Summer School on Social Cohesion 2017 – Call for Applications

Date: 23 March 2017
Other languages: Русский язык |
Social cohesion has emerged over the last two decades as an important concept in both academic and political discourse. Quality of connections and cooperation between people and groups is essential to stability and development. Social cohesion—convergence across groups in society—provides a structure that helps ensure greater degrees of predictability and certainty in inter- and intra-group relations. While there is no guarantee that all groups within a society will agree on all issues, convergence across groups offers an incentive for groups to coexist as a peaceful society. 

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the University of Central Asia (UCA) are pleased to invite applicants to another edition of its successful summer schools on social cohesion in Kyrgyzstan. The Summer School Social Cohesion: Concept, Implementation and Impact Evaluation Summer School is a capacity-building initiative for researchers, practitioners and policymakers in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia. It is organised as part of the Social Cohesion through Community-based Development project implemented in Kyrgyzstan from 2014 to 2017 and funded by the World Bank and the Aga Khan Foundation. The project aims to identify, pilot and build capacity for social cohesion mechanisms in community-driven development approaches.

The Summer School will be held from 11–18 June 2017 covering the following topics:
  • Concept of social cohesion; 
  • Measurement of social cohesion using micro-data from Kyrgyzstan;
  • Application of social cohesion as a development intervention outcome, such as in impact evaluation studies; and
  • Processing and analysing micro-data using the statistical package Stata.  
Key instructors and speakers include Professor Kathryn Anderson (Vanderbilt University), Dr Damir Esenaliev (SIPRI), Dr Mandi M. Larsen (Jacobs University Bremen) and Dr Kanat Tilekeyev (UCA). 

Important dates
5 April 2017: Application deadline
10 April 2017: Shortlisted applicants contacted
5 May 2017: Online preparatory course deadline
12 May 2017: Successful applicants contacted
11–18 June 2017: Summer school in Kyrgyzstan

The Summer School will take place from 11 to 18 June 2017. The languages of instruction will be Russian and English. Simultaneous translation will be provided. Sessions will include lectures, class discussions, group work, case study exercises and statistical analysis.

Upon successful completion of the summer school, participants will receive a certificate of attendance. 

Requirements for applicants
  • A Bachelors or Masters degree in social sciences;
  • Knowledge of basic statistics (both the online selection component and the summer school will include statistics exercises); and
  • Working knowledge of English is desirable (participants are expected to work with Stata software and read literature in English).     
Researchers, primarily young professors, PhD students, development practitioners, and policy analysts from government, international agencies and civil society organisations based in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) are encouraged to apply. 

Participation is free of charge for up to 20 successful applicants and will cover tuition, regional travel expenses based on reasonable and average air and bus ticket prices, return travel from Bishkek to Issyk-Kul, accommodation and food. Additional spaces are available for self-funded participants.

Participants are required to bring their own laptops to the summer school, with MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint software installed. The Stata statistical package will be provided by the summer school organisers.  

Application submission
Applicants should submit, in English or Russian: 
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV); and 
  • A two-page motivation essay highlighting the relevance and potential benefit of the Summer School's topic to applicant's work, research or studies. The essay should also describe the applicant's experience with quantitative research methods and statistical analysis.  
These should be submitted via email to with ‘Summer School Application’ in the subject line.

The application deadline is 5 April 2017. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted by 10 April 2017.

Compulsory Preparatory Course
Shortlisted applicants will be required to complete an online three-week preparatory course that includes reading research materials on social cohesion, survey and impact evaluation methods, and assignments on basic statistics. The deadline for completing and submitting this course is 5 May 2017. Successful applicants will be contacted by 12 May 2017.

Location and Contacts  
Location of the Summer School is Raduga Resort, Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyz Republic.

Queries are to be sent to Damir Esenaliev, Guljan Asylbek kyzy (both SIPRI) or Aida Bolotbekova (UCA) by email to                                     

About the project 
The Social Cohesion through Community-based Development project has two main components: an intervention component implemented by the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) in the Kyrgyz Republic through its Mountain Societies Development Support Programme in Kyrgyzstan (MSDSP KG), and a research and evaluation component implemented by SIPRI and UCA. The project is funded by the World Bank and AKF. 

Previous Summer Schools

Read about our earlier summer schools:
The organising institutions are part of the Life in Kyrgyzstan Study which is a research-based, open access, multi-topic longitudinal survey of households and individuals in Kyrgyzstan. The survey was first conducted in the fall of 2010 and it tracks the same 3,000 households and 8,000 individuals over time in all seven Kyrgyz regions (oblasts) and the two cities of Bishkek and Osh. The data are representative nationally and at the regional level (East, West, North, South). The survey interviews all adult household members about household demographics, assets, expenditure, migration, employment, agricultural markets, shocks, social networks, subjective well-being, and many other topics.
Organising Institutions:

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
SIPRI is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. Established in 1966, SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public. 

University of Central Asia’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration 
The University of Central Asia’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration provides in-depth analysis of Central Asian economic policies and quality professional development opportunities for civil servants in the region. 

ISDC - International Security and Development Center
The International Security and Development Center (ISDC) provides evidence-based analysis and policy advice on the interactions of security, conflict, violence and fragility with socio-economic development, growth, employment and poverty alleviation. ISDC is based in Berlin and collaborates with a broad range of partners in academia, policy making and practice. 
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