LiK Conference 2020

The Sixth Annual Life in Kyrgyzstan Conference 2020

Dates: October 27-30, 2020

Organizers: University of Central Asia (UCA), Kyrgyz Republic
The Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ), Germany
International Security and Development Center (ISDC), Germany

Partners: American University Central Asia (AUCA), Mercy Corps, The World Bank.

Venue: online

(программа на русском языке в формате PDF доступна здесь)

(the program can be downloaded as PDF file here)


DAY 1: Tuesday, October 27, 2020

14:00 – 14:15 OPENING REMARKS

Bohdan Krawchenko, Dean of the Graduate School of Development, UCA

Saida Ismailakhunova, Senior Economist, Poverty Global Practice, The World Bank

Uma Kandalaeva, Country Director, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, Mercy Corps

Nurgul Ukueva, Vice President for Academic Affairs, AUCA

Tilman Brück, Group Leader / Director / Professor, IGZ / ISDC / NRI


14:15 – 15:30 PLENARY SESSION

Keynote Speech by Richard Pomfret, University of Adelaide: Central Asian Economies Thirty Years after Dissolution of the Soviet Union (slides in pdf)

Moderator: Damir Esenaliev (IGZ/ISDC)

16:00-17:30 Parallel Sessions

Session 1.2 Social Cohesion Through Intangible Cultural Heritage
Moderator: Gulnara Aitpaeva (Aigine Cultural Research Center)

Cholponai Usubalieva-Grishuk (Aigine Cultural Research Center): Pilgrimage to Sacred Sites and Ritual Practices as Traditional Mechanisms of Social Cohesion (slides in Russian)

Aijarkyn Kojobekova (AUCA/UNESCO Silk Road Online Platform): Individual, Communal and Regional Safeguarding Measures for Protecting Sacred Sites and Raising Awareness of Youth on the Importance of Intangible Cultural Heritage (slides in Russian)

Aiza Abdyrakhmanova (Aigine Cultural Research Center): Traditional Knowledge and Mechanisms Utilized by Communities for Protecting and Safeguarding Nature (slides in Russian)

Session 1.3 Strengthening the Evidence Base for Building Resilience of Rural Households to Climate-Related Risks in the Kyrgyz Republic Through Multi-Sectoral Actions
Moderator: Adnan Quereshi (FAO)

Tania Santivanez (FAO), Marlen Tynaliev (FAO), Kanat Tilekeyev (UCA): Climate change, rural poverty and food and nutrition security nexus in the Kyrgyz Republic (slides)

Larisa Minbaeva (RBC Group), Muratbek Koshoev (FAO): Strengthening the evidence base for risk-informed social protection in the Kyrgyz Republic for more effective emergency response, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation (slides in Russian)

Asel Myrzabekova (FAO): Setting the Scene: the Role of Social Protection in Climate Change Adaptation, Emergency Response and Disaster Risk Management (slides)

Session 1.4 Household Finance and Investments
Moderator: Saida Ismailakhunova (World Bank)

Alisher Aldashev (Satbayev University): Household Stress-Testing in the Kyrgyz Republic (slides)

Isabella Neuweg, Takayoshi Kato (both OECD): A Household Survey on Access to and Use of Finance for (Green) Investment in the Kyrgyz Republic (slides)

Farida Abdulhafizova (MFR Central Asia): Evaluation of Accessibility of Microfinance Organizations’ Services and Impacts on Poverty Overcoming Activities: Development of Microfinance Social Impact Methodology on Well-Being of Borrowers

18:00-19:30 Parallel Sessions

Session 1.5 Advancing Access to Justice through Digital Transformation in Kyrgyzstan
Moderators: Margarita Meldon and Fred Huston (both IDLO)

Eduard Lee (Council of Advocates of the Kyrgyz Republic), Karybek Duisheev (Constitutional Chamber of the Kyrgyz Republic): Introduction of Audio-Video Transcription Technology in the Kyrgyz Republic and its Potential and Challenges for Expanding Access to Justice and Mitigating the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Courts 

Dilbara Maksimbekova (IDLO Kyrgyz Republic), Indira Aitbaeva (Working Group member): Six Years of Advancing the Publication of Judicial Decisions: What Effects on Improving Transparency and Professionalism of the Judiciary?

