May 14, 2001
In this issue:
EVENT OF THE MONTH
- National Forum on Social Mobilization and Microcrediting in Poverty Alleviation
- National Meeting of Local Government Officials in Bishkek
- Kyrgyzstan’s Best Practice on AIDS Prevention
- Workshop to Control Malaria
- Update on Counterpart Consortium/USAID/UN/EU-Supported NGO activities
REFUGEES AND MIGRATION
- Training for the Border and Migration Management Officials
TRAINING AND EDUCATION
- Education Throughout Creative Work
UNITED NATIONS VOLUNTEERS
- CIS Volunteer Leaders Eye National Action Plans at Kazakhstan Forum
EVENT OF THE MONTH
The National Forum on the Role of Social Mobilization and Microcrediting in Poverty Alleviation in Kyrgyzstan was held on 10-11 May in Bishkek. The Forum was initiated by Mr. Askar Akayev, President of the Kyrgyz Republic, and is organized with the support from the Office of the President and UNDP.
A more than three-year experience of the United Nations Development Program in social mobilization in Kyrgyzstan demonstrates that this practical mechanism contributes to poverty alleviation without huge financial investment since the main link in this mechanism is a process of combining efforts, knowledge and experience of people, empowering them with self-reliance and opportunities. Experience has shown that joint efforts of the communities together with an access to small loans enable the poor to transfer to self-sustainability in a relatively short period of time. People uniting into small groups, which, in turn, establish community-based organizations to solve economic and social problems in their villages, are more socially active and contribute to the development of civil society and local democratic governance.
The success of social mobilization in the pilot districts in all Kyrgyz provinces is proved by a high level of the microcredit paybacks, a significant improvement in living standards of programme participants (an income growth and a better social and economic infrastructure in the rural areas). Also important is an improved partnership between the communities and local self-government enabling the communities to contribute to rural development. The experience of implementing these initiatives showed vividly the role people can have in poverty alleviation in addition to efforts by the Government and donor organizations.
The major goal of the Forum was to coordinate efforts and develop viable mechanisms to implement the National Poverty Reduction Strategy through discussions and experience sharing among national and international organizations involved in social mobilization and microcrediting.
The first day of the Forum was held in the Issyk-Kul Hotel where more than 150 participants from central and local government, international and non-government organizations engagingly discussed the following issues in the working groups:
- Establishing institutional basis for social mobilization;
- Information and training support to this vital process in poverty alleviation;
- Establishing efficient legal basis for microfinance;
- Increasing the role of local government; and
- Establishing the foundation for monitoring and evaluation of the National Poverty Reduction Strategy.
The second day of the forum was opened by President Akayev's presentation outlining the tasks facing the nation to reduce poverty and capitalize on the positive experience in the field of microfinance and social mobilization. The participants from ministries and agencies involved in the development of the National Poverty Reduction Strategy, international and non-government organizations, media and beneficiaries of the donor-driven and national programs on social mobilization and microcrediting (in all, more than 350 people) took an active part in discussing the presentation. Besides, on the second day the participants were exposed to specific recommendations and proposals elaborated during the discussions in the working groups the day before to design a cohesive and coordinated government policy in social mobilization and microfinance to reduce poverty in the foreseeable future.
Contact: Ms. Aikan Mukanbetova, UNDP GID Bureau Director. 24 Isanov Street, office #1, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Tel.: +996 (312) 66-04-18, 66-38-85. Fax: +996 (312) 66-05-20. E-mail: A lot of information on the Forum put on the Kyrgyz Government web site: http://www.gov.kg/ as well on the Human Development Network web site: http://www.dialog.kg/ in Russian. Information in English will be put on UNDP Kyrgyzstan web site: http: http://www.undp.kg/
A national meeting of local government officials was held on 3 May in Bishkek. The motto of the meeting was "Local Government as a Foundation of the Kyrgyz Popular Governance". In all 670 people attended, including President Akayev, Speakers of the Houses, Prime Minister and Members of Parliament. The two-day event was dedicated to priority issues of government policies in public administration, such as what options are relevant, local government and other executive bodies. The problems of legal, financial, personnel, methodological and logistical support were discussed.
President Akayev announced his new legislative initiatives to strengthen local self-government in cities under provincial jurisdiction in local communities. The decrees issued by the President are aimed at enhancing the legal basis of local governments, alleviating poverty, and improving living standards and regional infrastructure. The meeting came up with its own recommendations on efficient interaction between the local executive and self-government. The proceedings of the meeting are to be published.
