May 07, 2001
In this issue:
EVENT OF THE MONTH
- National Forum on Social Mobilization and Microcrediting in Poverty Alleviation
- Seminar for Local Authorities in Osh
- HIV Situation in Osh
- Healthy Life Style and HIV/AIDS Seminar for Schoolteachers of the South
- Update on Counterpart Consortium/USAID/UNDP/UNHCR/EU-Supported NGO activities
PRESS FREEDOM DAY
- Marked in the Kyrgyz Republic on May 3rd, 2001
UNITED NATIONS VOLUNTEERS
- The National UNV Meeting in Bishkek
EVENT OF THE MONTH
The National Forum on the Role of Social Mobilization and Microcrediting in Poverty Alleviation in Kyrgyzstan is to be held on 10-11 May in Bishkek. The Forum was initiated by Mr. Askar Akayev, President of the Kyrgyz Republic. United Nations Development Program having possessed considerable experience in area of social mobilization in the country is preparing the event.
Social Mobilization is the process by which communities are empowered through the formation of groups to meet their basic needs and those of their communities. Once mobilized, people can themselves choose the directions in which they wish to move, and address the sources of their deprivation, such as lack of economic and political power. Experience has shown, that poor communities do not need to be led: as opportunities emerge, they will produce their own leaders and set their own directions.
Social Mobilization approaches has now been recognized as an essential process in alleviating poverty in Kyrgyzstan, based on the experience of the UNDP Participatory Poverty Alleviation Programme (PPAP), implemented in partnership with the Government, World Bank, Rural Advisory Development Service Foundation and the Kyrgyz Agricultural Finance Corporation. Social Mobilization is a process that empowers the poor and their communities for self-reliance and advancement. It combines knowledge, skills, and confidence building and joint community efforts with improved access to resources, enabling the poor to lift themselves out of poverty. The fact that these efforts are promoted through small groups and community based organizations in tackling economic and social problems also helps to promote the development of civil society and democratic governance at the local level. The objectives of the Forum include:
- to provide a platform where policy makers, practitioners and beneficiaries can identify and share experiences, successes, bottlenecks and lessons learned in alleviating poverty through social mobilization;
- develop specific policy recommendations in establishing appropriate legal and institutional framework for social mobilization and microfinance.
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 Seminar Held for Local Authorities on the Basis of Pilot Alai District. In Konur-Dobo Rural Council (Aiyl Okmotu) of Alai district, which is a pilot of the UNDP Decentralization Programme, a meeting was held with district officials and members of the province commission on “Raising the Living Standards of the Population.” The meeting, attended by the Deputy Head of the State Administration of Osh province and the Director of the Province Administration for Social Protection, provided participants with information about the UNDP Decentralization Programme’s activities in establishing community organizations at the grass-roots level to undertake social-economic development initiatives. The participants expressed their interest to collaborate with the Programme and put forth a request to organize a province-level seminar on the basis of programme implementation experiences in the pilot municipality of Korul. In this regard, the commission appealed to the Programme to render assistance in the organization of a province-level workshop with the objective of disseminating to the rural councils of non-pilot districts of the oblast the successful experiences gained by the Decentralization Programme. Accordingly, upon the request of the Osh Province Commission, the Decentralization Programme's Osh field office organized a seminar on “Raising the Living Standards of the Population”.
A total of 122 representatives from the Province Government, heads of local administrations and government agencies of Osh attended the seminar held in Korul on April 7, 2001. In the first part of the seminar the participants had a chance to meet with members of local Community Based Organizations and view the projects planned and implemented by the communities, including a community bathhouse and school that were constructed in the village “1st of May”. After this field visit, sessions were devoted to presentations and discussions on the activities carried out in Korul aimed at raising the living standards of the population, including the experiences of the UNDP's Decentralization Programme and Poverty Alleviation Project. The Director of Osh Social Protection Agency and Chief Coordinator of the Province Commission led discussions on areas of collaboration of the Commission with the local community. Of particular note was a speech given by the Governor of Osh in which he emphasized that the only way to develop communities and local governance systems is through the process of social mobilization of the people. Through their discussions, seminar participants came to the conclusion that to have a lasting impact, development efforts must be carried out in collaboration with the people by means of locally organized community organizations. A strategy for future activities was drawn up in which participants outlined their plan to support the organization of CBOs in all provincial municipalities and to strengthen their ties with local authorities. In the words of one participant, “It is necessary to emphasize the enormous influence of the Decentralization Programme on the development of local self-government through social mobilization efforts. Social mobilization is one on the ways to solve matters of social-economic development of the village and local self-government.” As a sign of the success of the seminar, the Governor has expressed his willingness to organize and host a similar republican level seminar on the basis of the positive experiences gained in the pilot municipality of Alai.