Dastanbai Aijigitov (IDLO Kyrgyz Republic), Aigul Ahmadzhanova (Transparency International): Capturing Change through Beneficiary Feedback: Results of the Court User Satisfaction Survey in the Kyrgyz Republic

Session 1.6 Effect of External Factors on Macroeconomic Performance
Moderator: Kamalbek Karymshakov (CAREC Institute)

Rocio Gondo (Central Bank of Peru), Altynai Aidarova (NBKR, Kyrgyz Republic), Manmohan Singh (IMF): Impact of Remittances on Natural Rate of Dollarization—Trends in Caucasus and Central Asia (slides)

Elvira Kurmanalieva (Eurasian Development Bank): Remittances and Exchange Rate Policy: FAVAR results for Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and Tajikistan (slides)

Tchoro Seyitov (NBKR), Ilimbek Abdiev (Agency for the Promotion and Protection of Investments): External and Internal Factors Affecting Formation of Interest Rates on Loans in the Banking System of the Kyrgyz Republic

Session 1.7 Nexus of Health, Poverty, and Behaviour
Moderator: Susan Steiner (Leibniz University Hannover)

Jakub Polansky (UCA / University of Sussex), Azmat Hussain (UCA), Murodbek Laldjebaev (UCA): Assessment of Energy Poverty-Health Nexus in Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Tajikistan, using Demographic Health Surveys and Life in Kyrgyzstan Study (slides)

Stacie Gobin (Task Force for Global Health), Dinagul Otorbaeva (Ministry of Health), Malembe Ebama (Task Force for Global Health): Economic Burden of Influenza in Kyrgyzstan, Micro-Level Cost Data Collection and Survey Methodology within the Context of COVID-19 (slides)



Day 2, October 28, 2020

14:00 – 15:30 Keynote Speech by Bohdan Krawchenko (UCA): Historical Political Economy of Higher Education in Kyrgyzstan (slides)
Moderator: Tilman Brück (ISDC/IGZ)

16:00-17:30 Parallel Sessions

Session 2.2 Uprising of 1916: People, Events, and Memory
Moderator: Gulnara Aitpaeva (Aigine Cultural Research Center)

Asel Daniyarova (Sanjarbek Daniyarov Foundation): On the transformation of assessment of the trustworthiness of the Kirghiz by Russian authorities in 1916 (slides in Russian)

Vladimir Schwarts (Sanjarbek Daniyarov Foundation): Mobilization and deployment of special and separate Cossack hundreds of the Semirechensk Cossack Troops in July-August 1916 (slides in Russian)

Djamilya Madzhun (National Academy of Sciences of KR): Place and role of provocation in the 1916 uprising in Semirechye (slides in Russian)

Dzhanyl Bokontaeva (Issyk-Kul State University): Memoirs (or memory) of the 1916 uprising based on the materials of the Karakol archive (slides in Russian)

Gulzada Abdalieva (Kyrgyz State University named after Arabaev): The Woeful Blood Flows in Our Veins”: The Three Ürkün in the Kyrgyz Memory (slides in Russian)

Session 2.3 Employment
Moderator: Damir Esenaliev (IGZ / ISDC)

Elena Nikolova (UCL, IOS-Regensburg and GLO), Jakub Polansky (University of Sussex and UCA): Children and Female Employment in Mongolia (slides)

Kanat Tilekeyev, Bakytbek Tokubek uulu, Dilbara Kirbasheva (all UCA): Garment Sector and Youth Employment in Kyrgyzstan: A Value Chain Analysis (slides)

Liliia Kachkinbaeva (ILO): Analysis of the demand for the skilled labor force in Chuy oblast (slides in Russian)

Session 2.4 Distributional Effects of Macroeconomic Policies and Shocks
Moderator: Altynai Aidarova (NBKR)

Nurgul Tilenbaeva (AUCA/Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies): Trade and Poverty: Evidence from Kyrgyz Households (slides)

Namazbai Ishmakhametov (Kennesaw State University): Analyzing the Impact of Macroeconomic Shocks of 2014-2015 on Household Behavior

