University of Central Asia Celebrates First Graduates of Certificate Programme in Mining Policy and Sustainable Development
On 19 December 2016, the University of Central Asia’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration (UCA IPPA) celebrated the first graduates of its Certificate in Mining Policy and Sustainable Development (CMPSD). The eight-week executive programme for civil servants, experts, and civil society representatives involved in extractive industries was the first of its kind in the Kyrgyz Republic. The course aimed to develop a pool of informed professionals who can improve the quality of public discussion within the mining sector. It was delivered with support from the Canadian Embassy to the Kyrgyz Republic, the British Embassy to the Kyrgyz Republic and Aga Khan Foundation Canada.
Twenty one graduates received a professional development certificate in Mining Policy and Sustainable Development and a supplement detailing the study programme and learner’s achievement in accordance with European norms. Dr Bohdan Krawchenko, UCA’s Director General and Dean of Graduate Studies, congratulated graduates and remarked the programme is essential in promoting knowledge exchange and the sharing of best practices to the mining sector.
“The mining sector plays a pivotal role in Kyrgyzstan’s development, and this certificate programme equips those engaged in this field with the tools and resources needed to understand the kinds of policies required for the sustainable development of this sector,” said Krawchenko.
The Certificate in Mining Policy and Sustainable Development was designed to provide learners with an overview of issues involved in mining policy and to stimulate further inquiry. Delivered in Russian and English between September to December 2016, it comprised eleven modules and a colloquium. The modules included in- and out-of-class engagements with experts and a final policy project tailored to each learner’s professional context.
The modules were delivered by international faculty from Columbia University, SRK Consulting, University of Queensland, as well as national experts from UCA IPPA, GIZ, Kyrgyz Mining Association, Kalikova & Associates and Eco-Solutions KG. The programme’s final assignment involved learners defending their policy proposals at a colloquium attended by experts from the geological, economic and legal areas within the mining sector.
Results from a survey conducted after the programme, indicated all modules exceeded or met expectations of the majority of learners. Learners reported they acquired new knowledge and skills during the certificate programme (with 93 percent responding they gained “much” new knowledge). Importantly, 85 percent of learners found the course content was effectively contextualised for the Kyrgyz Republic and over half of the participants reported they have already started to apply their newly acquired expertise.
“As a course participant, I would like to thank UCA and IPPA for this endeavour. Such a programme, allows civil servants and other participants to gain new knowledge, learn best practices and apply them in the work place,” noted Iskender Bainazarov.
Robin Ord-Smith, the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the Kyrgyz Republic, emphasised the importance of the mining sector to Kyrgyzstan’s prosperity and highlighted the need to create an enabling environment that attracts international momentum in developing the mining sector.
“The extractives industry is one of the most important contributors to global economic growth. Kyrgyzstan has significant untapped potential that could create jobs and wealth to the country. But to successfully do so, there is a need to create an international competitive climate to attract leading international companies and to ensure global best practice, transparent, sustainable and ecologically responsible development,” noted Ord-Smith.
The Certificate in Mining Policy and Sustainable Development is part of a multi-faceted Mining Policy Initiative designed to promote an empirically-informed public discussion on mining policy that engages government agencies, the media, civil society and private sector. This 20-month initiative draws on resources within UCA and its partnerships with state and national government agencies, international experts, universities, donor agencies and non-governmental organisations.
In the next phase, IPPA will develop a peer-reviewed publication Towards a Sustainable Development of Mining in Kyrgyzstan: Policies and Practice that will capture materials and insights from policy dialogues held earlier as well as the resources developed for the Certificate Programme in Mining Policy and Sustainable Development and research produced by participants. Mobilising its existing networks of universities, international organisations and local self-governments in multiple regions, UCA will conduct a variety of dissemination events to engage a wider range of stakeholders to learn from the programme’s results and findings.