March 12, 2001
In this issue:
- Kyrgyzstan Opts For Information Society
UN IN KYRGYZSTAN
- Live TV Show on Domestic Violence in Kyrgyzstan
- Press Briefing on Kyrgyz Report on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
- NGO Regional Workshop on International Year of Volunteers 2001 in Bishkek
- Update on Counterpart Consortium/USAID/UNHCR-Supported NGO activities
The First National Summit on Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) for Development took place in Bishkek on 27-28 February on the initiative of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, UNDP Office in Kyrgyzstan and UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). The Summit brought in an unprecedented number of participants including top level leaders of all key ministries, NGOs, private sector, media, international organizations, as well as worldwide known academicians and independent experts. The composition of the Summit attendees and their readiness to take part in a two-day discussion have been a vivid evidence that the Kyrgyz society stands ready for a partnership in this field, and the country's leadership is regarding ICT development as a top priority.
Intensive use of information technologies will enable Kyrgyzstan to take a resolute step forward in its development by promoting business, reducing poverty, improving health and education services. To address these issues, it will take integration into the global information 'space' via utilizing the experience of the developed countries, and Kyrgyzstan already has the requisite basis for that. As was reported by the Chair of the Organizing Committee and President of the Kyrgyz Management Academy, Askar Kutanov, Kyrgyzstan has retained a high level of literacy, good education system and an acceptable telecommunications infrastructure. A very important indicator is that all Kyrgyz universities have access to the Internet, and Bishkek has a thriving network of Internet Cafes.
As was discussed at the Summit, to build an information society, not only does Kyrgyzstan need to further develop a modern telecommunications infrastructure, but also to have appropriately trained human resources, as well as to expand ICT to all the regions of the country.
The Summit made it possible to analyze the current situation in Kyrgyzstan's ICT, and – what is of no less significance – to boost partnership among government, private and non-government sectors. The Summit attendees made a practical contribution in designing the National ICT for Development Strategy and came up with a number of proposals on its implementation. A draft of the Strategy was formulated by the working group with a support from UNDP, UNDESA and Internews. At the plenary and group sessions, major objectives of the Strategy were discussed, which included:
- drawing public attention to ICT significance in modern society;
- identification of problems hampering the country's informatization;
- formulating the vision for the Kyrgyz information society, and
- identification of ICT impact on economic and social development in the country.
The overall objective of the Strategy would be to develop mechanisms to bridge the "digital divide" in the country.
Contact: Mr. Turat Aidyraliev, NPO UNDP Kyrgyzstan. 90 Chuikov Street, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Tel.: +996 312 22-68-23, 22-75-43. Fax: 996 312 66-05-57. Email: All Summit materials are placed at its Web page at http://www.ict.kg/, where a visitor can get more detailed information and make suggestions and comments in its Forum section.
UN IN KYRGYZSTAN
A live TV broadcast on domestic violence initiated by the UN in Kyrgyzstan on the eve of the International Women’s Day took place in Zamana studio of the Kyrgyz State TV/Radio Corporation on 5th of March. Participants of the show were Ms. Bermeth Tugelbaeva, director of the women's NGO Diamond, Ms. Leila Sydykova, a lawyer, Ms. Olga Janaeva, director of the women’s NGO Alga and Mr. Kiazbek Kekiev, Chief Duty Officer in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The discussion started from the general idea of Women’s Day, proclaimed by the UN as the Day of Women’s Rights and International Peace and the situation in Kyrgyzstan in this area for the moment. Ms. Leila Sydykova, a well-known lawyer told that women’s rights were promoted in several Kyrgyz Laws, including the Constitution, but the point is to use them to advance women in the country. Ms. Bermeth Tugelbaeva noted that after the Beijing’s Platform in 1995 more than 150 women’s NGOs were established in Kyrgyzstan, most of which are very active now and play an important role in Kyrgyz society. Then participants discussed the issue of domestic and other forms of violence against women in Kyrgyzstan. A Zamana journalist who anchored the program, asked Mr. Kekiev, whether there exist plans to create a special unit in the Ministry of Internal Affairs to work with women jeopardized in their families as it was done in Kazakhstan. Mr. Kekiev replied that there are no such plans but a lot of work to train militiamen on how to deal with jeopardized women has been and is being carried out. He also added that the issue of domestic violence became not ‘private’ but the problem of society and only by transparency and open dialogue we can overcome this shameful phenomenon. Ms. Tugelbaeva spoke about work done by Crisis Centers in Bishkek, which are serving as shelters for women who have problems with violence in their families. The program was built in the form of interactive dialogue with TV audience and people from all regions of the country, including remote areas could call in and ask their questions. In general, more than 20 questions came during the 45-minute broadcast most of which were requests to open crisis centers in remote areas.