Peter Howie (Nazarbayev University), Zauresh Atakhanova (Nazarbayev University): Inequality, Informality, and Resource Boom: Preliminary Evidence from Kazakhstan (slides)

18:00-19:30 Parallel Sessions

Session 2.5 Intra-household Decisions and Demographics
Moderator: Nurgul Ukueva (AUCA)

Charles Becker (Duke University), Lin Zhao (Duke University), and Susan Steiner (Leibniz Universität Hannover): Ala-Kachuu Husbands and Wives (slides)

Leo Gärtner, Maya Moritz, and Julius Schölkopf (all from Universität Mannheim): Birth Order and the Quantity-Quality Trade-off in Kyrgyzstan (slides)

Manzura Jumaniyazova (Technical University of Munich): The Role of Son Preference and Birth Order in Child Development: Evidence from Kyrgyzstan (slides)

Session 2.6 Sustainable Agriculture, Food Security, and Food Systems in Central Asia
Moderator: Kadyrbek Sultakeev (University of Giessen)

Abdusame Tadjiev, Nodir Djanibekov, Golib Sanaev (all from IAMO): Determinants of Sustainable Agricultural Practices in Central Asia: Empirical Evidence from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan (slides)

Christian Kelly Scott (The Pennsylvania State University): The Pasture, the Village, and the People: Food Security Endowments and Abatements in the Southern Kyrgyz Highlands (slides)

Mariia Iamshchikova, Kanat Tilekeyev, Zalina Enikeeva, Baimat Niiazaliev, Kanykei Asanalieva (all from UCA): Gathering Evidence and Supporting Multi-Stakeholder Engagement on the Role of Diets and Food Systems in the Prevention of Obesity and Non-Communicable Diseases in Kyrgyzstan (slides)

Session 2.7 Tourism Developments
Moderator: Johannes Chudoba (Helvetas KG)

Kubat Umurzakov (NISS, Kyrgyz Republic), Bolotbek Oruzbaev (Diplomatic Academy, Kyrgyz Republic), Nurlan Kulbatyrov («QazTrade» Center under the Ministry of Trade and Integration), Aizhan Tulepbekova («QazTrade» Center under the Ministry of Trade and Integration): Almaty–Bishkek Economic Corridor: Prospects of Tourism Sector Development (slides)

Bernard Musyck (University of Central Asia), Craig Webster (Ball State University) and Dias Kabykenov (UCA): The Nature and Logic of Quarantine Tourism: Observations from the Hospitality Sector in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Cyprus (slides)



DAY 3, October 29, 2020

14:00-15:45 Plenary Session

Session 3.1 Effects of COVID-19 in Central Asia and Worldwide
Moderator Bohdan Krawchenko (UCA)

Roman Mogilevskii (UCA): Assessing the Economic and Social Impact of COVID-19 on Kyrgyzstan (slides)

Saida Ismailakhunova (World Bank): The Impact of COVID-19 on Employment and Poverty in the Kyrgyz Republic (slides)

Nazik Imanbekova (International Republican Institute): The Role of Independent “Watchdog” in Monitoring External Emergency Aid to Combat the Consequences of COVID-19 in Kyrgyzstan (slides)

Tilman Brück (IGZ, ISDC, NRI), Damir Esenaliev (IGZ/ISDC), Hanna Freudenreich (IGZ): Social Impact of COVID-19 Worldwide: Findings from the Life with Corona Study (slides)

Stacie Gobin (Save the Children): The Hidden Impact of COVID-19 on Children: Findings from a Global Research Series with Asia Specific Contextual Results (slides)

16:00-17:30 Parallel Sessions

Session 3.2 Social Impact of Migration and Remittances
Moderator: Akylai Muktarbek kyzy (AUCA)

Asylgul Kanatbekova (Independent Researcher): Migration Impact on Health and Labour of Children Left Behind: The case of Kyrgyzstan (slides)

Ainura Smailova (Corvinus University of Budapest): Post-Migration Living Difficulties of Returned Women in Kyrgyzstan (slides)

Nurgul Tilenbaeva (AUCA/Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies): Mental Accounting, Remittances, and Celebrations (slides)

Session 3.3 New Technologies in Local Development
Moderator: Maksim Kulikov (UCA)