The meeting was supported by the Office of the President, the parliament People's Assembly, the Minister of Local Government, the British Department for International Development, UNDP's Decentralization Programme, the Urban Institute and the Congress of Local Communities of the Kyrgyz Republic.
Contact: UNDP/UNV Decentralization Program, Mr. Kalyan Pandey, Chief Technical Advisor, Government House, 205 Prospekt Chui, Bishkek. Phone: (996 312) 66-00-80, E-mail: General information on the UNDP/UNV Decentralization Program can be found on the UNDP Internet homepage at http://www.undp.kg/ (see 'UNDP activities') and DP Internet webpage http://www.dppiu.elcat.kg/
Sharing Kyrgyzstan’s Best Practices on AIDS Prevention. Two Kazakh medical doctors from Karaganda came to learn from Kyrgyz experience on work with commercial sex workers. They had meetings with UNDP AIDS Project, visited clinic of anonymous STI treatment, and participated in fieldwork.
This is not the first visit from neighboring countries with a goal to learn and adopt best practices of UNDP AIDS Project. Representatives of Ministry of interior and local administration, medical doctors, and NGO’s representatives from Uzbekistan recently visited Osh city to be acquainted with the work of syringe exchange project.
Project’s staff and subcontractors are repeatedly rendering technical assistance in the same aspect for fieldwork in Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan. Successful implementation of innovative interventions among HIV/AIDS vulnerable groups in the Kyrgyz Republic and on development of National Strategic Plan attracts attention of neighboring countries and enables expansion of Kyrgyz experience in the Central Asian region.
Contact: Mrs. Larissa Bashmakova, National Project Manager, tel./fax: (996 312) 66-36-91. tel.: (996 312) 22-03-84, e-mail:
Workshop to Control Malaria. Within the framework of WHO cooperation with the Kyrgyz Republic in the field of epidemiological welfare on malaria, the workshop for epidemiologists on the topical issues of malaria control was conducted on 7-10 May, 2001 at the Ministry of Health. During the workshop such issues as epidemiology of malaria, the basic principles of malaria control, the sanitary education and social mobilisation of the population were discussed with more than 30 participants of the Workshop. The Ministry of Health under the technical support from the WHO is planning to conduct – by late May – a cycle of training on laboratory diagnostic of malaria in five provinces of Kyrgyzstan. The main outcome of this course is the training of professional trainers for local specialists on malaria control.
Contact: Ms. Cholpon Asanbaeva, NPO, WHO. 62 Toktogul Street, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Tel.: (996 312) 29-87-98, 29-87-91. Fax: (996 312) 68-09-40. Email:
Update on Counterpart Consortium/USAID/UN/EU-Supported NGO activities. A visit of Ms. Christina Shuierer, Executive Director of Counterpart Germany, and Mr. Peter Sauer, a consultant, took place on April 29 – May 6, 2001 under the framework of “Building Capacity of Local Communities in Civil Society in the Kyrgyz Republic” project funded by the European Commission. While in Kyrgyzstan, they visited the Civil Society Support Centers in Osh and Karakol and provided counseling support in community outreach program. Together with program coordinators they designed an action plan for the future. Ms. Christina Shuierer and Mr. Peter Sauer attended the workshops at which communities in the Eski-Pokrivka village in the Uzgen Region (April 30) and Kara-Dobo, Issyk-Kul Region (May 4) designed community-action plans. Based on observations and workshop outcomes they gave feedback to the CSSC staff members.
Training on Microfinancing was held in Batken in a training room of the CSSC on May 7-8, 2001. The workshop was held under a joint program with Counterpart Consortium that is funded through USAID and UNHCR. It was initiated by the Civil Society Support Center in Batken. 15 NGO representatives and refugees from Tajikistan participated in the workshop.
- identified the qualities of an entrepreneur and what an entrepreneur should be competent in
- gave a definition and meaning of a personal balance
- identified a meaning of brainstorming as a method for generating business ideas
- defined the meaning of a macro and micro filter
- were introduced to SWOT analysis
- gave a definition of a prime cost and methods of calculation
- were introduced to a structure of a balance report and acquired skills in designing financial reports
- were introduced to a structure of a cash flow
- were introduced to the structure of a business plan and legal entrepreneurial forms
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/
REFUGEES AND MIGRATION
IOM and UK Forgery Experts Provided a Joint Document Fraud Prevention Training for the Border and Migration Management Officials of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic and Republic of Tajikistan. Twenty Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Tajik representatives from border and migration services participated in the training on document fraud prevention, which took place at the “Pinara” hotel, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on 11-12 May 2001. The training was jointly organized by the IOM Missions in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, IOM Technical Cooperation Center in Vienna (Austria) and the UK Immigration Service. The training was conducted by 2 officers of the UK Immigration Service's National Forgery Section - Messrs. Howard Pope and Tony Dean. The training was also attended by the representatives of IOM Missions in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
In Central Asia there is a growing recognition that the unprecedented scale and scope of migration processes in the region can not be localized, but impact on the security and stability of all countries in the region, and often beyond. The region is also increasingly becoming a route for illegal transit migration and trafficking in human beings. This seminar is an activity implemented under the Capacity Building in Migration Management Programmes, implemented by IOM in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, which inter alia provide for training to new border and migration management services in the Central Asian Region. The agreement to conduct such a seminar was reached following a series of consultations between IOM and UK Immigration Service, which had generously agreed to provide the training for free.
