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   The UN Link / The United Nations System in Kyrgyzstan
# 142
September 19, 2001

In this issue:


  • Community Based Organizations and the 10th Independence Day of the Kyrgyz Republic in Jalal-Abad and Batken Provinces


  • Women in Politics


  • Regional Print Journalists in the Kyrgyz Republic Received Interview and Mass Media Legislation Training from FOJO and Internews.


  • Update on Counterpart Consortium/USAID/UN/EU-Supported NGO activities


  • Supporting Population and Development


  • Communities of Batken Celebrated Independence Day with the Completion of Self-Developed and Implemented Community Projects.


  • Kyrgyz First Lady Addresses Students of the Summer Course
  • UNHCR Celebrates Kyrgyzstan's 10th Anniversary


  • UNDP Country Office (CO) retreat “Ways to Efficiency and Optimization: CO Management and Programme Implementation” took place between 10th and 12th September in the Issyk-Kul’s resort “Aurora”.


Community Based Organizations and the 10th Independence Day of the Kyrgyz Republic in Jalal-Abad Region. It is fitting that the Decentralization Programme is currently undertaking its third year of implementation. One of the main objectives of the programme is to develop and enhance the capacity of Community Based Organizations (CBOs) to function as the local self-governing organizations at the grass root levels. Presently approximately 200 CBOs have been formed in the Decentralization Programme’s three pilot Aiyl Okmotus of Jalal-Abad Region, Suzak and Kizil-Tuu of Suzak Raiyon and Kerben of Aksy raiyon.

In Jalal-Abad region, CBOs from their very inception began to undertake various socio-economic development activities in their communities. To support their development activities the Decentralization Programme provides one-time micro-grant initiatives. Using this grant money the CBOs in Jalal-Abad have undertaken implementation of a total of 30 socio-infrastructure projects in their villages, many of which have already been completed. These projects include school buildings, public bathhouses, health centers, drinking water facilities and irrigation systems.

On the 10th anniversary of Independence in the Kyrgyz Republic, the CBOs of Suzak and Kizil-Tuu villages of Suzak raiyon decided to celebrate the holiday in their own way.

In Kizil-Tuu village municipality there is a small village called “Boston” which is home to a total of 364 households. Two CBOs of this village, “Birimdik and Ajat”, took on the initiative of completing construction of a school building before Independence Day as they wanted to celebrate the grand opening of it before the start of the new academic year. The initiative taken by these CBOs was very much appreciated by the Regional and District Administration who decided to inaugurate the school on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Independence. Accordingly, on the 29th of August the Governor of Jalal-Abad Region, Mr. Sultan Urmanaev, inaugurated the school amidst a crowd of CBO members, villagers, regional and district level officials and programme staff. The school building is designed for 250 students and houses one large sport hall. The total cost of the school was 508,000 soms. The UNDP Decentralization Programme provided a total of 140,000 soms and CBO members, the Village and District administrations and other sponsors provided the remainder of costs.

Similarly, 4 CBOs, of Suzak “Sadda” village in their general meeting unanimously decided to complete a drinking water project which they had undertaken before the specified deadline in order mark the occasion of Independence of the country. They completed the project on the 20th of August and requested the District Administration to participate in the inauguration. The District Administration was very pleased to have such a unique request from the CBOs and decided to arrange for the grand inauguration ceremony. The project, costing a total of 212,000 soms, was completed with contributions from all partners, including CBOs, village and district administrations, sponsors and grant money provided by the UNDP Decentralization Programme. On the 29th of August amidst a big gathering of CBO members, villagers, government and programme staff, the Akim of Suzak District Mr. Mullakeldieva and the Chairperson of the District Council Mr. Jhumukov jointly inaugurated the project. Presently, villagers from more than 120 households benefit from the 1.5 km-long drinking water system. CBO members feel that they have served their nation in their own way by resolving their problem of drinking water through their own means.

In this way CBO members celebrated the 10th Anniversary of Independence of the Republic. CBO leaders expressed their feeling that their role in local development holds promising outlooks and the mobilization activities initiated by the Decentralization Programme to promote the organization of CBOs has proven to be a catalyst for community members. In their celebrations of this noteworthy occasion, appreciation was expressed for the initiation and contributions made by the Decentralization Programme in participation with the CBOs for the overall development of the villages. In turn the Programme staff (UNVs) highlighted the support provided to CBOs in their development as self-sustaining and self-governing institutes at the grass root levels.

