LiK Conference 2023

The conference program in English in PDF format can be downloaded here: LiKprogram

Программа конференции в формате PDF находится здесь: LiKprogram_Rus

Organisers: 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: AUCA, Mercy Corps, World Bank, UNFPA

Offline Venue: Park Hotel, Bishkek             

Date:   October 11-12, 2023 


DAY 1: Wednesday, October 11, 2023                                   

Bishkek time, GMT+6                         

08:30-09:00    Registration of Participants               

09:00-09:15    OPENING REMARKS               

           Christopher Gerry, Dean, Graduate School of Development, UCA               

            Timothy O’Connor, President, AUCA             

            Naveed Hassan Naqvi, Country Manager, World Bank                     

            Baktybek Kainazarov, Head of Office, UNFPA               

            Tilman Brück, Professor, Humboldt University, IGZ, ISDC   


09:15-09:25    Group Photo        

09:30-11:00    PARALLEL SESSIONS               

SESSION 1.1    The World Bank Session: Findings from the Recent Research on Kyrgyzstan

Moderator:     Aibek Ashirov, World Bank    

Aibek Ashirov, World Bank: Findings from the Listening to the Kyrgyz Republic Survey               

Gohar Gyulumyan, World Bank:  Systematic Country Diagnostic Update – From Vulnerability to Resilience               

Chiyu Niu, World Bank: Don’t be Fooled: a Few Thoughts on Development Economics and E-commerce          


SESSION 1.2    Entrepreneurship Dynamics in Central Asia and Social Impacts of Foreign Investments in Kyrgyzstan       

Moderator:     Damir Esenaliev, IGZ/SDC  

Philipp Schroeder, Nazarbayev University: Entrepreneurship Across Central Asia – A Look Back and Some Early Insights from an Ongoing Research in Applied Economic Anthropology (presentation)                       

Marika Miner, University of California (online); Pengshan Pan (University of Pittsburgh): Salient Cleavages: The Effect of China’s Belt and Road Initiative on Social Cohesion and Institutional Trust in Kyrgyzstan (presentation)           

Pengshan Pan, University of Pittsburgh; Marika Miner, University of California: Golden Promises and Divided Communities: Evidence from Kyrgyzstan Kumtor Mine (presentation                   

SESSION 1.3    Recent Developments in Afghanistan

Moderator:     Marzhan Akimbaeva, UCA     

Ahmad Barlas, University of Greifswald (online): Political Change and Poverty among Rural Households in Afghanistan: Evidence from Marmul District, Balkh Province              

Atefa Bahr, AUCA (online): The Impact of Women’s Education and Employment on Their Experience of Domestic Violence in Afghanistan (presentation)               

Zainab Adib, AUCA (online): The Short-run Effects of Active Labour Market Policies of Germany on the Employment of Syrian and Afghan Refugees (presentation)             

11:00-11:20    Coffee Break              

11:20-12:30    EXPERT SESSIONS                  

SESSION 1.4    The State of the Kyrgyz Economy: Expert Panel        

Moderator: Kanat Tilekeyev, UCA 

Tchoro Seyitov, Ministry of Economy and Commerce: Challenges of Sustaining Economic Growth in Kyrgyzstan                

Kanat Tilekeyev, UCA: Macroeconomic Effects from the War in Ukraine to Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia                

Azamat Kozubekov, National Bank: Monetary Policy in a Volatile Exterrnal Environment              

Stanislav Karpovich, Businessman & Board Member at Keremet Bank: Economic Growth and Investment Environment in the Dynamic External Environment                 

SESSION 1.5    The Changing Dynamics of Civil Society in Central Asia: How We’ve Come to Where We Are?       

