August 27, 2001
In this issue:
EVENT OF THE MONTH
- UNDP Programme Document on Political and Administrative Local Governance
GENDER IN DEVELOPMENT
- Prize for Women’s Creativity in Rural Life
- A New National Machinery for Gender Equality in Kyrgyzstan and a New National Action Plan
- Press trip to Talas
- Meeting of Regional Mass Media outlets in Osh
- Radio Salaam Expanding Operations in Batken
NATIONAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2001
- The first draft of the 2001 National Human Development Report discussed
- Update on Counterpart Consortium/USAID/UN/EU-Supported NGO activities.
EVENT OF THE MONTH
UNDP Programme Document on Political and Administrative Local Governance Signed on 24 August 2001. The signing of the document was preceded by an extensive review of all UNDP UNDP's projects being implemented in Kyrgyzstan and their impact on the human development process. The review was triggered by considerable changes in the UNDP structure and policies during the 1990s. New approaches of UNDP activities were adopted with a focus on policy advice, advocacy and national capacity building to fight poverty. The recommendations of the Review Mission were incorporated in the Country Cooperation Framework (CCF) for 2000-2004. In March of 2000 the Framework was approved by the UNDP Headquarters in New York, and in April 2000 the Country Office came up with a strategy paper -Governance Framework. For the first time, Tthe paper for the first time had contained the principles of integration of individual projects in a comprehensive document with common objectives and a harmonized strategy. This approach enabled to close low-impact projects and to unite the efficient projects into three programmes:
The advantages of the programme approach are obvious. First, it avoids duplication of efforts and inefficient management enabling cost-effective use of all resources available. It also enables a significant reduction of operational costs and the efficient distribution of donor resources.
- 1. Political and Administrative Central Governance;
- 2. Political and Administrative Local Governance;
- 3. Social Governance and Poverty Alleviation.
The Political and Administrative Governance Programme, which was signed, has united two on-going projects: Decentralization and Preventive Development in the South of Kyrgyzstan. It has consists of the following three components:
Thus, the major objective of the Programme is to assist the government agencies in further development of democratic processes and a pro-poor social and economic growth, as well as the establishment of efficient governance institutions at the community level.
- 1. Decentralization and Local Governance Policy Support on the Central Level. The component envisages assistance to the central level authorities to develop a legal framework for decentralization, the formulation and implementation of basic principles of decentralization, a support to establishing community property, local finance and administration, as well as continuity in local government. A special focus will be made on information dissemination and monitoring to better advocate the policies and principles of decentralization. The component also includes social mobilization and active involvement of communities and their organizations in the development process.
- 2. Capacity building of local government is aimed at local authorities and communities.
- 3. Preventive Development in the South of Kyrgyzstan. This Programme area includes formulation of methods to support the government in conflict prevention, development of practical tools in the conflict affected regions affected by conflicts and special village-level mechanisms on early warning, as well as support to organizations coordinating foreign assistance.
The UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Ercan Murat, and the State Secretary of Kyrgyzstan, Mr. Osmonokun Ibraimov, signed the Document.
Contact: Ms. Sagipa Jusaeva, Assistant Resident Representative, at UN House, Chuy Avenue 160, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Tel.: +996 (312) 61-12-13. Fax: +996 (312) 61-12-17. Email:
GENDER IN DEVELOPMENT
A Tireless Teacher Promotes Self–Help Groups. In 2000 the UNDP Poverty Alleviation Programme commended Meimanbu Tashieva to the Women’s World Summit Foundation ‘‘Prize for Women’s Creativity in Rural Life’’. She was awarded the price among 31 winners in the world and the only one in Kyrgyzstan to be selected by the International Prize Jury in 2001.
Apart from teaching at school, Meimanbu Tashieva (51), a science teacher in the Boskaraghan Village of Boskaraghan in the Alai District since 1971, apart from classes, led the school’s women’s organization, which teaches teaching hygiene, respect for elderly, honesty, solidarity and instills ed them a desire to learn. A highly devoted professional, she has been constantly striving to improve the level of education by seeking better teaching methods and improving her own skills.
