Inaugural Life in Kyrgyzstan Annual Conference Convenes in Bishkek

Date: 01 October 2015
Other languages: Русский язык |
The University of Central Asia’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration (UCA IPPA), Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the ISDC - International Security and Development Center and the World Bank organised the inaugural Life in Kyrgyzstan annual conference on 1-2 October 2015 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. 
 
 
The two-day conference brought together more than 40 international and regional speakers to foster knowledge exchange and promote evidence-based policy making on socioeconomic development in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia. Plenary sessions focussed on labour markets and gender, and conference sessions addressed a range of topics, including labour markets, gender, migration, poverty, health, security and integration issues in Central Asia. 
 
“This conference is one part of the Life in Kyrgyzstan Study mandate. The survey is important because it advances our knowledge about Kyrgyzstan and the issues it faces. The challenges that the country confronts are analytically complex and solutions are not obvious. One should not underestimate the intellectual effort that is required to achieve evidence-based decisions that will have the desired impact,” said Dr Bohdan Krawchenko, UCA Director General.
 
The conference was opened by Krawchenko; Jean-Michel Happi, The World Bank, Professor Tilman Brück, ISDC; and Dr Damir Esenaliev, Senior SIPRI Researcher. More than 80 participants representing research institutions and international development agencies in Central Asia, Europe and the United States attended. Panelists included policy makers and representatives of the private sector, development community and academia. Among the presenters were IPPA’s Associate Director Dr Roman Mogilevskii; Professor Kathryn Anderson, Vanderbilt University and Professor Armando Barrientos, Manchester University. 
 
The Life in Kyrgyzstan Study is an open access, multi-topic longitudinal survey of 3,000 households and 8,000 individuals in Kyrgyzstan. The survey tracks the same households and individuals in all seven Kyrgyz regions (oblasts) and the two cities of Bishkek and Osh, providing data over time on a range of topics, including household demographics, assets, expenditure, migration, employment, agricultural markets, shocks, social networks and subjective well-being. The survey was first conducted in 2010 and then again in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and the data are representative nationally and at the regional level.
 
"This conference is a unique opportunity for researchers, policy-makers, development community, private sector and other stakeholders to share and exchange micro-level social and economic development in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia. This year, we are specifically looking at the position of women in labour markets and are pleased that many researchers presenting used the Life in Kyrgyzstan survey data; a product we are proud of," said Dr Esenaliev.
 
Earlier this year, UCA, SIPRI, ISDC and the United Nations University Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT) offered the Life in Kyrgyzstan Summer School on Impact Evaluation Methods in Central Asia to build the capacity of researchers, practitioners and policy makers in Central Asia to commission, conduct and interpret rigorous impact evaluations and increase their role in evidence-based policy making using both qualitative and quantitative tools, such as the Life in Kyrgyzstan Study. 
 
The Life in Kyrgyzstan Study was established at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) by Brück as a project funded by the German Volkswagen Foundation from 2010 to 2012. The project included several institutions in Central Asia and Europe with DIW Berlin as the consortium leader. The Life in Kyrgyzstan survey for 2013 was conducted under the Growth and Labour Markets in Low Income Countries Programme funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) for the benefit of developing countries. The consortium currently includes SIPRI as lead institution, with UCA as the main partner in Kyrgyzstan and several research institutes in Central Asia, Europe and North America. Survey data is publically available for non-profit research, policy analysis and teaching purposes. Further information can be found on the project website: www.lifeinkyrgyzstan.org.