Moderator: Medet Tiulegenov, UCA         

Aizharkyn Kozhobekova, UCA: Navigating Complexity: Understanding Challenges and Trends in Kyrgyzstan’s Civil Society   

Nargis Kuchakshoeva, UCA (online): Civil Society in Tajikistan: Systematic Literature Review (presentation)                   

Medet Tiulegenov, UCA: Searching for Tectonic Shifts: Changing Attitudes of Kyrgyzstan’s Citizens Towards Citizenship, Human Rights and Civil Society (presentation)               

Erkina Ubysheva, Smart Zharan Association: Shrinking Civic Space and Challenges for the Kyrgyzstan ‘s NGO Sector (presentation)  


SESSION 1.6    Green Economy Modeling in Kyrgyzstan       

Moderator: Tatiana Vedeneva, Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Development        

Almaz Azimov, Kyrgyz Japan Center; Aigul Kulmatova – National Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic; Tatiana Vedeneva – Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Development: Debt Swap on Green Initiatives (presentation)  

Darika Sulaimanova, DEKA Group; Tatiana Vedeneva – Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Development; Nurila Ibraeva – Kyrgyz National Agrarian University: Reducing Coal Consumption for Heating Private Houses (presentation)  

Sonunbubu Sayakova, National Academy of Sciences; Saikal Esenamanova, Kyrgyz Economic University; Elmira Djaparova – National Academy of Sciences; Tatiana Vedeneva – Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Development: Comparison of Electricity Generation Options (presentation)                     

Saikal Esenamanova, Kyrgyz Economic University; Azyk Orozonova – Kyrgyz National University; Tatiana Vedeneva – Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Development: Comparison of Options to Support the Transition to Green Transport (Public and Private) (presentation)            

12:30-13:30    Lunch             

13:30-14:40    EXPERT SESSIONS                  

SESSION 1.7    Air Pollution and its Health, Social and Economic Impacts in Bishkek and Kyrgyzstan         

Moderator: Jules Hugot, Asian Development Bank          

Katja Lovén, Finnish Meteorological Institute (online): Air Quality in Bishkek: Assessment of Emission Sources and Road Map for Supporting Air Quality Management (presentation)

Rufus Edwards, University of California, and Jay Turner, Washington University: Health And Social Impacts Of Air Pollution On Women And Children In Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan: Entry-Points for action (presentation) 

Zulaika Esentaeva, International Organisation for Migration: Air Pollution and Its Health Impacts On Internal Migrants In Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan: Assessment Report (presentation)                 


SESSION 1.8    Perceptions and Attitudes on the War in Ukraine on Central Asia   

Moderator: Bakhytzhan Kurmanov, UCA  

Kasiet Ysmanova & Tlegen Kuandykov, Central Asia Barometer: The Russian-Ukrainian War: Perceptions in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia (presentation)         

Nelli Minasyan, Yerevan State University: The Attitude of the Central Asian Republics towards Russia after the Ukrainian War       

Rashid Gabdulhakov, University of Groningen: Russian Propaganda in Kyrgyzstan (presentation)               


SESSION 1.9    Representation of Women’s Art and Women’s Stories in Museums of Kyrgyzstan  

Moderator: Elena Kolesova, UCA  

Baktygul Midinova, Osh Regional Museum of Fine Arts: Tobacco Industry of the USSR: the Labor of Nookat Women Represented in the Museum Space (presentation)             

Diana Ukhina, Bishkek School of Contemporary Art/SYNERGY (online): Weaving a Memory: a Curatorial Research of the Fine Art of Kyrgyzstan in the Practices of Women Artists of the XX Century Based on the Collection of the Kyrgyz National Museum of Fine Arts named after G. Aitiev                

Aleksandra Filatova, Narkhoz University / MOFA+ (online): A Women at the Museum           

Aida Alymova, Kurmanjan Datka Museum of Nomad Civilization: How to Display in the Museums Festive and Everyday Practices Related to Women (presentation)      