The UN in Kyrgyzstan is going to continue the dialogue on domestic violence and other aspects of women’s rights. The Art Trade Exhibition with a motto “Young Artists against Domestic Violence” opened on 8th of March in the Art Museum in cooperation with the Meerim Foundation and Art Museum Directorate. Artists, students together with advanced artists, disabled children-artists, and women-refugees, present their paintings and handicrafts to general public. As was agreed, 10 percent of the proceeds of the sale will go to support three crisis centers in Bishkek.
The Press Briefing on the Report of the Kyrgyz Republic on Implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The event jointly arranged by the UN Agencies in Kyrgyzstan took place in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 1 March. Acting UN Resident Coordinator James Lynch (UNHCR) told the journalists about the Covenant to which Kyrgyzstan has been a party since 1994. The Covenant stipulates regular progress reports from state parties. Department Chief of the Foreign Ministry Erkin Momkulov described the activities of the Kyrgyz Government on preparation and submission of the first national report. Yuri Misnikov, acting UNDP Resident Representative, spoke about the efforts of the UN System in Kyrgyzstan to assist the country in implementation of the Covenant's provisions, as well as in fulfilling the recommendations of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Representatives from UNFPA, UNICEF, IOM and WHO attended the conference, and James Lynch and Yuri Misnikov took the questions. The event was well covered by electronic and print media.
Contact: Ms. Katarina Szecsi Asbrink, Assistant UN Coordinator, 90 Chuikov Street, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Tel.: 996-312- 22-63-89, 22-68-23. Fax 996-312-66-05-57. Email:
NGO Regional Workshop on International Year of Volunteers 2001 in Bishkek. As part of global efforts to celebrate 2001 as International Year of Volunteers, a two days workshop for NGOs in the CIS and Eastern Europe took place at the ‘Dostuk’ hotel on the 24th and 25th of February 2001. The United Nations General Assembly in November 1997 adopted resolution declaring 2001 as International Year of Volunteers. This decision was made in recognition of the immense contribution made by Volunteers and Voluntary organizations in social development, humanitarian assistance, promotion of human rights, democratization, peace etc. The United Nations Volunteer Programme by virtue of its mandate as the Volunteer arm of the United Nations was designated as the focal point for the celebrations.
To commemorate the year, the United Nations Volunteer Programme HQ in Bonn, last year organized workshops for Government officials and policymakers in Africa, South -East Asia and Latin America. A similar workshop for the CIS and Eastern Europe will be organized later in the year in Almaty.
The Bishkek workshop was mainly for NGOs and was funded by Soros Foundation Kyrgyzstan. The workshop was organized by the ‘Volunteer Initiative Center’, a joint project by Soros Foundation and UNDP/UNV Kyrgyzstan, to promote volunteerism in the country. The workshop attracted participants from Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and, Kazakhstan. Also were representatives from Kyrgyzstan, which included NGOs, Universities and, Government. The theme of the workshop was “The Role of Voluntary Organizations in Social Development in the CIS”. The two days deliberations focused on how to promote volunteerism in the region and how governments can create an enabling environment for increased volunteer contribution to social development in the region. Participants also shared their country experiences and identified ways by which the can achieve the objectives of the year in their respective countries.
The workshop was officially opened by the Kyrgyz Minister for Social Protection and Labor, Ms. Rosa Aknazarova. Other officials at the opening ceremony were Acting UNDP RR, JOCV country Representative, Peace Corps and Senior Kyrgyz Government officials.
For more information on the workshop and United Nations International Year of Volunteers 2001, please contact: Ms. Muhaio Parpieva, National Coordinator "Volunteer Initiative Center", Bishkek Tel. + 996 (312) 66-19-97 email:
Update on Counterpart Consortium/USAID/UNHCR/EU-Supported NGO activities. Civil Society Support Center, Bishkek. The Bishkek CSSC, which is established on the basis of the NGO InterBilim, organized a three-day training workshop on Project Design for 23 NGO representatives. The training was held under the training the Counterpart Consortium “Program of Civil Society and NGO Development in the Central Asia” funded through USAID. This workshop is aimed at teaching the participants how to develop logical, reasonable and justifiable project proposals that meet the requirements of Counterpart and other donor agencies to receive funding and resources for the specified project. In addition, the participants discussed other issues such as:
- writing a good problem statement
- assessing needs and collecting information
- setting project goals and objectives
- drafting a project implementation plan
- identifying resources to implement the project
- developing and justifying the project budget
- monitoring and evaluating the project
For more information, please contact Elena Voronena, International Center InterBilim. Tel: 66 04 25, 66 05 16.
