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Common Sense Economics: What Everyone Should Know About Personal and National Prosperity

Institute of Public Policy and Administration
27 January 2023

The University of Central Asia's Institute of Public Policy and Administration (IPPA) team won the Economic Fundamentals Initiative (EFI) Country Partner of the Month, thanks to their efforts in promoting economic literacy in Kyrgyzstan. They achieved this by increasing the number of downloads of the book Common Sense Economics: What Everyone Should Know About Personal and National Prosperity to 63,000 and by bringing in 5,400 unique visitors and more than 4,000 downloads in December alone.

The economic literacy project Akchasana that is spearheaded in Kyrgyzstan by IPPA is a unique endeavor that utilizes the skills, talents, and creativity of many people from various countries to inspire and generate interest in economics. As part of a network of 10 countries, the IPPA team, led by Sr Research Fellow Dr Kemel Toktomushev, is working to demystify economics by engaging not only policymakers, but also the general public and high school students directly.

For the first time in Kyrgyzstan's history, IPPA has translated this key economics textbook into Kyrgyz and made it available for free download. Additionally, IPPA has brought the International Economics Olympiad to Kyrgyzstan, allowing Kyrgyz pupils to compete and the country's finalists to participate in the finals in Europe. This will give Kyrgyz students the opportunity to showcase their knowledge and skills on a global stage.

To effectively convey the key messages of the book to a larger, mostly younger audience, the IPPA team has decided to engage young people through social media. By watching videos on TikTok or reading posts on Instagram, young people get to learn how the economy works, what can be done to generate wealth, and how to make financial decisions.

As Dr. Toktomushev emphasized, "Our project is not just about raising general awareness of the importance of economics and finance in people's everyday lives, but – most importantly – it is about providing an opportunity and a glimpse of hope for the most talented kids to believe in themselves and the things they can achieve."

Promotion of economic literacy is particularly important for Kyrgyzstan as it can help people make informed decisions about their personal finances, but also help them understand and participate in public policy discussions related to the economy, including government spending and taxation.

IPPA researcher Saule Chalbasova added "By interacting with followers and engaging in small quizzes and essay competitions, we try to raise awareness on important social problems such as money management, exchange rates, inflation, food baskets and others. We believe that by providing our audience with more knowledge, we make a direct impact and engage our audience to think more critically about actual issues in the economy."

With the support of the EFI, IPPA has many more plans and ideas on how to explain the basics of economics in a language that is easy for everyone to understand.

To download the book Common Sense Economics: What Everyone Should Know About Personal and National Prosperity, please visit:

UCA 9830

Participants at the book launch event in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.