Contact: Mr. Amar Sainju, UNV Jalal-Abad. Tel.: (0 3222) 2-08-78. Mobile: 74-05-27. Email:


Women in Politics. In cooperation with the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) the UNDP GID Bureau conducted a series of seminars for women parliamentarians and members of local councils to strengthen women’s representation in politics and to initiate networking with women’s NGOs and journalists. Ms. Bonnie Bersntrom, Ms. Carin Lann and Mr. Goran Wimmerstrom, international consultants of SIDA came to Kyrgyzstan with a mission to deliver consultations and training during the seminars, which had taken place in Issyk-Kul, Osh and Bishkek. These seminars are believed to have contributed to national strategy for advancement of women and to facilitate creating of framework for women’s participation in political leadership in Kyrgyzstan. The UNDP and Government of Kyrgyzstan have been implementing the “Promoting Women in Leadership” project since March 1999, within which the project “Support to Women Parliamentarians” operates.

The Support to Women Parliamentarians project has started its activities from interview meetings with women parliamentarians and speakers of both houses of the Parliament in November 2000. Ms. Bonnie Bernstrom and Ms. Carin Lann carried out a mission to Bishkek and introduced the objectives of the project and initiated the collaboration process among women parliamentarians as a first step of the project implementation. A study tour to Sweden for women Members of Parliament was organized in December 2001 to launch experience sharing on gender issues with Swedish politicians and experts and enlarge knowledge of and information about ensuring gender balance in Swedish political level.

Contact: Ms. Aikan Mukanbetova, UNDP Gender in Development Bureau Director. Tel.: (0 996) 312 66-38-85, 66-04-18. Email:


Regional Print Journalists in the Kyrgyz Republic Received Interview and Mass Media Legislation Training from FOJO and Internews. Between September 10th and 24th, 2001 more than 40 print journalists from Osh, Batken, Aravan, Jalal-Abad, Karakol, Naryn and Batken participated in a series of seminars for print journalists which was organized by Internews Network and FOJO (The Institute for Further Education of Journalists, based in Kalmar, Sweden). The journalists were trained in the field of modern print journalism and concentrated their work on proper interviewing techniques.

Lars Holm, a Swedish trainer with a 27-year experience in print media, was positively surprised by the professionalism shown by the regional journalists in the Kyrgyz Republic: "Actually, I was expecting lower standards of professionalism, but it makes me happy to see that the journalists here are already on the right way. They asked so many questions, raised so many interesting issues - especially the journalists in Osh and Karakol impressed me a lot."

FOJO is planning to come back to the Kyrgyz Republic in early 2002 to further assess the situation of the print media and maybe already with a new training program in their suitcases. "The journalists here work in an extremely difficult economic and political environment. We hope that our training programs can help them a bit to become even more professional in their work. Also, we hope that the authorities in the Kyrgyz Republic fully understand the role of journalists and accept their work as an instrument of democracy." Internews Network's support of independent media in the Kyrgyz Republic is made possible largely by a grant from USAID. FOJO's activities are sponsored by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

Contact: Internews Network's Country Director in the Kyrgyz Republic, Chris Schuepp, at


Update on Counterpart Consortium/USAID/UN/EU-Supported NGO activities – The Civic Society Support Center (CSSC) in Issyk-Kul oblast conducted a seminar "Community Action Plan" in the village Otradnoye in the framework of the joint program of European Union "Strengthening Participation of the Local Communities in the Civic Society of Kyrgyzstan" and Counterpart Consortium/USAID "Community Outreach". Eighty trainees attended the event. During the meeting, the PCA results were presented, an initiative group of the community was formed, and the action plan to solve 3 of 12 problems revealed during the PCA on February 24, 2001 was also designed including a renovation of the water pipe system, reconstruction of the heating system at school and renovation of the club in the village.

The meeting of the leaders of the refugee NGOs with the representatives of UNHCR, UNFPA, Kyrgyz Alliance on Family Planning was held at the Civic Society Support Center in Karakol. Seventeen members, including representatives from 7 refugee NGOs, participated in the seminar. The participants discussed issues of the project implementation: prevention of AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. The youth aged 14 through 24 in Chui oblast will be involved in this project. The representatives of the three agencies shared with the background and plans of the project, discussed the step-by-step project implementation with active involvement of the refugee NGOs and methods to facilitate events efficiently. As a result, the persons responsible for managing questionnaires (invitation of respondents) at sites (in each region of the regional center) were assigned. The local refugee NGOs have been selecting youth leaders to train facilitation skills, have been assisting in conducting 10 seminars and distributing informational materials in the region.

