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# 166
May 14, 2002

In this issue:


UNDP LOCAL GOVERNANCE PROGRAMME

  • Regional Workshop on Promoting Effective Participation of the Civil Society in Local Governance and Poverty Alleviation in CIS - Challenges and Good Practices
  • Seminar for the heads of Ayil Okmotus held in Talas
  • Press Trip to Batken

UNDP SOCIAL GOVERNANCE PROGRAMME

  • Seminar on HIV/AIDS prevention in Osh

HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE

  • USAID Initiative to prevent conflicts in the Ferghana Valley

UNDP LOCAL GOVERNANCE PROGRAMME

Regional Workshop in Albania. On the 6 - 8 of May the Regional Workshop on Promoting Effective Participation of the Civil Society in Local Governance and Poverty Alleviation in Europe and the CIS - Challenges and Good Practices was conducted in Albania. Representatives from SURF Bratislava, SURF Africa, Governance Center based in Oslo, BDP New York and representatives from UNDP Country Offices, NGOs and Governments of more than 20 countries participated in the Workshop. It was an excellent opportunity given to the participants to learn conceptual issues related to the Civil Society, Social Mobilization, Poverty Reduction and to share best practical experience of how these concepts are being applied in different countries and what lessons had been learned. More than half of overall time was allocated for the work in the Subregional Working Groups and discussions, so that everybody was able to provide their inputs and was given an opportunity to share different views. Following the Presentation on the Conceptual issues of Social Mobilization, Anara Salamatova, Task Manager of Local Governance Programme from Kyrgyzstan made a presentation on "the role of Social Mobilization in Local Governance: Approaches, Results and Lessons Learned" based on the practical experience of Decentralization and Preventive Development Programmes.

Contact: Anara Salamatova, Cluster Task Manager, UNDP Local Governance Programme. Phone: (996 312) 66 00 80; e-mail:

Seminar for the heads of Ayil Okmotus was held in Talas: on the 3-4 of May Local Governance Programme together with the Ministry of Local Governance held a seminar on organization of local governance activities according to the adopted laws on local self-governance and communal property. 67 participants from the oblast participated. They were the heads of all 37 village' municipalities (Ayil Okmotu - AO) in oblast, chairpersons of rayon and aiyl keneshes (Councils), heads of all rayons and the mayor of the Talas City. During two days there were discussions on questions concerning local governments' activities. Representatives of different ministries in their speeches covered the aspects of joint activities undertaken in close cooperation with local governments. Open discussions were held between representatives of the local and central governance. But the most important thing at the seminar was its practical part - acquaintance with AOs' and Community Based Organizations' (CBO) activities in pilot Nurjanova AO. During it the participants of the seminar met with three CBOs, where CBO members told about their activities in detail. Also, the participants of the Seminar had a chance to visit two micro-capital grant projects, which were implemented by CBOs with the support of UNDP/Local Governance Programme, and one economic project - establishment of mini-farm and visited the information center opened within the UNDP Central Governance Programme in cooperation with IREX and the Ayul Okmotu. The participants of the seminar were impressed by the activities of CBOs, which are based on the principles of self-governance and self-financing. They were assured that there are close connections between Ayil Okmotus and CBOs and that the process of expansion of the Decentralization programme is in process. At the end of the seminar the Minister of local governance recommended to all heads of local governments to replicate the programme's activities in their respective village municipalities.

Contact: Anara Salamatova, Cluster Task Manager, UNDP Local Governance Programme. Phone: (996 312) 66 00 80; e-mail:

Press trip to Batken. From May 2nd to 4th 2002 a team of 12 local journalists and reporters representing a variety of local mass media together with David Akopyan, UNDP Resident Representative a.i., Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Public Affairs Officer, Aigul Sulaimanova, Finance Clerk and Ruslan Monolbaev from Programme Management Unit visited pilot village municipalities of Preventive Development component in Batken oblast. The main objectives of the mission were to demonstrate the progress achieved in pilot areas of the programme with an aim of advocating and sharing with the mass media representatives the huge work in development sphere that is being done in the southern region of Kyrgyzstan.

The trip started from the visit to Uch-Korgon, where the mission, accompanied by Talant Kaimov, Community Development Officer, representatives of local administration and heads of Community Based Organizations had a possibility to see implementation of different projects and observe the progress that had been achieved since those projects implementation. The first project was Kara-Kyshtak-Boz Irrigation Channel construction site, which is the biggest project of Preventive Development component at the present moment. It costs more than nine million soms in general where input of the Kyrgyz Government is approximately five million soms. The rest will be covered by local communities themselves, while UNDP and the Swiss Coordination Office provided grants. After completion of the project five thousand poor families could get access to land which in its turn would help to save peace and harmonious development in Uch-Korgon, the biggest village in Batken oblast where population is multiethnic with a high rate of unemployment.

The same day the journalists visited Verkhny Kakyr and Yntymak villages where Community Based Organizations build new schools as well Razjezd, Abdusamat and Noogardan villages where drinking water supply systems were build or in the process of construction now. For example, in Razjezd village, which is on the border with Uzbekistan, local communities with support of village municipality and UNDP build a drinking water-pipe system and agreed with their Uzbek neighbours that instead drinking water from Kyrgyz territory villagers in Razjezd will get gas from Uzbekistan. In Noogardan village the journalists saw how local communities consisted of Kyrgyz, Uzbeks and Tajiks were together building a drinking water supply system for the village. As the journalists reflected in their articles people build not only a water-pipe, they build a better future for their children who could see their parents living and working in close co-operation with representatives of other nations and put the basement for peace and harmony in their villages for future. The same, mostly water supply projects were visited in Isfana city in the framework of Preventive Development Component. The most interesting and significant project site was water pipe on the Kyrgyz-Tajik frontier, where people both from Kyrgyzstan and Tadjikistan established the Community Committee named "Druzhba" (Friendship) to implement the project. For many years even during Soviet times the issue of drinking water was not solved in this area and people had to use water from river for all their needs. As a result, many cases of infectious gastrointestinal diseases were registered in the area. Moreover, there were a lot of causes for interethnic conflicts between Tajiks and Kyrgyz where Tajiks blamed Kyrgyz that they polluted water. The situation was quite tense up to recent time when people finally got access to clean drinking water from mountain's spring. That is why almost all people from Tajik and Kyrgyz villages welcomed the mission from Bishkek with traditional bread and salt and told journalists about how life in those villages had changed since UNDP Community Development Officers came there for the first time. People started to work closely with their neighbors and local authorities and, the most valuable thing is that people trust in themselves now and are able to implement other initiatives to improve their lives.

The team also participated in the launch of the National Human Development Report for 2001 in Batken province, presented to the local audience by Nina Bagdasarova, the team leader of the national team of experts who prepared the report. During three-days travel through Batken province the journalists had also a possibility to see UNFPA Patronage System activities and UNICEF and Tolerance Foundation NGO supported Salam radio station based in Batken.

Note: The UNDP Preventive Development in the South of Kyrgyzstan (PDISK) program started in Batken province in late spring of 2000 and now works in all three districts, more specifically in the municipalities of Batken town, Dara, Khalmion, Uch Korgon and Isfana. Besides identifying social-ethnic conflicts at the grass-roots level on the basis of the Early Warning Indicators (EWI), the project also supports social infrastructure projects (mostly, but not limited to, the most pressing issue: water and irrigation) through community-based organizations and micro-capital grants. The PDISK works in coordination with the Foundation for Tolerance International and the DEZA-SDC funded and UNOPS-executed Rehabilitation of Social Infrastructure program, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the International Crisis Group (ICG). For its infrastructure projects, it cooperates with the Mercy Corps International. For detailed information on the project and the communities where it works, the PDISK program has its own homepage at http://www.pdsouth.elcat.kg

Contact: Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Public Affairs Officer; and Ruslan Monolbaev, Preventive Development Component Coordinator, UNDP Local Governance Programme. Phones: (996 312) 61 12 13, 66 00 80; e-mail addreses: and

UNDP SOCIAL GOVERNANCE PROGRAMME

On May 10-11, 2002, in Osh city the Ministry of Education and Culture together with UNDP HIV/AIDS Component and Ministry of Health carried out a seminar on HIV/AIDS prevention for the heads and specialists of oblast and rayon educational departments. Forty-five participants from all rayon and oblast education departments of Osh, Jalal-Abad, and Batken oblasts took part in the seminar. They were welcomed by Mr. Jae Hee Park, UN Liaison Officer in the South Kyrgyzstan, Ms. Larisa Bashmakova, Coordinator for HIV/AIDS, UNDP, and Mr. Maksat Torobaev, representative of Osh oblast administration.

During the seminar, the participants developed rayon and oblast programmes on AIDS prevention for educational establishments. Further promotion of the subject Healthy Lifestyle in school will be mainstreaming in these programmes. Healthy Lifestyle subject has been developed by UNDP together with the Ministry of Education and Culture, and National AIDS Center.

The results of the seminar will serve as a basis for the Order of Ministry of Education and Culture, which will be issued on development of obligatory educational programmes on Healthy Lifestyle in all schools of the Republic.

Contact: Mrs. Larisa Bashmakova, Coordinator for HIV/AIDS Component, UNDP Social Governance Programme, tel./fax: (996 312) 66-36-91, tel.: (996 312) 66 16 17, e-mail:

HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE

HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE

ISLAMABAD, 22 Apr 2002 (IRIN) - Experts have welcomed an initiative by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to prevent conflicts in the Ferghana Valley, which includes territories of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The region is one of the most volatile in Central Asia.

"This is a good initiative and one of the first to look into a wide range of issues affecting the region," David Lewis, Director of Central Asia Project at International Crisis Group (ICG) told IRIN from Kyrgyzstan's southwestern city of Osh on Thursday.

The project aims at regulating conflicts - mostly over land and water - at community level without the involvement of the authorities. It also focuses on community development projects, and tries to establish links between the different countries of the Ferghana Valley, and the different resident ethnic groups.

Lewis added that the region faced a plethora of problems. "There are borders disputes, land and water are in short supply - and there is support for radical Islamist groups. It's a complex region," he said.

Asked what implications such initiatives might have on the region, he maintained that it was too early to predict. "At least it's a good start," he said. In an earlier report, ICG, a private multinational organisation working to prevent conflict, noted that the Ferghana Valley was deeply affected by poverty, overcrowding, falling agriculture prices, Islamic militancy, drug trafficking and increasing resentment directed against ruling elites.

Commenting on the issue, the regional analyst and author, Ahmed Rashid, told IRIN that in the post-11 September scenario, a more regional and broadly based approach on the part of the international community was needed. "The international community has to include the North West Frontier Province in Pakistan, Ferghana Valley in Central Asia and Sistan Baluchestan in Iran in any effort of reconstruction in Afghanistan," he said, adding that these remained pockets of "enormous instability" in the region.

Terming the initiative as positive, Rashid maintained that the major issue in the Ferghana Valley, which the bordering countries needed to address was the establishment was a more flexible cross-border regime to facilitate the movement of people. "This can be only done through community level initiatives," he stressed.

In the aftermath of 11 September, USAID has stepped up its assistance to the region. The projects aim at encouraging dialogue with civil society, promoting employment, growth and helping to improve health, education and environmental conditions.


Millennium Development Goals Progress Report - 2003

Common Country Assessment - 2003

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