Civil Society Support Center, Kara-Balta. On February 27 – March 2, 2001 the CSSC “Consulting” conducted the training workshop on project design for the NGO community of the Kara-Balta area. The workshop was held in the village Ephironos and attended by 16 people representing the NGO community and governmental agencies. The training was held under the training the Counterpart Consortium “Program of Civil Society and NGO Development in the Central Asia” funded through USAID.
On February 28, 2001 a meeting of refugees with Mr. D. Sadyrbaev, Deputy of the Legislative Assembly, and Mr. K. Sadiev, Deputy Minister of Interior, was held in the KR Parliament. The meeting was attended by the leaders of the refugee NGOs (Mok-Suu, El-Uchun, Refugee Help, and the manger of the CSSC “Consulting”. The purpose of the meting was to address the issues of obtaining citizenship in the Kyrgyz Republic by refugees and migrants from the Republic of Tajikistan. Under the assistance of the CSSC “Consulting”, Youth Bar Association and NGO Mok-Suu 56 packages have been developed and now are under consideration by the Citizenship Committee under the KR President, though they have not been processed yet. Mr. Sadiev promised to monitor this issue and distributed among the participants applications to be filled out for those who would like to submit documents. At the meeting the participants also discussed the issue of a residence permit for refugees and migrants of the Jaiyl region. The Deputy informed that the heads of ail-okmotuu would get instructions for registering refugees and migrants. In order to inform the general public about the results of the meting it was planned to conduct a follow-up meeting on March 2, 2001 with refugees and migrants of Jaiyl, Panfilov, and Moskovsky areas. The meeting was held under the UNHCR program.
On February 22 the CSSC “Consulting” conducted the workshop Participatory Community Appraisal with a target group in the village of Sosnovka with participation of local citizens. The workshop was held by leaders of NGOs and CBOs and local trainers who were previously trained by Counterpart Consortium in PCA techniques. 70 citizens participated in the survey. The workshop was held under the Program of Civil Society and NDO Development in the Central Asian Region (Community Mobilization Component) through funding provided by USAID. This program is aimed at assisting local communities, local citizens, initiative groups in participatory discussion of local priorities and ways of their solutions.
Under the Program of Counterpart Consortium “Mobilization of Local Communities” and the European Commission Program “Participation of Local Communities in Building Civil Society” the workshop Participatory Community Appraisal was held on February 27-28 in villages Krasnaya Rechka and Ivanovka. The purpose of the survey was identification of local problems with the involvement of citizens. The workshop was held by leaders of NGOs operating in Issyk-Ata and Alamedin areas and Kant town. The leaders were trained by Counterpart Consortium in PCA techniques. 70 villagers of the Ivanovka village and 120 villagers of the Krasnaya Rechka village participated in PCA.
Under the project “Plan of Participation and Partnership” for Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF) and National Strategy on Poverty Alleviation (NSPA) a meeting was held in the Ministry of Finances on Febrauary 24, 2001. The NGO community was represented by non-profit organizations such as National Council on Development, Human Rights Bureau, Training Center for Disabled Children, NGO Coalition, NGO Association, International Center InterBilim, Federation of Women’s NGOs, etc. They met with a team of project designers including Mr. Kanemetov, Deputy minister of Finances, Ms. Kypchakbaeva, head of the Social Fund, as well as representatives of Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Ecology and Emergencies, Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, and Ministry of Finances. All in all there were 38 participants at the meeting. During the meeting the NGO representatives expressed their critical attitude towards the content of CDF and NSPA documents, asked many questions and offered a lot of specific suggestions to improve the content of both projects as well as requested to integrate in projects comments and suggestions made by the NGO community at previous round tables. They also offered to organize a meeting with donor organizations that funded CDF and NSPA. At the end of the meting Mr. Kanimetov thanked all the participants of the meeting and expressed his wish to maintain a contact on a regular basis between the team of disinters and representatives of civil society in order to finalize the drafts of both projects. The meeting was organized by Counterpart Consortium through funding provided by the World Bank.
On March 1, 2001 a round table for the NGO community was organized in Naryn in a local library. The meeting was organized by the CSSC in collaboration with the Urban Institute. At the meeting there were 17 representatives of 15 NGOs of the Naryn city and Naryn Region. The purpose of the round table was to discuss suggestions made by the NGO community and local citizens related to public hearing of the city budget that are scheduled for March 12, 2001. The round table participants offered to create a working group consisting of the NGO members that could inform the general public about the idea of public hearings. The working group is supposed to start working on March 2, 2001 and will design a PR plan and come up with suggestions of how to held public hearings in Naryn.
Contact: Counterpart Consortium, Lilia Kuchenova, IU/AUK Program Coordinator, Information Coordinator of NGO, 107 Kievskaya str., 5th floor, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Phone: 996(312) 610 135, 610 022, 664 636 Fax: 996(312) 610 021 Email: Internet: http://www.cango.net.kg/