On August 27-28, 2001 at the instance of UNHCR and with a support of Counterpart Consortium, a training workshop on the basics of microcrediting was conducted at the office of the Afghan Fund in Bishkek. Ten refugees from Afghanistan participated in the training. The participants examined and discussed the following issues:

  • Definition of entrepreneur qualities which are included in the competence of a businessman;
  • Definition and value of personal balance;
  • Brain storming as a method of collecting business ideas;
  • Macro and micro credits;
  • Definition of cost price and its calculation;
  • Total cost of a project;
  • Structure of report on benefits and losses, the participants obtained skills of designing reports;
  • Reporting on funds;
  • Business plan structure and legal forms of entrepreneurship.

Within the framework of the Program in Health NGOs' Capacity Building implemented under support of Counterpart Consortium and USAID the second phase of evaluation of the organizational development of the non-commercial organization, Family Group Practitioner Association, was conducted and the action plan on building capacities of the organizations was designed during the period of September 5 to September 6, 2001. On September 7, 2001 the sessions devoted to the development of strategic planning of the organizations of the Family Group Practitioner Association were held.

Twenty-one representatives of the NGOs, Osh target communities attended the training "NGO management" facilitated by the Civic Society Support Center in Osh oblast. The training was conducted in the the News Agency "Kabar" on September 6-7, 2001. The 2- day seminar was devoted the issues of all types of NGO management. The training was conducted in the framework of the CC program "Program of Civic Society and NGO Development in the Central Asian Region" implemented under the support of USAID.

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:


UNFPA: Supporting Population and Development. On 29 August, 2001, UN Resident Coordinator Mr. Ercan Murat, in his capacity of UNFPA Representative in Kyrgyzstan, handed over data processing and office equipment, as well as the keys from two NIVA four-wheel drivers to the Ministry of Health, National Statistical Committee and the Slavic University. The ceremony was specially arranged on the eve of Kyrgyzstan's 10th anniversary. The United Nations Population Fund has been successfully working with the Ministry of Health within the framework of the UNFPA sub-programme on reproductive health. Two major areas supported by UNFPA are the Social Patronage System (SPS) and Logistics Management Information System (LMIS). Last year, for monitoring and reporting on contraceptive distribution, UNFPA provided the Family Planning Centres in provinces and Bishkek with computers for the total amount of USD 19,970. This year, for further successful implementation of LMIS, UNFPA is providing the provincial Family Planning Centres with printers and UPS .

UNFPA has been helping the National Statistical Committee since 1998 to strengthen the country's capacity in producing and using the basic demographic and social data at the national and regional levels. UNFPA is especially proud of support to the Committee in preparation and conducting the First National Census. Recognizing the Census held in 1999 as one of the best ones, United Nations Statistical Division calls this phenomenon the “Kyrgyz Model”. Over the years of collaboration with the National Statistical Committee UNFPA has supplied the Central Office with more than 70 computers. The set of equipment, which UNFPA transferred this time, was intended for the regional departments of statistics. The strengthening of the statistical potential in the regions means that UNFPA and NSC brought the collaboration up to a new qualitative level.

Another important counterpart of UNFPA is the Kyrgyz Russian Slavic University’s Center of Demography. Demography has never been at the forefront in Kyrgyzstan science and research. During the Soviet era there were no Higher Educational Establishments, other than those in Moscow, which trained professional demographers. Hence, UNFPA intends to assist in establishing Post-Graduate Courses on Population and Demography at the Slavic University. The students and the faculty will be studying and monitoring demographic processes and sustainable development of the country, with a special focus on women's rights, gender balance and reproductive health and rights. So, UNFPA granted the University the set of equipment for the Center of Demography.

Contact: Mr. Alexander Ilyin, UNFPA Programme Officer. Tel.: (996 312) 61-12-13. E-mail: You can find more information on UNFPA activity in Kyrgyzstan on the agency’s website at


Communities of Batken Celebrated Independence Day with the Completion of Self-Developed and Implemented Community Projects. Batken province is a relatively new administrative region on the geographic map of Kyrgyzstan, created in October 2000. Since then, many international organizations have been working in the area to support the Kyrgyz Government’s efforts to support and increase the quality of lives for Batken people. The UNDP’s Preventive Development in the South project has also actively been taking part in the development processes since March 2000, establishing a Preventive Development Center in the administrative center of the province Batken city and five Community Resource Centers at the village level.