In 1972, Meimanbu was appointed Deputy Director of the school and in 1976, in Director of another school in 1976. Always ready to share her experiences with young teachers, she participated actively in extracurricular activities. In 1982, health problems forced her to quit the directorship but she continued to work as a teacher and athe head of the local trade union.
In 1998, the UNDP Participatory Poverty Alleviation Programme, a micro-credit programme targeting the poor, especially women, started working in Bozkaraghan Village. and Meimanbu Tashieva was selected by the community as a Village Animator by the community and started to mobilize Self-Help groups. She has been applying her skills and creativity to mobilize the poor, providing the necessary training and assisting them in the preparation of business plans and credit application, plus following up on the credit repayments. This resulted in the mobilization of 17 Self-Help groups, including 132 members with 78 women (59%) who utilized a credit of 1,985,000 soms (around 45,000 USD) with a repayment rate of 100%. This has contributed to the improvement of life, increased income and skills especially for women.
On her own initiative creativity, she is expanding the programme activities to the neighborhood neighboring village where female-headed households are targeted through building their confidence towards self-reliance.
Creating the New National Machinery for Gender Equality in Kyrgyzstan and a New National Action Plan. Kyrgyzstan is currently framing a new national mechanism for women’s advancement and gender equality. As a result of governmental structure reforms in December 2001, the existing State Commission for Women, Family and Youth Affairs was dissolved. All functions in implementing state gender policy were transferred to the newly established National Council for Women, Family and Gender Development under the President’s Office of Kyrgyzstan. The State Secretary of the Kyrgyz Republic chairs the new National Council. The Secretariat of the National Council is established as a working unit to fulfill decisions of the members of the Council.
The modifications made have substantially upgraded the status of the national mechanism and enhanced its stature by granting wider powers and functions. Additionally, its role in policy shaping and planning is expected to be improved. The national mechanism is administered by the President’s Office, which enables the former to exercise supervision over the ministries and agencies concerned. However, ongoing political redesign has adversely affected human and financial resources resulting in considerable curbs of the latter. In this context, international donor agencies, especially UNDP, perform a significant role in the strengthening of a new national mechanism for gender equality.
These developments coincided with the framing of a new National Action Plan towards gender equality for Kyrgyzstan. The document was discussed on 27 August 2001 at the National Conference and is to be adopted by the decree of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic. It encompasses a new strategic direction; particularly, gender mainstreaming into processes of planning, implementing and reporting within all national policies and programs as well as integrating gender perspectives into national and local budgets. Obligatory use of statistical information is considered to be a key element of the Plan. Inculcation of corporate governance principles into household economics is attached importance, which will lead to equal opportunities of spouses and children of both genders to own property and land, and have income. Measures are to be taken concerning housewifery (reproductive labor of women) for national economy.
Six strategic directions are devised for gender development of Kyrgyzstan within the framework of the new National Action Plan:
- Improving institutional mechanisms and securing gender equality;
- Ensuring gender equality at all levels of decision - making;
- Gender dimension of economic development in employment and labor;
- Gender aspects in healthcare;
- Gender parity in education and culture;
- Eliminating all forms of violence against women.
Thus, as of now, Kyrgyzstan is witnessing significant challenges in governmental gender equality activities. The role of political will of the Government is critical now. The task of UNDP as a recognized and committed key partner of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic in supporting gender development is vital.
