UCA Awards 14 Fellowships for Research on Mountain Societies

Date: 21 May 2014
Other languages: Русский язык |

The University of Central Asia’s Mountain Societies Research Institute (MSRI) awarded over $160,000 in grants to 14 accomplished fellows from Afghanistan, Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic. Awarded in April 2014, the grants will support two-year research projects related to the development of mountain societies.

The grants were awarded by MSRI’s Central Asia and Afghanistan Research Fellowship (CAARF) programme. CAARF was established in 2013 to strengthen the capacity of scholars from Afghanistan, Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic to inform sustainable development for societies in the Tien Shan, Pamir and Hindu Kush mountain regions.

“At MSRI, we link knowledge production to action for development,” said Dr Mohira Suyarkulova, who coordinates CAARF at MSRI. “Mountain societies have valuable resources and face serious challenges. Understanding and acting on these is critical to improving the quality of lives and protecting mountain environments.”

The 14 research grants, ranging from $5,000 to 20,000 each, were awarded to seven fellows from the Kyrgyz Republic, four from Tajikistan and three from Afghanistan. Six of the fourteen grants were awarded to women.

“The fellows come from a range of disciplines and are investigating a rich variety of topics, all relevant to mountain society development,” states Dr Suyarkulova.

CAARF Fellows Research Area
Abdul Aziz Mohibbi Biodiversity conservation planning for eco-disaster risk reduction in fragile states, a case study from Afghanistan.
Mohammad Wasim Forecasting drought in the Amu Darya river basin for the design of appropriate agricultural water management strategies.
Said Ahmad Najafizada An evaluation of the off-farm livelihood skill to create sustainable communities in rural Bamyan, Afghanistan.
Kyrgyz Republic
Aida Bekturova Gender regime and neo-nationalism: Discourses of labour out-migration among various actors in public and government arenas in Kyrgyzstan.
Aisalkyn Botoeva Politics of debt: Understanding conceptions and practices of borrowing and spending in Kyrgyzstan through Islamic finance.
Gulmira Sariyeva Conservation of traditional varieties of apple trees in the Issyk-Kul foothills of Kyrgyzstan.
Kamalbek Karymshakov Migrants' remittances and household expenditure patterns: Evidence from Kyrgyzstan.
Kanayim Teshebaeva A study of active structures at the eastern collision of the Pamir-Alai ranges using synergies of InSAR time-series and optical data and geological records.
Kymbatkul Osmonbaeva Change of dynamics of the content of plant pollen and spores of mushrooms under the conditions of global warming.
Sagynbek Orunbaev An assessment of seismic risks in the Naryn hydropower stations complex: New methods and approaches.
Aynullo Safaralikhonov The influence of climate change factors in high altitude conditions on the content of phytohormones and plant growth inhibitors.
Munira Karamkhudoeva Assessment of potential medicinal and aromatic plants with respect to food and health sovereignty in the Pamir Region of Badakhshan, Afghanistan.
Murodbek Laldjebaev Energy security and energy sovereignty in rural mountainous communities in Tajikistan.
Shokarim Shoziyoev The patterns in the aftershock processes in the territory of Tajikistan: An analysis of data from nature observation and lab-based modelling.

An additional six fellows from Afghanistan received Development and Training awards; MSRI will facilitate training and mentorship to enable the fellow to strengthen their proposals and prepare for the next round of grant applications.

Development Awardees
Ahmad Fahim Samadi Comparison of yields among different varieties of rice in Baghlan’s agro-climatic conditions for providing secure food in rural areas.
Gholam Haidar Kateb The economic, social and environmental impact of mining and mineral exploration in the mountain areas of North Hindu-Kush, Afghanistan.
Hussain Alemi Afghanistan post-conflict: Differing effects of global aid on health and education (high central and western parts of Afghanistan).
Mohammad Sadeghi Improving Afghan rural community nourishment by utilising association mapping QTLs of high yield and quality in Afghan bread wheat.
Nasir Ahmad Mahmoodi The role of NGOs in the improvement of off-farm livelihoods in Afghanistan’s Central Highlands region.
Wahid Sayed Socio-economic and environmental impacts of the Hajigak mine extraction project.

A unique component of the award is the pairing of CAARF fellows with internationally recognised experts in their respective disciplines. Using web-based tools, mentors from 11 countries are assessing training needs, making arrangements for fieldwork and outlining publication agendas with the community of fellows.

“We are matching fellows to mentors around the world, respected scholars in their fields,” explains Dr Suyarkulova, “Through this process, CAARF fellows will join the growing international community of scholars researching mountain regions.”

The first round of Research for Development training for all award recipients, will take place in autumn 2014 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

CAARF is part of UCA’s Research and Public Policy Initiative (RPPI), which is working to ground policymaking processes in Afghanistan and Central Asia in sound evidence and policy analysis by building the capacity of the region’s researchers to conduct independent and critical studies and by expanding the ability of policy professionals in the region to utilise such research in policy development. RPPI is supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Aga Khan Foundation, Canada.

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