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 www.dppiu.elcat.kg
HIV situation in Osh got support of the Kyrgyz Government. In the last three months there were 23 HIV-cases exposed among injecting drug users in Osh. This has brought to serious changes in the situation with HIV-infection not only in Osh, but also in the entire country. In this regard, in March and April of 2001, Osh National AIDS Programme received practical assistance. There were special meetings of the province mutlisectoral committee, chaired by Mr. Boris Shapiro, NPD of the UNDP AIDS Project, and Mr. Rudik Adamyan, UNAIDS Regional Adviser in Central Asia. The staff of the UNDP AIDS Project reviewed the province AIDS prevention programme according to the existing situation and National Strategic Plan. As a result, the Governor of Osh allocated 300,000 Kyrgyz soms for the HIV/AIDS prevention programmes. Moreover, the provincial administration requested assistance from the central Government, requesting an allocation of 1 million KGS in addition. The experts estimate 7,000 drug users are in Osh province, including 5,000 injecting drug addicts. To localize the epidemic, the syringe exchange programmes should cover not less than 60% of drug users or 3,000 people. However, today only 210 drug users receive clean syringes with the Soros Foundation support. Joint UNDP/UNAIDS/Government Project allocated funds to cover another 1,000 drug users (20%). To solve the problem the amount of 75,000 to 150,000 USD is required (to cover 60-100% drug users) per year.
Contact: Mrs. Larissa Bashmakova, National Project Manager, tel./fax: (996 312) 66-36-91. tel.: (996 312) 22-03-84, e-mail:
On April 25 - 26 2001 UNFPA FO in Kyrgyzstan held a seminar for schoolteachers of Osh, Jalal-Abad and Batken provinces to introduce the course on Healthy Life Style and HIV/AIDS Prevention into school curriculum. The insufficient awareness of school children, teachers and parents of health care as well as the hardships of the transition period present a threat to the population especially in light of the worsening situation with HIV/AIDS in the south. The risk factors, caused by the sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS are explained by the life style of adolescents and that is what the programme, developed by the Ministries of Education and Health is aimed at. The seminar was arranged by a request from the Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC) and was held with participation of Mr. Javed Ahmad, UNFPA Country Support Team Specialist from Bratislava, Ms. Valentina Gorkina, MEC, Ms. Valentina Kirichenko, National AIDS Center, and Ms. Anara Doolotova, the European Family Planning Alliance. The proposals and recommendations developed during the workshop will be used for further development of the new comprehensive school curriculum on healthy life style.
Contact: Mr. Alexander Ilyin, UNFPA National Program Coordinator. 160, Chui Avenue, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 720000. Tel.: +996 (312) 61-12-13. Fax: +996 (312) 61-12-17. E-mail:
Update on Counterpart Consortium/USAID/UNDP/UNHCR/EU-Supported NGO activities. The Batken Civil Society Support Center (CSSC) conducted the workshop on Strategic Planning on April 28-29, 2001 in Batken. The workshop was held within the Counterpart Consortium Program on Civil Society and NGOs in Central Asia funded through USAID. The workshop was attended by 20 people who represented local non-profit and governmental organizations. The two-day workshop helped them to build skills in planning NGO activities strategically taking into account external factors. The skills will allow their NGOs to develop and adapt to the constantly changing environment. Moreover they discussed issues such as:
- The meaning and purpose of strategic planning
- Analysis of NGO strengths and weakness and external threats and opportunities
- Stakeholder analysis
- Development of a strategic plan
The members of the Issyk-Kul CSSC participated in a training seminar that was dedicated to information provision on sex education based on a principle “Equal to Equal”. The seminar was held on April 14-18, 2001 in Bishkek. The purpose of the seminar was to train trainers among young people who would be able to conduct seminars throughout the country and to create a youth network of trainers. The seminar was held for 22 people including college and high school students from 6 regions of the country who are volunteers and members of the Kyrgyz Alliance for Family Planning. The participants acquired skills in counseling and conducting seminars for young people and teenagers on reproductive health and family planning. As a result of this seminar it was decided to hold similar seminars in all regions of Kyrgyzstan including a series of educational activities in the Issyk-Kul region. The seminar was initiated by the International Federation on Family Planning in cooperation with the Issyk-Kul branch of the Kyrgyz Alliance for Family Planning through funding provided by the UNFPA.
On April 26, 2001 the program staff of Counterpart Consortium had a meeting with the members of a non-profit organization “Partner Foundation” from Moscow. The meeting was held in the office of Counterpart Consortium. The participants shared experience and work plans and outlined possible options for future cooperation. “Partner Foundation” informed the Kyrgyz counterpart on projects implemented by the organization, training workshops and counseling services offered to the clients, including those ones for businesses. They also shared experience in providing counseling support in organizational development.