Altyn Kapalova, UCA: Museums, Women and Social change     


15:00-16:30    PARALLEL SESSIONS               

SESSION 1.10  Agricultural Productivity, Food Inflation, Migration  

Moderator:     Anwar Naseem, UCA     

Meher Angaiz, UCA; Safdar Jan – UCA; Anwar Naseem – UCA: The Relationship between Land Size and Agriculture Productivity in Kyrgyzstan (presentation)       

Zainab Muborakshoeva, UCA: Gender-Based Disparities in Agricultural Productivity in Kyrgyzstan: A Crop-Specific Investigation (presentation)           

Nurbek Madmarov, AUCA; Talantbek Asan uulu; Bermet Talasbek kyzy; Fatema Qambary – all AUCA: Drivers of Local Food Prices Inflation in the Kyrgyz Republic (presentation)           

Zukhriddin Juliev, University at Buffalo (online): Return to Migration Experience in Kyrgyzstan  (presentation)      


SESSION 1.11  Human Mobility Feedback Loop: New Evidence from Kyrgyzstan    

Moderator:     Christopher Gerry, UCA         

Aksana Ismailbekova, Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (online): Chalma-Grad: Mobilization of Kinship in the Context of Migration              

Daniel Kashnitsky, Paris Cité University (online), Jainagul Bayizbekova, Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic: People Living with HIV among Labor Migrants from Kyrgyzstan – Barriers and Coping Strategies on Their Way to Survival and Recognition                       

Asel Murzakulova, UCA: The Apricot Power: Human Mobility and Agrarian Change in Isfara River Basin                  


SESSION 1.12  Do Political Quotas Work? Women’s Political Participation in Kyrgyzstan    

Moderator:     Gulfia Abdullaeva, PIL Research        

Gulfia Abdullaeva, PIL Research: What Figures Show: Equal Representation ≠ Equal Power? (presentation)            

Gulnara Ibraeva, PIL Research: Mechanism of Gender Quota as Bricolage in Current Kyrgyz Politics (presentation) 

Gulnara Ibraeva, PIL Research: Myths and Realities of Gender Quotas: Case Study of the Functioning of Quotas in the Saruu Local Kenesh (presentation)                 

16:40-18:00    PLENARY SESSION                  

Keynote Speech by Dr Michelle Brock, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development: Correlates of Life Satisfaction: A Human Capital Perspective           

Moderator:     Tilman Brück (Humboldt University, IZG, ISDC)         

18:00-21:00    Reception at Park Hotel                     

DAY 2: Thursday, October 12, 2023                           

08:30-09:00    Registration of Participants               

09:00-10:30    PARALLEL SESSIONS               

SESSION 2.1    UNFPA Session: Demography and Population Dynamics      

Moderator: Baktybek Kainazarov, UNFPA 

Larisa Ilibezova, Center for Democratic Research: Gender Equality and Gender Relations in Pilot Communities of the Spotlight Initiative (presentation)

Anara Kudakeeva, National Statistics Committee: Preliminary Results of the Population and Housing Census of the Kyrgyz Republic (presentation)

Fotima Zarchabekova, AUCA: Women’s Stories of Childhood Sexual Abuse: Narrative Analyses (presentation)

Aizada Erkinova, AUCA: The Biopolitics of the Family and Demographic Policies for the ‘Ideal’ Representation(s) of the National Identity(-ies): The Case of the Kyrgyz Republic (presentation)

SESSION 2.2    Public Perceptions and Political Behavior     

Moderator: Bakhytzhan Kurmanov, UCA       

Razia Abdieva, Damira Baigonushova, Sezer Bozkuş Kahyaoğlu – all Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University: Citizen Perception and Participation in Local Government in Post-Soviet Countries: the Case of Kyrgyzstan (presentation)     

Bakhytzhan Kurmanov, UCA: Unresponsive Autocrats: Exploring Citizens’ Perceptions of Open Government in Tokayev’s Kazakhstan (presentation)               

