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Exploring Socio-Economic Trends: UCA Hosts the 9th Annual Life in Kyrgyzstan Conference

Institute of Public Policy and Administration
28 November 2023

The 9th Annual Life in Kyrgyzstan Conference, held on 11-12 October 2023, saw a convergence of over 75 speakers across 22 thematic sessions. This significant event brought together national and international experts from academic and research institutions, development agencies, government, the public sector, and non-governmental organisations. The conference served as an invaluable platform for exchanging knowledge and experiences, focusing on recent socio-economic developments in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia. During the event, numerous topics were covered, including recent findings and survey results in areas such as economics, health, agriculture, air pollution, civil society, gender, migration, and demographics.

Christopher Gerry, Dean of UCA’s Graduate School of Development, underscored the conference’s unique focus. He stated, “The Life in Kyrgyzstan Conference is committed to putting the individual at the heart of research, with a focus on understanding the lives and livelihoods of those in Kyrgyzstan. The Life in Kyrgyzstan survey data, which provides a foundational understanding of the lives and livelihoods of Kyrgyz society, remains a top priority for The Graduate School of Development and UCA as a whole – and securing future funding for this unique public scientific good is essential.”

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A participant delivering an overview of the current social and economic conditions in Kyrgyzstan.

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Participants of the Life in Kyrgyzstan Conference.

The Life in Kyrgyzstan (LIK) study - initiated in 2010 - tracks the experiences of 8,000 individuals across the country, spanning all oblasts. This extensive dataset is readily available to researchers, analysts, students, teachers, and professors, facilitating a wider range of research endeavours. Professor Tilman Brück from Humboldt-University of Berlin, a key contributor to the initiative, emphasised the study’s collaborative nature, noting, “It's available for everybody who wants to conduct research with it and to share an awareness of the study. It also serves as a vital platform for connecting researchers, practitioners, and policymakers in the region.”

Zainab Muborakshoeva, who presented her research findings on agricultural productivity in Kyrgyzstan, praised the dataset, saying, “I think LIK is a great resource. It’s one of the few datasets that’s very comprehensive on both individual and household levels, including gender-specifics, which is very important for my work.”

The 9th Annual Life in Kyrgyzstan Conference was a collaborative effort, organised by the University of Central Asia (UCA), the Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ) in Germany, and the International Security and Development Center (ISDC), also based in Germany. UCA extends its gratitude to its esteemed partners, including AUCA, Mercy Corps, the World Bank, UNFPA, and many others, whose contributions were instrumental in the success of the conference.

Mark Your Diaries
The 10th Annual Life in Kyrgyzstan Conference is scheduled to take place from 10-11 October 2024 in Bishkek.

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