Training on Microfinancing was held in Kara-Balta in the conference hall of a local newspaper “Vesti” on May 3-4, 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 Kara-Balta. 37 NGO representatives and refugees from Tajikistan participated in the workshop. The participants:
- 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
The CSSC of the Issyk-Kul region participated in a regional conference on April 26-28, 2001. The conference was held by the youth organization “Manas”. 210 people participated in the conference. They were delegated by district children’s and youth organizations and centers of the Issyk-Kul region. The purpose of the conference was to summarize the results of work done by “Manas” during the previous year, design a national action plan in the field of children’s rights and adopt a program of organizational development for the next year. A development program in the area of ecology was approved and it was decided that the youth organization “Manas” would join the Association of Children’s Organizations in the Kyrgyz Republic.
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/
PRESS FREEDOM DAY
International Press Freedom Day was marked in the Kyrgyz Republic on May 3rd, 2001. To hold the event, more than 100 journalists from the Kyrgyz Republic signed the Bishkek Declaration on Promoting Independent Media in the Kyrgyz Republic, calling for a focused international support and better donor coordination to keep the independent media alive. The journalists also urge international representatives to raise the issues of press freedom and journalists’ rights with the Kyrgyz government, which has made a number of commitments by signing international documents but not always lives up to its commitments.
The Bishkek Declaration also quotes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN General Assembly Resolution 59 (1) December 14th, 1946 stating that freedom of information is a fundamental human right, and Articles 16 and 36 of the Kyrgyz constitution which state that “Every person in the Kyrgyz Republic shall enjoy the right to free expression and dissemination of one's thoughts, ideas, opinions, freedom of literary, artistic, scientific and technical creative work, freedom of the press, transmission and dissemination of information” and that “Culture, art, literature, science and mass media shall be free”.
The Bishkek Declaration was disseminated to foreign representatives on May 3rd, 2001, two days before prior to the anniversary of adopting the Kyrgyz constitution (1993) and was supported by more than 100 TV, radio and print journalists from all across the Kyrgyz Republic.
Internews Network in the Kyrgyz Republic together with the Internews offices in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan produced a 15-minute film on “Press Freedom in the CIS” in which the feelings of the citizens of the Former Soviet Union towards press freedom are expressed. The Russian and Kyrgyz-language versions of the film were distributed to the following stations countrywide: Ayan TV (Naryn), EMTV (Kara-Kol), Osh TV, Keremet (both in Osh), KTM (Mailuu-Suu) and Pyramida (Bishkek). All stations broadcast the film on May 3rd, 2001, the International Press Freedom Day. The film was also shown at the meeting of journalists commemorating Press Freedom Day conducted by the UNESCO (Almaty) in the Media Center in Bishkek.
To obtain more information on the Press Freedom Day as well as the Bishkek’s Declaration on Promotion Independent Media in the Kyrgyz Republic please contact Mr. Chris Schuepp, Internews Network, Kyrgyz Republic. Tel.: 996 (312) 61-00-18. E-mail:
UNITED NATIONS VOLUNTEERS
The regular national UNV meeting took place on 21st April at the Dostuk hotel in Bishkek. The meeting was organized in collaboration with the Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF) Team at the Kyrgyz Ministry of Finance. The objective of the event was twofold: first to update UNVs on the UNV and UNDP programme activities in the last three months and short terms plans. Second, to review the CDF from a social perspective and to identify possible entry points for UNDP and UNVs in view of their ongoing social mobilization activities at the community level. UNVs from all the regions participated in the meeting.
During the first day the UNV Programme Officer Mr. Idrissa Kargbo presented a report on past and planned programme activities in the short term. Highlights were made of the recently concluded regional conference on International Year of Volunteers in Bishkek and the UNV country report. An orientation session on UNV conditions of service for National Volunteers was organized. National UNVs had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with their rights, privileges and obligations as UNVs. Mrs. Sagipa Jusaeva, UNDP Assistant Resident Representative, gave a briefing on UNDP’s ongoing activities and short-term plans. She further gave them an overview of the soon to be implemented programme approach and highlighted the rationale for the approach and its implication in the ongoing implementation process. Mrs. Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Public Affairs Officer informed UNVs of the new UNDP Information and Communication Strategy highlighting the existing UNDP information channels and their accessibility and ways to improve information exchange between the UNDP office and field sites.
In commemoration of Global Youth Day on 21st April 2001, the UNV Programme in collaboration with the CDF Team at the Ministry of Finance organized a roundtable conference “Volunteerism and its contribution to the implementation of the CDF”. Participants at the conference included representatives from the CDF Team, UNVs, Peace Corps, Japanese Volunteers and local NGOs. The focus of the discussions was on the contribution of volunteerism and youth service towards the realization of the document. It further served as an opportunity to make a diagnosis and to identify entry points for UNVs of ongoing UNDP social mobilization programmes in the country.
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: