (ISDC), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Plenary sessions of the conference addressed a range of topics including; labour markets, gender and intra-household decision-making, migration and remittances, rural livelihoods and agricultural market access, impacts of trade reform and issues of regional integration, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), social cohesion, and peacebuilding.
“The ‘Life in Kyrgyzstan’ study is a unique knowledge infrastructure in the whole of Central Asia. With the fascinating data about how people live and work in Kyrgyzstan, we can design better policies and projects,” said Professor Tilman Brück of ISDC and IGZ.
The conference also informed delegates on the Life in Kyrgyzstan study; an open access, multi-topic longitudinal survey of 3,000 households and 8,000 individuals in Kyrgyzstan. The survey tracks the same households and individuals in all seven Kyrgyz regions and two cities of Bishkek and Osh, providing data over time on a range of topics, including household demographics, assets, expenditure, migration, employment, agricultural markets, shocks, social networks and subjective well-being.
The survey was first conducted in 2010 and then replicated in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and 2016. The data is representative both at the national and regional levels and is widely available for non-profit research, policy analysis and teaching purposes.
Dr Damir Esenaliev, Senior SIPRI Researcher emphasised the contributions high quality data can have on the quality of life of individuals in Kyrgyzstan. “We are pleased with an expanding use of the ‘Life in Kyrgyzstan’ survey data by researchers, students, and institutions not only in Kyrgyzstan, but globally. We will continue to provide the data from the future waves of the ‘Life in Kyrgyzstan’ survey for the public use and will sustain our efforts in building research capacity and evidence-based decision-making in Kyrgyzstan and in the Central Asian region,” said Dr Esenaliev.
The University of Central Asia
The University of Central Asia (UCA) was founded in 2000. The Presidents of Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Kazakhstan and His Highness the Aga Khan signed the International Treaty and Charter establishing this secular and private University, which was ratified by the respective parliaments and registered with the United Nations. The Presidents are the Patrons of UCA and His Highness is the Chancellor. UCA’s mission is to promote the social and economic development of Central Asia, particularly its mountain societies, by offering an internationally recognised standard of higher education and helping the different peoples of the region to preserve and draw upon their rich cultural traditions and heritages as assets for the future. UCA brings with it the commitment and partnership of the Aga Khan Development Network. For more information: www.ucentralasia.org.
Institute of Public Policy and Administration
The University of Central Asia Institute of Public Policy and Administration (UCA IPPA) was established in 2011 to strengthen public policy in Central Asia. It provides in-depth analysis on current and emerging policy issues facing the region, and improves the analytical capacity of governments and civil society to use evidence in decision-making processes through professional development. The Institute has produced a series of peer-reviewed research papers on social and economic issues, public administration and public policy as they relate to Central Asia and Afghanistan. For more information on IPPA, please visit: http://www.ucentralasia.org/ippa