Contact: Ms. Aikan Mukanbetova, Director of UNDP Gender in Development Bureau. 24 Isanov St. office 1, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Tel.: +996 (312) 66-04-18, 66-38-85. Fax: +996 (312) 66-05-20. Email:
Press Trip to Talas. Since 1998, it has been There is a usual practice at the UNDP Country Office in Kyrgyzstan since 1998 to organize press trips to regions in order to see the implementation of UNDP/UNV programs implementation at the grass-roots level. Following this tradition, a group of journalists visited the Talas province between July 23 and 26, 2001. The trip was undertaken in the framework of the UNDP Advocacy for Human Development project to initiate a dialoguea dialogue on HD aspects in the Kyrgyz society. Participants of the trip comprised major newspapers, the Kyrgyz National TV and the National Radio. In Talas, regional mass media representatives joined Bishkek journalists. This new approach to invite regional mass media for such trips assists UNDP to establish better cooperation not only at the level of “the central office and the – mass media”, but also on the level of “grass-roots offices and the – mass media” as well. Another new thing component of this particular trip was to highlight progress in those the villages that Bishkek journalists visited in 1999 in order to compare peoples’ attitude, the progress’ sustainability of progress made and the overall developmental process.
The first day of the trip was devoted to the Small and Medium Business Support project. The briefing was organized at the Center of Support to SME, opened in Talas in December 1998. Journalists were provided with the a brief note of on the Center’s activitiesy and had the chance to ask ed their questions. After the briefing a party met with several businessmen who were have being been supported by the project since 1998.
The whole second day of the trip could be called as “Poverty Day” because it was devoted to the Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP). The day was started from with the a briefing of by Ms. Asyl Jakieva, UNV and PAP focal point in the Talas region, at the PIU office. Then the group departed from Talas to the Ak-Jar village of Ak-Jar, visited by journalists in 1999. A party met with Self-Help Groups’ leaders and members of the SHG Association “Yntymak”, where three people have already gone through the trainingtraining at the Kyrgyz Agricultural Finance Corporation (KAFC) in Bishkek to deal with the first village credit bank in the country. The plans to open such a Unit were announced by the KAFC during the National Forum on Social Mobilization and Micro Financing in May this year and . nNow members of the Association are working on the a Sstrategy to establish the Unit. During the briefing leaders of the Association provided journalists with figures on poverty reduction in the village. For Since the time when PAP has started its implementation in the village (from since 1996) the number of poorest very poor people in the village has been reduced from 60% to 45%, while the middle class was has expanded to 18%. Then, the journalists were taken to a place where the Association is going to establish an Agricultural Service Center and a Village’s Training and Information Center, which the construction of which is on the way with the support of the local administration, UNDP and the International Peace Corps. The journalists also visited Oother sites where CBOs had built a public medical station with the support of the Decentralization programme and where a mosque villagers had built a mosque build without any help from outside, were visited. The programme of the visit to Ak-Jar was designed to see highlight differences in people’s attitude, they their visions of life, perspectives for the village development and people’s input into this process. Journalists, who had visited the Ak-Jar village of Ak-Jar for the first time in 1999, mentioned in their articles afterward that one could see many differences. First of all, it is the improvement of the village’s social infrastructure of the village. There is a telephone line, a public bath and a mini- mill, while the improvement of social infrastructure is has furtheringbeen furthering. Journalists also marked noted that people have been empowered to take decisions and the responsibility to implement them. Villagers realized that they could solve many problems in their lives themselves they could solve themselves. They also realized that they could deal with common village’s problems of the village if they are united by common goals. Now, villagers promote a former leader of the SHG Association – Mr. Tologon Ibraliev – to participate in local elections to be held in Talas later this year. This shows the democratic process’ growth of a democratic process on the grass-roots level when : people wish to see be represented in local administrations by those people whom they are known and whom they trust. The number of international organizations with which the Association cooperates expanded to 12. The third day of the trip was devoted to the Decentralization Programme and started at the Nurjanov Ail Okmotu of Nurjanov, where a party met with a the head and key members of the local administration. When tThis Ail Okmotu was also visited by journalists in 1999,. tThere were many questions on what was going on in the village nownow, on how local administration cooperates with the program and with Community Based Organizations, on its benefits and achievements for during the past two years of implementation. Then a party met with CBO’s leaders of CBOs and visited the one CBO in the Kok-Tokoi village of Kok-Tokoi.
