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Few things I got at the Global Legislative Openness Conference in Kiev

29 May 2017

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How to build citizen’s trust in parliaments through openness and engagement? 19-20 May, in Kiev, Ukraine took place the International conference on Global Legislative openness. A very intense agenda full of hard discussions, updates and cutting edge ideas from all over the globe. Here below, in no order, few of my personal takeaways. As sun is the best disinfector parliaments need to be open, at the end of the day in Ancient Greece, where the word democracy was invented, parliaments were in open air, literally! Parliaments, nowadays, are more open than ever, yet, at the same time, the trust towards them is lower than ever. How to interpret this apparent contradiction? Arguably, this phenomenon doesn’t mean that people believe less in democracy but rather that they believe more in it and have higher expectations. Parliaments need to reflect all parts of the population, none excluded. Youth should not be represented but presented. Youth is not the future but the present as well! Gender representation is a milestone for parliamentary development. No woman… yes cry! Freedom of information is the mother of all rights, there is nothing as “raw data” that can be misunderstood and should not be published. Let the people  Read More

Never stop dreaming!

02 May 2017

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I was 10 years old when I met Kofi Annan in person at the Children Word Festival held by the United Nations in Switzerland. For a girl from a small country in the Central Asia it was strong impression. Since that moment I have been dreaming to work for United Nations. 17 years later my dream came true and I started working at the GEF financed and UNDP implemented project. I moved with my husband and two children to my new duty station – Karakol (Issyk-Kul oblast) though it was not the easiest thing to do. I loved the main goals of the project to conserve the globally significant biodiversity of the Central Tian Shan, which also includes protecting and supporting snow leopard. On day, we implemented a visit to beneficiaries who started small business start-ups under implementation of the alternative livelihoods programme. During one day, we had visited those 16 projects in the villages around Karakol. In the homishness of sewing workshop at the village Uch-Kaynar I noticed a small girl aged 4-5 years old. She was playing next to her mother who was working there. In Kyrgyzstan, there is a very small number of kindergartens in villages - mothers  Read More

Back to the roots or the power of Kyrgyz women

09 Apr 2017

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During the recent Rule of Law Forum, launched by the UNDP in the Kyrgyz Republic, I have met an incredible speaker. I noticed her immediately from the crowd, young woman with a short hair, dressed up boyish.   I waited impatiently for her turn to appear as a speaker and share with us her life story. It turned that her name is Zamira, she is 32 years old and resides in a far remote village in the coldest region of Kyrgyz Republic, Naryn. She has her own yak farm with more than 500 yaks and loves hunting. She drives everything, but an aircraft and a carrier rocket. In other words, Zamira does everything in her village that Kyrgyz women will not usually do, breaking all the existing gender stereotypes and myths in our society. When Zamira graduated from high school, her parents wanted her to become a veterinarian. But she wanted to become a doctor and cure people in need. As most of the young people residing in villages, Zamira also wanted to finish the school faster and leave to the city. She got accepted to the Kyrgyz Medical Academy and has in a few years realized that becoming a doctor  Read More

Discovering Innovative Business Ideas of Youth in Kyrgyzstan

22 Mar 2017

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Tabyshker (innovator in Kyrgyz language) is a contest of innovative business projects launched 11 December 2016 and held as a part of Enactus Innovative Lab, a platform for the creation and testing of new start-ups before their further implementation. The idea came up in a result of cooperation of UNDP and Enactus Kyrgyz Republic. Tabyshker Innovative Laboratory aims at identifying innovative business ideas in industrial fields of information technology, recycling and reuse of materials, tourism, agriculture, water and sanitation. These areas closely resonate with the objectives of sustainable development, adopted in September 2015. Entrepreneurship is a major driver of sustainable development of our economy. According to the National Statistical Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic, there were more than 360 thousand individual entrepreneurs as of the end of 2015; this number is steadily increasing from year to year. Entrepreneurs are an important part of the society as they create many  jobs and contribute to attracting funds to various economic sectors that contributes to economic development and, not least, entrepreneurs are the main taxpayers. We have witnessed that during the contest and here are the numbers: “For a long time we have been working in the field of youth entrepreneurship. We create conditions  Read More

A step towards justice – a step in the right direction

21 Jul 2016

image Photo Credit: Meri Bekeshova

Orok ayil aimak is located very close to Bishkek. It might seem the access to justice and legal opportunities of the residents of this municipality are much more favorable than in other remote localities of Batken and Naryn oblasts, however we all should remember the increase of the legal literacy and awareness of citizens of their rights is an extremely important task for the Government and citizens themselves including the most remote rayons. Recently the staff members of the family doctors group in Orok ayil aimak approached me to ask if there was an opportunity to provide finance assistance to a young lady Nargiz as her 4 years daughter urgently needed operation on a liver. The girl was infected with echinococcosis and was several times operated but as her health was deteriorating, a new surgery was needed. Besides her two children, Nargiz had to look after several brothers and sisters. The only source of income was occasional work in Dordoi market. According to Nargiz, doctors in one of hospitals in Bishkek requested 30 000 kyrgyz soms for making a surgery. I wanted to contact my colleagues from UNDP and launch money collection campaign - we had a good tradition of donations earlier  Read More

Being a blood donor: if I give it, people need it

12 Jul 2016

image Photo Credit: Akyn Bakirov

“People are so busy with themselves that they do not have time to penetrate and understand others. Therefore those who have many advantages, but more modesty often remain in the shadow.” © Jean de La Bruyère During my study in Greece, there was organized the center for blood donation inside the campus… Once after medical examination, I was informed that because of the low pressure I might not be admitted for blood sampling. They recommended coming after week when the pressure would be stabilized. A week later, I did not come ... I was scared. I did not know anything about the donation. Different sorts of information read from Internet, talks about bad feeling after giving blood served became an excuse for me and strengthened my fear. Nowadays Media intensively keeps feeding us with various sorts of negative news. Especially two tragedies occurred one after another: a car accident in Kadamjai rayon, where several people died and a fire in a sewing shop in Moscow, which took the lives of the families, including the life of a child. What happens to those who remained alive after such tragedies? Certainly, they might had serious damages, someone might lost a lot of blood.  Read More

I know of no other such country

21 Jun 2016

image Photo Credit: Vlad Ushakov. Illustration: Ilias Makeev, (15 years old). "Kan Achuu" area highlighted in red on the map of the Kyrgyz Republic

 “I know of no other such country” - belts out a popular Russian song, which you unwittingly start singing, when driving on mountainous roads, passing the famous Naryn river, or the hilly slopes of Jalalabad oblast. You see how spring flows into summer, and suddenly you are ambushed by thick snowfall. A team of UNDP experts recently visited the newly established “Kan-Achuu” natural park in the Toguz-Toro rayon. If you look at the map of Kyrgyzstan, the park is located in the very heart of the country, surrounded by the majestic Western Tian Shan. A place of incredible beauty, with its richness of natural landscapes and rare animals, such as the snow leopard (Panthera uncia), the Tian Shan white-clawed bear, the lynx and the golden eagle. Without guides and horses it is nearly impossible to reach these places therefore it retained untouched. However, it is also famous for many mysterious legends.               Local residents, the old-timers tell mystical stories about “Kan-Achuu” convincing they saw the Yeti and his footprints. “Jeztyrmak” (Yeti’s Kyrgyz version) often appears in the snowy mountains. “…There are two types of them. One is big and does not come down to the  Read More

Solar power impacting the peace and saving the budget

02 Jun 2016

image Photo Credit: Sarvar Turdiboev

The word “peace” is pithy in lettering and so comprehensive in meaning. Moreover, if you live in border village, you have to intensify your efforts every single day to save a fragile peace with your neighbors. It usually happens that even a small dispute whether on joint use of natural resources or dark streets along border can shatter peace.  Only wisdom and experience can help to find balance between personal and general interests. In January 2016, a new street lighting system was installed on two near border streets of Borborduk village, Zhanyzher rural district of Batken oblast. One may wonder how street lighting can contribute to peace in border village. Preliminary research interviewing not only local villagers, but also the rural police department revealed that in 2014-2015, many people had returned to village after being deported from Russia and it resulted in the growth of crime rate in Borborduk village with more than the population of 4000 citizens.  According to village police department, only in the summer 2015, there were several cases of theft in Borborduk. Definitely those cases brought about some disputes and misunderstandings between locals and people of neighboring Tadjik village Histevarz. In fact quite frequently, people tend to  Read More

Early Response to Early Marriages

29 Mar 2016

image Photo Credit: Participant of the "Y-peer" Forum Theatre on Early Marriages . National Forum of Women of the Kyrgyz Republic, Bishkek, March, 2015, Umutai Dauletova, UNDP Gender Mainstreaming Specialist

Every so often, browsing news feeds, I think about how the information life is short-lived. Daily news are being lost so much in other news and it seems that human mind can fit everything, nevertheless how is it analyzed and conclusions made after all, since there are in the queue dozens of other news? Certainly, there are news that live in our environment of the discussions for several days. Unfortunately, for the most part, these are the news that have negative content, where it is addressed to the consequences of any cruelty, violence or even maybe involuntary engagement in the marriage? Why do we pay attention only when there happens something worse? How to draw attention of the society to the problem long before the consequences happen and perhaps preempt them? These and other questions have been raised recently in Osh at the hearings dedicated to discuss the societal consequences of early marriages, which was attended by representatives of the Committee on Social Affairs, Education, Science, Culture and Health of the Jogorku Kenesh. The event, of course, seems like ordinary meeting, where representatives of the Parliament, civil society and development organizations have been gathered, however, right there we touched upon the  Read More

Active citizens improve the lives of others

22 Mar 2016

image Photo Credit: Meerim Abdyeva, Test shopping team member

Public service delivery system reform The services have a vital part to play in sustaining and enhancing the social and economic prospects and environmental quality of towns and countryside. When an ordinary citizen faces a public authority? When he requests for a public service: he meets with them in the passport offices, clinics, social fund departments. The public services can have a profound effect on the opportunities and quality of life of the people who live and work there. One of core issues of service system was lack of quality standards for services provided by the state, and therefore was not possible to assess them and appeal the actions of state bodies. The current system often provokes the appearance of corruption schemes in state bodies and municipalities. The quality standards of services As a taxpayer, can a citizen require from the government bodies to provide quality services? Can a citizen to carry out public monitoring services? Answer: Yes, every citizen can and should demand the performance of qualitative service standards. Within reform of public service delivery system, which is aiming to improve quality and accessibility of services, the Government approved a template of service standard in 2012. It is a basis  Read More