One of the focuses in the development efforts of UNDP in general, and the Preventive Development project in particular, is the mobilisation of the communities to participate in and make decisions on community development activities at the grassroots level. Thus, people in both villages and cities are supported in establishing Community Based Organisations (CBO) to undertake joint efforts in the development and implementation of local initiatives as preventive measures. In the framework of the Preventive Development project, more than 55 CBOs have been established in Batken in partnership with the local self-government.

The year 2001 marks the 10th anniversary of independence for Kyrgyzstan. With this fact in mind, several CBOs decided to initiate and complete self-development projects dedicated to the celebration of the anniversary. In Isfana city municipality of Leilek district, Batken province, the CBOs “Dehkanbobo”, “Nur”, “Nihol”, “Saodat”, “Umid”, “Dustlik” and “Ak-Tilek”, together with local authorities, initiated a project to rehabilitate and extend drinking-water supply systems in one of the micro-districts of Isfana. For the implementation of the project, the communities contributed a total of 183,585 soms. Of this sum a total of 80,115 soms were provided in in-kind payment and the remaining 103,470 soms were provided as financial and material payment. The UNDP Preventive Development Project provided 206,000 soms for the purchase of 4369 meters of plastic pipes. In addition, Mercy Corps International (MCI) provided 10 standpipes and 1,680 liters of vegetable oil within the framework of their “Food for Work” programme as compensation for labor. On the 30th of August 2001, the day before Independence Day, the inauguration of the completed project took place in Isfana with the participation of the Province Governor Mr. Mamat Aibalaev, district and city Akims (mayors), leaders of CBOs, representatives from MCI and the Preventive Development project.

On a similar note, in Dara municipality of Batken district the 29th of August 2001 was marked by the opening of the completed water supply project titled “Water is a Source of Life”. Two CBOs, “Yntymak” and “Ak-Tilek”, undertook initiatives to provide safe drinking water to the people of Check village and completed it for the celebration of Independence Day. The total budget of the project required 321,782 soms, of which the UNDP Preventive Development project allocated 141,512 soms for the purchase of plastic pipes. Community members and local authorities provided the remainder of the required amount. The Province Governor, district Akim, community members and representatives of the Preventive Development project attended the opening ceremony of the water system, dedicated to the 10th anniversary of Independence of Kyrgyzstan.

The Preventive Development project continues to operate and support communities in Batken province. With the help of local authorities, preventive measures are being implemented to improve the quality of lives of the people. The celebration of the 10th anniversary of Independence provided a chance to mark this occasion, important for both the population and their communities.

Contact: The Preventive Development Center and the UN Regional Coordination Office in South Kyrgyzstan in Batken. Phone (996 3622) 361.44 or 360.29. E-mail: or You can find more information on UNDP’s Preventive Development in the South of Kyrgyzstan project on on the project’s website at and on UNDP’s homepage at (click ‘UNDP Programs’).


Kyrgyz First Lady Addresses Students of the Summer Course. The Sixth Regional Summer Course on Human Rights and International Law finished on August 26. Twenty-eight law students and young lawyers from Central Asian and other CIS countries participated in the course, which lasted two and a half weeks. The course covered topics such as freedom of speech, religion and association, women's and children's rights, human rights mechanisms and international refugee protection and included a mock trial on the last day. Kyrgyz First Lady Mairam Akaeva presented the certificates of graduation to the participants. In her address to the graduates, she emphasised the importance of obtaining knowledge on issues of human rights and international law so as to make a contribution to the development of their countries, many of which are in the process of implementing legal reform. Madame Akaeva's participation was further evidence of her commitment to refugee issues, following on her visit to a UNHCR-supported refugee education initiative and her invitation to refugee children to participate in drawing courses sponsored by her Meerim Foundation.