Laura Moritz, Lena Kuhn and Ihtiyor Bobojonov (all from IAMO): Weather Index Insurance for Climate Resilience: An Experimental Implementation in Kyrgyzstan (slide)

Nick Walker (eOsphere Ltd), Chinara Saparova (Mercy Corps), Nagima Alimbekova (GIS) and Aibek Karabaev (Mercy Corps): Supporting Kyrgyz Herding Communities Using Satellite Earth Observation (slides)

18:00-19:30 Parallel Sessions

Session 3.4 Nutrition and Health
Moderator: Kanat Tilekeyev (UCA)

Tilman Brück, Damir Esenaliev,

Tilman Brück (IGZ, ISDC, NRI), Damir Esenaliev (IGZ/ISDC), Wolfgang Stojetz (ISDC): Child Nutrition and Child Development in Kyrgyzstan in the Context of the McGovern-Dole Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program (slides)

Philipp Schröder (ISDC/Freiburg University): Gender Assessment: Social Behavior Change Communication In Kyrgyzstan in the context of the McGovern-Dole Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program (slides)

Binazirbonu Yusupova (University of Sussex): Female Bargaining Power and Child Nutrition (slides)

Session 3.5 Local Development Challenges
Moderator: Roman Mogilevskii (UCA)

Aida Musaeva (University of Pecs): Alternatives for Local Economic Development for the Kyrgyz Republic (slides)

Nodir Djanibekov and Abdusame Tadjiev (both IAMO): Determinants of Farmers’ Cooperation in Water Management in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan (slides)

Madina Junussova (UCA), Aigul Bemisheva (NARXOZ University): Monotowns of Kazakhstan: Development Challenges and Opportunities (slides)

Day 4, October 30, 2020


Session 4.1 LiK Data Users Workshop
Organizers: Elita Bakirova (UCA), Damir Esenaliev (IGZ, ISDC)

Damir Esenaliev (IGZ, ISDC): Summary from the LiK 2019 wave (slides)

Golib Sanaev (IAMO): Merging LiK communities with climate data using geographical markers (slides)

Damir Esenaliev (IGZ, ISDC): Open discussion on LiK data processing and analysis 


Organising Institutions

University of Central Asia’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration (IPPA) 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. Its work is rated by acceptance and appreciation by professionals in practical horticulture and by the society, publications in high-ranking scientific journals and acquisition of competitive grants. 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:


Partner and Supporting Institutions

American University of Central Asia (AUCA) is a multi-disciplinary learning community in the American liberal arts tradition with the mission of developing enlightened and impassioned leaders for the transformation of Central Asia. AUCA is the first university in Central Asia to offer US accredited degrees in liberal arts programs through a partnership with Bard College in the United States. In addition to Bard, AUCA maintains partnerships with a number of universities and organizations worldwide. With a current enrollment of approximately 1,500 students from over 25 countries AUCA offers students a quality education based on an American college model with a credit-hours system, a liberal arts curriculum and a commitment to freedom of expression and inquiry. The University offers 14 undergraduate educational programs and 9 graduate programs.

Mercy Corps is a global team of humanitarians, working together on the front lines of today’s biggest crises to create a future of possibility, where everyone can prosper. Our mission is to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. Mercy Corps has been working in Kyrgyzstan since 1994 providing humanitarian assistance to people, communities and institutions across the country. For more than a decade, Mercy Corps has served as the implementing partner of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) McGovern- Dole Food for Education and Child Nutrition program. Since 2012, Mercy Corps has provided more than 2,500 metric tons of supplemental commodities (fortified flour, rice, peas, lentils and oil) to provide nutritious hot meals to over 150,000 children in kindergartens and primary schools across Kyrgyzstan. Two other key components of the program are social behavior change and literacy promotion, both aimed at improving child health and learning outcomes.

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. Since the Kyrgyz Republic joined the World Bank in 1992, the Bank’s financial assistance has amounted to over US$2,024 million. The World Bank support has helped the country to maintain macroeconomic stability, invest in strategic infrastructure, and improve access to social services.

Established in 1967, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) brings together human, financial and technical resources to address the challenges faced by the poorest and most marginalised communities in the world. Special emphasis is placed on investing in human potential, expanding opportunity and improving the overall quality of life.

Conference details