The purpose of the seminar was to introduce participants to the experience and expertise of the UK Immigration Service in preventing irregular migration, combating trafficking in human beings through identification of fraudulent travel documents. The participants were introduced to the field of document abuse, techniques to detect forged or counterfeit travel documents and use of document authentication equipment. In the framework of IOM’s Migration Management Capacity Building Framework the need for expert’s training in document fraud detection has been highlighted by technical consultancies contracted by IOM in the region as one of the key capacity building measures required to combat irregular migration.
At the opening of the training Ms. Kakoli Ray, Chief of IOM Mission in the Kyrgyz Republic, noted: “The IOM Mission in Bishkek organized 3 similar training seminars in the past, jointly with US Immigration and Naturalization Service, Canadian Immigration Service and Polish Border Guard Academy. This training is a part of multi-year efforts of IOM regional strategy to promote humane and orderly migration in Central Asia. We hope that these efforts will contribute to the strengthening of regional cooperation on border and migration issues”.
Contact: International Organization for Migration (IOM), Aida Suyundueva, IOM Public Information Assistant, 66”A, Kalyka-Akiev str. Tel.: +996-312 / 61-17-30, 65-17-31. Fax: +996-312 / 65-18-50. E-mail:
TRAINING AND EDUCATION
Education Throughout Creative Work. Exhibition of florist-designers will be held in ATC/Bishkek (financed by DANIDA) on 15-22 May. Compositions from natural and dried flowers, as well as ceramic goods will be exhibited. ATC visitors will be able not only to look at these wonderful works of art, but try their hands in this kind of art. On 22nd May there will be held a meeting with the craftsmen, who tell about their creation. All those, who desire, will have an opportunity to create a composition from flowers or produce ceramic goods themselves. Experienced craftsmen will assist them. Thus, any visitor will be able to taste and perceive himself throughout creation and, probably, realise himself in life.
Contact: Djumaeva Ainura, Bishkek ATC Director , 27 Molodaya Gvardia, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Tel: 24 36 10, 24 05 08. Fax 996-312-65 20 77. E-mail: ,
UNITED NATIONS VOLUNTEERS
CIS Volunteer Leaders Eye National Action Plans at Kazakhstan Forum. Volunteer leaders from across the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Mongolia launched on 10th May in Almaty, Kazakhstan, discussions about ways to strengthen volunteerism in their countries.
"Government recognizes that development is based on integrity of society and volunteerism plays an important part of this," Mr. Kairat Abuseitov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in Kazakhstan, told the participants at the opening of a two-day workshop for the International Year of Volunteers, IYV 2001.
"A lot has been done but we must move forward," he added. "There are real practical issues to address for volunteers." In Kazakhstan, under the framework of IYV 2001, the media has given widespread publicity to efforts by volunteers to strengthen civil society.
The IYV conference is the last in a series of eight IYV regional workshops organized by the United Nations Volunteers programme (UNV) and sponsored by the Government of Japan.
Fifty participants from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments and civil society, represent volunteer movements in eight countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Russia and Mongolia.
Ms. Setsuko Yamazaki, Chief of UNV's Asia, Pacific, Europe and CIS Region, explained that the Almaty workshop should bring about a common understanding of volunteerism and a discussion different cultural and social traditions of volunteerism within the region. She encouraged participants to examine ways in which their governments can foster volunteerism and develop national agendas for action, including pro-volunteer policies.
The workshop follows an NGO conference held from 24 to 26 February, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, sponsored by the Soros Foundation Kyrgyzstan and UNV Kyrgyzstan. Conclusions from the Soros workshop are expected to contribute to the dialogue in Almaty.
Contact: Mr. Idrissa Kargbo, UNV Programme Officer. 160 Chui Avenue, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 720000. Tel: +996 (312) 61-12-13. Fax: +996 (312) 61-12-17. E-mail: