LiK Conference 2019

Life in Kyrgyzstan Conference 2019 participants
Participants of the Life in Kyrgyzstan Conference 2019

5th Annual ‘Life in Kyrgyzstan’ Conference

Dates: 23-24 October 2019. Venue: Park Hotel, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic.

The 5th Annual ‘Life in Kyrgyzstan’ Conference took place in Bishkek on 23-24 October 2019. The two-day conference brought together national and international experts from government and the public sector, development agencies, non-governmental organizations, academia and research institutions, and media to exchange knowledge and experiences on recent socio-economic developments in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia and to promote evidence-based policy making.

The organisers were the Institute of Public Policy and Administration of the University of Central Asia (UCA), the Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ), ISDC – International Security and Development Center, and the World Bank. The academic committee included Prof. Tilman Brück (IGZ/ISDC), Dr. Damir Esenaliev (IGZ/ISDC), Dr. Saida Ismailakhunova (World Bank), Dr. Roman Mogilevskii (UCA), Dr. Kanat Tilekeyev (UCA), and Prof. Nurgul Ukueva (AUCA). The support to the conference was provided by Aga Khan Foundation Kyrgyzstan, DFID and USAID.

Program of the Conference 

The conference brochure can be downloaded here in English or Russian. The program of the LiK conference 2019 is presented below. More detailed program of the conference can be downloaded here in English   and Russian .


Below we provide presentation slides from the presenters who agreed their materials to be posted at the conference website.


October 24, 2019

Plenary session: Keynote Speech by Prof. Louise Grogan: The Soviet Union and the status of women in Central Asia. (slides in English, Russian)

Session 2: Gender and Employment

Kathryn Anderson (Vanderbilt University), Damir Esenaliev (IGZ/ISDC): Gender earnings inequality and wage policy: teachers, health care and social workers in Central Asia. (slides in English, Russian)

Christian Kelly Scott, Guangqing Chi (both Pennsylvania State University): Women’s entrepreneurship in the Pamir mountains. (slides in English)

Aselia Sagynbaeva (International Republican Institute): How presence of children influences female entrepreneurship: Evidence from the Kyrgyz Republic. (slides in English)

Session 3: Climate and Agriculture

Kadyrbek Sultakeev, Martin Petrick (both Justus Liebig University Giessen): Livestock, poverty and household response to shocks in Kyrgyzstan. (slides in English)

Maksim Kulikov, Evgenii Shibkov (both UCA): Vegetation trend analysis in Batken oblast of Kyrgyzstan. (slides in English)

Maksim Kulikov (UCA): Vegetation dynamics in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. (slides in English)


Session 4: Nutrition and Health

Kanat Tilekeyev (UCA)
Situational analysis of health and nutrition issues and food systems in Kyrgyzstan. (slides in English, Russian)

Nazgul Abazbekova (Mercy Corps)
Improved water and sanitation systems that impact nutrition and education outcomes for primary grade students in Kyrgyzstan. (slides in English)

Bahrom Mirkasimov, Alisher Suyunov (both Westminster International University in Tashkent): The relationship between sugar-sweetened beverages consumption and weight gain: Empirical evidence from Central Asia. (slides in English)


Session 5: Household Norms

Kathryn Anderson (Vanderbilt University), Charles Becker (Duke University), Susan Steiner (C4ED), Lin Zhao (Duke University): Ala-kachuu husbands and wives. (slides in English)

Alisher Aldashev (Satbayev University): Social norms, status spending and household debt: Evidence from Kyrgyzstan. (slides in English)

Namazbai Ishmakhametov, Askhat Yktybaev (Independent Researchers): Analyzing happiness levels in Kyrgyzstan in relation to socio-economic driving forces. 


Session 6: Labor Markets and Youth Employment

Bahrom Mirkasimov, Alisher Suyunov (both Westminster International University in Tashkent): Wages, participation and unemployment in the economic transition of Kyrgyzstan (slides in English)

Eliza Mandieva, Sonja Scheuring (both University of Bamberg): Determinants of the youth unemployment and NEET in the Kyrgyz Republic (slides in English)

Aigul Kantoro kyzy (UCA): Matching skills and education with employment for youth’ economic empowerment in Kyrgyzstan.


Session 7: Distributional Effects of Policies and Institutions

Saida Ismailakhunova (World Bank), Aliya Ismailakhunova (National Academy of Science): Distributional impact of inflation in the Kyrgyz Republic

Saida Ismailakhunova (World Bank): How progressive is social spending in the Kyrgyz Republic?

Tchoro Seyitov (National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic): Informal credits: evidence from a pilot study in the Kyrgyz Republic


October 24, 2019

Session 8: Coherence Between Social Protection and Agriculture in the Kyrgyz Republic: Diversifying Livelihoods, Supporting Nutrition, Building Resilience

Ana Ocampo (FAO): Productive Social Contract / Cash plus” pilot: rationale, approach and components

Mari Kangasniemi (FAO): Analytical work on “Cash plus” pilot: results from microsimulations and rapid assessment

Olivier Appaix (FAO): Analytical work on “Cash plus” pilot: process evaluation results


Session 9: Gendered Transformation of Family and Community Norms in the Context of Migration

Asel Myrzabekova (PIL): Religion + migration= radicalization?

Gulnara Ibraeva (PIL): New – old elites in community and migration.

Gulfia Abdullaeva (PIL): Vulnerabilities and needs of women and girls affected by migration in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan


Session 10: Regional Cross-border Trade

Rosa Alieva (Westminster International University in Tashkent), Aida Bolotbekova (UCA), Zalina Enikeeva (UCA): Analysis of cooperation in the tourism sector between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan: a study of cross-border value chains (slides in English)

Zehra Waheed (Lahore University of Management Sciences), Zalina Enikeeva (UCA): Opportunities and challenges for agri-food trade between Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan (slides in English)

Zehra Waheed, Fizzah Malik (both Lahore University of Management Sciences):
Enhancing Regional Integration and Economic Growth through enhanced Kyrgyzstan-Pakistan Trade: Trade Environment, Infrastructure and Potential. (slides in English)


Session 11: Youth Education and Employment

Kanat Tilekeyev, Bakytbek Tokubek uulu (both UCA): Analysis of youth labor market trends in Kyrgyzstan (slides in Russian)

Aliia Burkitova (MSDSP KG): Enhancing youth civic and economic participation: Highlights from “Demilgeluu Jashtar” project (slides in English)

Beksultan Rustamov (IDEA Central Asia): Engaging youth into community planning through participatory research (slides in Russian)


Session 12: Panel Discussion: Migration and Rural Development: Mutually Exclusive or Complementary Relationships?

Nurgul Ukueva (AUCA): Intentional migration and investment decisions in rural Kyrgyzstan

Gulnara Ibraeva (PIL): Migration and construction boom in Kyrgyzstan

Maksim Kulikov (UCA): Pasture degradation in migration affected areas of Jalal-Abad region (slides in English)

Asel Murzakulova (UCA): Migration and Rural Development: The “black box” of the policy.

Elena Kim (AUCA): Post-migration ‘growth’ and ‘stress’ among returning migrant workers: A patriarchal bargain continued


Session 13: Entrepreneurship and Institutions

Kanat Tilekeyev (UCA): Main trends of the SME development in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan

Olga Sayfulloeva (Khorog State University): The role of micro, small and medium entrepreneurship in the mountainous areas of Central Asia: the case of Tajikistan (slides in Russian)

Gulzana Kurmanalieva (Naryn State University): The role of micro, small and medium entrepreneurship in the mountainous areas of Central Asia: the case of Kyrgyzstan (slides in Russian)

Iliias Mamadiiarov (INALCO/French Institute for Central Asian Studies): Trust and informal financial institutions in Central Asia: the case of Kyrgyzstan (slides in English)


Session 14: Social and Economic Impact of Migration

Nargiza Abdyrakhman kyzy (AUCA): The impact of labor migration to Russia on the status of kelin in rural Kyrgyzstan (slides in English)

Jodar Joldoshov (Independent Researcher): International labor migration and remittances in Kyrgyzstan: Evidence from the Life in Kyrgyzstan Survey


Session 15: Social Capital and Institutions

Evangelia Papoutsaki (UCA), Elira Turdubaeva (AUCA): Exploring remoteness and social capital through community media in Kyrgyzstan (slides in English)

Lidija Budisa (Helvetas Kyrgyzstan): Functional area assessment for inter-municipal cooperation (slides in English)


Organising and Funding Institutions

University of Central Asia’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration was established in 2011 to strengthen public policy in Central Asia. It provides in-depth analysis on current and emerging policy issues facing the region, and improves the analytical capacity of governments and civil society to use evidence in decision-making processes through professional development. The Institute has produced a series of peer-reviewed research papers on social and economic issues, public administration and public policy relating to Central Asia and Afghanistan. For more information on IPPA, please visit:

IGZ – Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops carries out basic and applied research supporting the sustainable production of vegetable and ornamental plants and the rational use of natural resources. It contributes to the success of horticulture in Germany and other countries, understanding fundamentals of horticultural and plant science, sustainability in production and use of plants, healthy nutrition and wellbeing of the population. For more information on IGZ, please visit:

ISDC – International Security and Development Center is a Berlin-based, non-for-profit research center conducting research, providing policy advice and building capacity on international security and socio-economic development. We are unique in the global research scene for being dedicated to work exclusively on the security-development nexus. For more information on ISDC, please visit:

The World Bank is an international organization dedicated to providing financing, advice and research to developing nations to aid their economic advancement. By giving loans, and offering advice and training in both the private and public sectors, the World Bank aims to eliminate poverty by helping people help themselves. For more information on the World Bank, please visit:

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) leads international development and humanitarian efforts to save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance and help people progress beyond assistance. On behalf of the American people, USAID promotes and demonstrates democratic values abroad, and advances a free, peaceful, and prosperous world. In support of America’s foreign policy, the U.S. Agency for International Development leads the U.S. Government’s international development and disaster assistance through partnerships and investments that save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help people emerge from humanitarian crises and progress beyond assistance. For more information on USAID, please visit:

Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is an international, non-denominational, not-for-profit organisation. AKF seeks to improve the quality of life, enhance self-reliance and promote pluralism in poor and marginalised communities of Asia and Africa. Established in 1967, its long-term, community-based approach addresses and benefits people of all faiths and backgrounds, especially women and girls. Its activities enhance agriculture and food security, promote early childhood development and access to quality education, improve health and nutrition, advance economic inclusion, and strengthen civil society. AKF is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network, a group of development agencies with mandates that include the environment, health, education, architecture, culture, microfinance, rural development, disaster reduction, the promotion of private-sector enterprise and the revitalization of historic cities. For more information, please visit:

The Department for International Development (DFID) is the UK Government Department that is responsible for assisting partner countries to promote sustainable development and reduce poverty. DFID works in partnership with governments committed to poverty reduction (the Millennium Development Goals), good governance and human rights. DFID also work with civil society, the private sector and the research community. More information can be found at DFID’s website: 

Conference details