UNHCR Celebrates Kyrgyzstan's 10th Anniversary. To commemorate the 10th anniversary of Kyrgyz independence, UNHCR organized a special 12-day radio programme entitled “Respect Kyrgyzstan. Respect Refugees”. The radio action started on August 20 and finished on August 31, Independence Day. During these 12 days, UNHCR and two popular radio stations “Europa Plus” and “Kyrgyzstan Obondoru” visited 12 communities in which refugees live. On each visit the radio station correspondents organized a radio connection between the community and the studios of the station via cellular telephone and interviewed the refugees. The interviews covered topics ranging from “Education for Children Refugees” to “New Citizens of Kyrgyzstan”. Refugees from Tajik, Afghan and Chechen communities participated in the radio action. The purpose of the radio action was to congratulate Kyrgyzstan on its 10th anniversary, to thank the country for the assistance provided to refugees, and to show that refugees can contribute to the country’s development.

Contact: Mrs. Elizabeth Zalkind, Public Information Assistant, UNHCR. Tel.: (996 312) 21-33-28, 21-27-32, 65-12-73. Fax: 66-18-40. Email:


UNDP Country Office (CO) retreat “Ways to Efficiency and Optimization: CO Management and Programme Implementation” took place between 10th and 12th September in the Issyk-Kul’s resort “Aurora”. The retreat was a logically necessary continuation of the overall UNDP Kyrgyzstan's re-profiling process, which started in October 1999. This one-and-a-half-year process was started from Country Review exercises, moved then to preparation of the Second Country Cooperation Frameworks, approved in April 2000. In December 1999 the office went through the “Communication Skills and Change Management” Workshop resulting in the design of the Change Management Action Plan in February 2000.

The CO staff and project personnel were fully involved in the re-profiling process. The number of brainstorming meetings, retreats, email and Intranet discussions really helped the process to be participatory and gave the sense of ownership in the changes happened in the CO. Therefore the road to move from a project to program approach in UNDP activity was not so long and painful should the CO and project staff have excluded from re-profiling and re-programming. As a result, the CO has consolidated major Governance activities into one coherent Governance Framework, which will be implemented through the three new Programmes:

  • Political and Administrative Central Governance;
  • Political and Administrative Local Governance; and
  • Social Governance

The Country Office Re-profiling followed the re-programming exercise and allowed to optimize all job descriptions and staff/units functions in a gradual and systematic manner with regard to the CO new vision and operational needs to deliver the new programmes and provide upstream policy advice. In accordance with program design and necessity to apply a new improved management arrangements a first CO retreat took place in July 2000 where program and project staff discussed best ways to optimize UNDP funds and establish a new management structure. Than a mini-survey in October 2000 on Programme Formulation and an Internal Management Audit in November 2000 took place. The December 2000 Program Retreat on RBM, Monitoring and Evaluation helped to develop the CO vision on re-programming process for the RBEC Workshop which took place in January 2001 in Issyk-Kul. After the Workshop the Country Office Re-profiling Team was established and two Functional Analyses were conducted in February and May 2001. The Workshop “The New UNDP Calling to Promote Democratic Governance for Greater Effectiveness on Poverty Reduction Policies in the Kyrgyz Republic” in July 2001 helped to involve all counterparts in the Kyrgyz Government to discuss a new UNDP program approach in order to strengthen the linkage between upstream and downstream activities and to reach common understanding and clarity on the issues of Democratic Governance.

Hence the UNDP CO retreat had the following objectives:

  • to discuss and make the final decisions on the ways and mechanisms of effective operationalization of the new three programmes;
  • to optimize the ways of interactions between the CO and Programme Management Units (PMUs);
  • to discuss and find the ways of optimization in working procedures, effective interaction between Programme Unit, Operations Unit and newly established Public Relations and Information Management Unit (PRIM);
  • to discuss and identify effective ways of Resource Mobilization;
  • to have a clear picture on the Programme resources and CO operation budget, discuss the crucial need for cost-effective use of available funds;
  • to report on the status of SRFs and COMP implementation

In all, 36 participants representing UNDP Country Office, UNV, UNFPA, Chief Technical Advisers, Task managers, Cluster Finance and Administrative Assistants from 3 Programme Management Units actively participated in the brainstorming sessions. The quite new experience was that all staff members, including Programme Associates, staff of Operations and PRIM Units actively participated in preparation of the event, making presentations and facilitation during the Retreat. The Retreat helped also to further improve morale in the office through the set of games and competitions initiated by the Staff Association and organized by the people themselves in the free time.

Contact: Ms. Sagipa Jusaeva, UNDP Assistant Resident Representative, 160 Chuy prospect, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, tel.: 61 12 13, fax: 61 12 17, e-mail:

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