The meeting with athe head of the Dolono Ail Okmotu of Dolono took place the same day. She told wWhen making a brief briefing ofn the programme’s implementation of the programme, she told that the main achievement of this programme is was that communities now were now involved into the process of the territory’s development of the territory. She told that before the programme started, there was a practice when she had had to design plans of the Okmotu’s development of Okmotu in order to report to the oblast administration. These plans had never been discussed with the people. That is why they had never been implemented. Now the situation has changed completely and communities in close cooperation with local authorities discuss these plans, approve them and participate in their implementation. For example, the plan for 2000 was fully implemented. She said that Bbefore 1999, - she said, communities and the staff of the Ail Okmotu were in contradiction disagreed, but now initiatives by the staff of the Ail Okmotu staff initiatives could find support in villages. She concluded by saying that It it becomesame easier to work, she said finally, -and that they we doo know what to do to improve our their lives and, what is more important, – how to do it because we they do have many supporters among the population. As a result of the trip, 12 articles were published in the most circulated newspapers, two 15-min. films were broadcasted on the National TV and three reportages reportages broadcasted by the National Radio.
Contact: Ms. Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Public Affairs Officer. UN House in Kyrgyzstan. Chuy Avenue 160, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Tel.: +996 (312) 61-12-13. Fax: +996 (312) 61-12-17. Email:
“10 Years of Independence: Development of the Country – Regional Mass Media Development”. The first meeting of regional mass media chief editors after 10 years of the country’s independence of the country took place in Osh in the middle of July in Osh. The heads of rayon and oblast newspapers representing all seven regions of Kyrgyzstan actively participated at in the meeting supported by the Presidential Administration, the Osh Oblast Administration of the Osh Oblast, the Kabar News Agency and UNDP Kyrgyzstan. More than 80 people attended the meeting. The aims of the meeting were to identify the main constraints of the regional mass media development and the ways to create a unified information space in the country. National and International UNV staff implementing the UNDP Participatory Poverty Alleviation and Decentralization programmes in Osh made presentations on the programmes during the first day and conducted visits to the villages of Kara-Dobo (Poverty Alleviation Programme) and of Joosh (Decentralization Programme) during the second day of the meeting. A party was not only provided with all relevant information on UNDP programmes which contributed to the overall country development, but also had a chance to meet direct beneficiaries of the programs, so as to see how the programmes are implemented at the grass-root level. The presentation of a newly created under the auspices of UNDP Human Development Network under the auspices of UNDP, including the a website (http://www.dialog.kg/ ), was done by a staff member of the Kappa Group, which is a UNDP contractor. The 2001 Global Human Development Report was launched and a summary in Russian was distributed among the participants of the event as well. As a result of the meeting, UNDP not only established a close relationship with all rayon’s and oblast’s papers of the rayon and the oblast, but also provided with a clear picture on what UNDP is, its mandate, programmes and achievements. Another successful output of the meeting was the creation of the a Wworking Ggroup to design a National Concept of Regional Mass Media Development and the Creation of a United Information Space in the Country. The Cconcept will be designed before the end of August 2001 to be discussed during the next meeting of the regional mass media. Then, the approved Cconcept will be presented to the President of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Kyrgyz Government.
Contact: Ms. Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Public Affairs Officer. UN House in Kyrgyzstan. 160, Chuy Avenue, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Tel.: +996 (312) 61-12-13. Fax: +996 (312) 61-12-17. Email:
Radio Salaam Expanding Operations in Batken. Radio Salaam, the youth radio station launched by UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), the Foundation for Tolerance International and the Public Association Internews’ in the Kyrgyz Republic in the Ssouthern city of Batken in March 2001, is expanding its operations.
The station is not only broadcasting hourly news in Kyrgyz and Russian, as well as and Western, Kyrgyz, Russian, Uzbek and Tajik music, but also self-produced programmes featuring all aspects of social life in the region. The programmes currently broadcast by Radio Salaam are a press digest; a socio-economic programme focusing on the social, economical and cultural life of Batken and the region; a programme for school children focusing on foreign and Russian literature and using interesting facts from the lives of well-known writers; a programme about drugs and the dangers of substance abuse, using real evidence from the Batken region and many others.
The station will soon cooperate with the Voice Of America (VOA) on re-broadcasting some of their programmes and will receive satellite equipment in return. Also, the manager of the station, Maksuda Aitieva, is planning to move the antenna into the nearby mountains to increase the outreach of the station, which right now is limited to a 23 km diameter.
Radio Salaam cooperates with TV stations in Sokh (Uzbekistan) and Isfara (Tajikistan) in a regional news exchange. More than 40 volunteers support the staff of Radio Salaam in their attempts to make the 20 hours of broadcasting every day even better, even more interesting and more up-to-date.
While the situation in Batken seems to be quiet at the moment, Radio Salaam received a number of phone calls from Kyrgyz and International news agencies a few weeks ago when military actions were going on in the region. The journalists working for the station have pledged to distribute only objective and accurate information about the situation in the border region and none of the staff will comment on the military activities from a personal viewpoint.
Contact: Raiva Toigonbaeva, UNICEF Communications Consultant, tel: (312) 61-12-13, e-mail: or Elvira Sarieva, Internews Director’s Assistant, e-mail:
NATIONAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2001
The first draft of the 2001 National Human Development Report discussed. The Round Table to discuss the first draft of the NHDR took place at the UN House in Bishkek on 22 August 2001. The theme of this year’s report is “Democratic Governance: A Development Challenge for Kyrgyzstan in the XXI Century”.
UNDP in the Kyrgyz Republic has recently re-programmed its activities to ensure its compliance with changes at the global level, while addressing real development priorities in the country. This reprogramming is set up within the framework of the National Sustainable Human Development Strategy. Based upon the lessons of earlier support for governance, the UNDP Country Office has designed a strategy to enhance the impact of governance interventions in shaping policies and policy environment. This Governance Framework, formulated in April 2000, served as the basis for a formulation of a new UNDP programme through 2004 with improved Democratic Governance set as the primary goal to be reached over the course of its implementation. Thus, Democratic Governance becomes one of the main conceptual frameworks through which UNDP approaches all its human development activities.
The theme for the 2001 Report was identified taking into consideration that UNDP looks upon Democratic Governance as the enhancement of national institutional capacities for sound policy-making and implementation, the provision of effective and efficient public services and transparent and accountable management of the affairs of the State, the economy and society. This includes the promotion of the rule of law and human rights, the maintenance of peace, security and political stability, and the establishment of legal and policy frameworks within which people can pursue their aspirations and lives with optimal freedom and responsibility for the well-being of all.
Government officials, NGOs, UN agencies and other donor organisation representatives of other donor organisation, academicians, representatives of the private sector representatives and members of the national team charged with the preparation e of the NHDR actively participated in the discussion. All comments and proposals were carefully taken by the team of local experts to make necessary changes in the second draft of the document, so important for the Kyrgyz society.
Contact: Ms. Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Public Affairs Officer. UN House in Kyrgyzstan. 160, Chuy Avenue, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Tel.: +996 (312) 61-12-13. Fax: +996 (312) 61-12-17. Email:
Update on Counterpart Consortium/USAID/UN/EU-Supported NGO activities – The Target Health NGOs meeting and training on Strategic Planning was held on August 15-17, 2001, in the sanatorium “Zhemchuzhny” in one of the resort zones of lake Issyk-Kul. The meeting was organized within the framework of Counterpart Consortium's Health Program. 22 participants from Bishkek NGOs from Bishkek, the Association of Family Doctors’ group, the Association of Hospitals and the Kyrgyz Club of Hypertensive Patients have got received basic knowledge on developing a strategic plan for organizations. Participants obtained NGO leaders’ skills in the strategic planning of their activities, taking into account external factors, which will allow their NGOs to develop and adapt to the constantly changing environment. The goal of the meeting was a discussion of Capacity Building Plan the implementation of the Capacity Building Plan for Health NGOs and a strategy for the development of a Health NGOs network of Health NGOs.
On August 16, ’ 2001, the round table on NGO recommendations for improvement of the Kara-Balta CSSC activity was held in the Kara-Balta CSSC ’s office of Kara-Balta. 16 representatives of NGOs attended this meeting. The facilitator started the meeting with the a short presentation of CC current programs of the CC– a Program on of NGOs and Civil Society the Development of NGOs and Civil Society in Central Asia though the regional Civil Society Support Centers (CSSC). The following issues were discussed:
- NGOs’ recommendations and suggestions on the improvement of the Kara-Balta CSSC activity of the Kara-Balta CSSC
- NGOs’ need assessment in CSSC services
After discussing clients’ difficulties with CSSC, participants then developed recommendations and suggestions on the improvement of the CSSC’s activity of the CSSC. As for the CSSC services of the CSSC for NGOs, participants noted that the services should be based on clients’ need assessments of clients’ needs and should always be always updated.
On August 23, 2001, the Kerben Civil Society Support Center (CSSC) organized and held a round table meeting in order to organize an information exchange between the CSSC Manager and NGO representatives from the Aksy rayon. Twenty-three people representing NGOs, the Slavic Diaspora, Iinternational oOrganizations (UNDP, Lesic, and TACIS) and community-based organizations (CBOs) took part in the meeting. CSSC Manager Takhir Khamdamov made a presentation on his visit to the USA in the framework of the program "NGO Development and Social Protection" funded by USAID. The participants studied the materials about American NGOs. The issue of preparing for the 10th Anniversary of Independence was also discussed.
On August 14-21, 2001, representatives of Naryn, Jalal-Abad, Karakol, Talas, and Osh CSSCs took part in an international seminar on Volunteerism in of the Youth held in Bishkek. The participants included representatives from Central, Southeast, and East Asia, and as well as Russia. A total of 50 participants took part in the seminar. The participants discussed issues of creating and international volunteer movement network in Central Asia and Russia and exchanged experiences of with their organizations. They also presented their organizations and established some contacts. The event was organized by the Volunteer Initiative Center in Bishkek, which is a ( joint UNV and Soros Foundation project). As a result, a network of Central Asian volunteer organizations was created. The next meeting is to be held in 2002 in Pakistan.
A number of training workshops were conducted in the framework of the Counterpart Consortium Program of Civil Society and NGO Development in the Central Asia Region funded by USAID and EU. On August 8-10, 2001, a Project Design workshop was held in Kara-Balta by the Kara-Balta Civil Society Support Center. On August 9-10, the Civil Service Support Center in Karakol, Issyk-Kul region, held a two-day training in Efficient NGO Management. The Jalal-Abad CSSC organized and held 2two training workshops: "NGO Management" and "NGO and Community". The NGO Management workshop was held on August 23-24, 2001, in the City Fire Department building. A 2- two-day workshop "NGO and Community" was held on August 18-19, 2001, in the rayon administration building, Kanysh-Kiya village of Kanysh-Kiya, Jalal-Abad oblast. 17 NGO members and local citizens took part in the workshop. 19 NGO, CBO, and community representatives took part in the training workshop in Ffundraising initiated by the Talas CSSC. The workshop was held on August 21-22, 2001, in the Children's Educational Center "Meerim". The same type of training workshop was also organized and held by the Naryn CSSC on August 21-22, 2001. 18 participants represented local NGOs. The workshop was held in the framework of the Counterpart Consortium's Program of Civil Society and NGO Development in the Central Asia Region funded by USAID and EU.
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/