Damir Esenaliev, IGZ/ISDC; Anselm Hager – Humboldt University Berlin; Lukas Hensel – Peking University; Elnura Kazakbaeva – Evidence Central Asia: Common Knowledge of Social Norms and Political Behavior: Evidence from Kyrgyzstan (presentation)              

Kasiet Ysmanova, Central Asia Barometer; Daria Gavriushchenko – Friedrich Ebert Foundation: Kalyys Kalaa: Resident’s Perception of Bishkek Urban Development (presentation)    


SESSION 2.3    Advances in Methods, Data, and Development Indicators   

Moderator: Kanat Tilekeyev, UCA 

Gulnara Djunushalieva, UCA; Ramona Teuber, Justus Liebig University Giessen: Navigating the Path to Sustainable Development: a Case Study of the Kyrgyz Republic (presentation)           

Alberto Prati, University College London; Thomas Beuchot, Ecole Normale Superieure: The Survey Fingerprint Puzzle of Life Satisfaction (presentation)        

Dina Mamadjanova, German-Kazakh University: Ethnic Disparities in Conspicuous Consumption in Kyrgyzstan (presentation)  

10:30-11:00    Coffee Break              

11:00-12:20    PLENARY SESSION                  

Keynote by Dr Arnaud Caiserman (UCA): Food Security in Mountains of Central Asia: Down to Upstream Challenges (presentation 

Moderator:     Kanat Tilekeyev, UCA    

12:20-13:30    Lunch             

13:30-15:00    PARALLEL SESSIONS               

SESSION 2.5    Mercy Corps, WFP, WHO Session: Recent Interventions and Research on Health and Nutrition    

Moderator: Elmira Shishkaraeva, WFP 

Zhyldyz Artykbaeva, Ministry of Healthcare: Findings form the National Integrated Micronutrient and Anthropometric Survey, NIMAS (presentation)                

Aizhan Erisheva, WFP: Accelerating investments into SDG objectives leveraging schools as platforms (presentation)  

Nazgul Aidralieva, WHO: School Meals and Nutrition of School-Aged Children (presentation)                     


SESSION 2.6    Impacts of Climate and Ecological Shocks on Living Standards and Human Health 

Moderator: Maksim Kulikov, UCA      

Nuraiym Talantbekova; Burulcha Sulaimanova; Aisha Manasova – all OSCE Academy in Bishkek: Climate Shocks and Energy Poverty in Kyrgyzstan (presentation) 

Inna Brusenskaya, MoveGreen: Air pollution in Winter in the Regions and Major Cities of Kyrgyzstan (presentation)   

Igor Hadjamberdiev; Mohammed Nasimi; Ibragimjon Damulojanov  – Toxic Action Network Central Asia: Pesticides Pollution and Child Health in Central Asia (presentation)

SESSION 2.7: Intra-Household Distribution and Female Well-Being           

Moderator:     Damir Esenaliev, IGZ/ISDC     

Burulcha Sulaimanova, Zhibek Kasymova, Meerim Abdykalykova – OSCE Academy in Bishkek: Impacts of Energy Use for Cooking and Heating on Women’s Subjective Well-Being and Health in Kyrgyzstan (presentation)    

Zalina Enikeeva, UCA: The Role of Women During COVID-19 in Three Regions of Kyrgyzstan (presentation)                    

Aisha Manasova, OSCE Academy: Gendered Nationalism: The Roles And Identities of the Kyrgyz Women in the Private Realm (presentation)    

Asel Myrzabekova, FHI 360: Exploring Social Norms and Social Services Affecting Domestic Violence Service-Seeking and Provision in Kyrgyzstan (presentation)       


15:00-15:30    Coffee Break              

15:30-17:00    PARALLEL SESSIONS               

SESSION 2.8    Mountains of Sorrow: the Role of Art in Creating the Historical Narrative of the 1916 Uprising    

Moderator: Baktygül Kapalova, Compass College

Gulzada Stanalieva, Kyrgyz Turkish Manas University: Ürkün in the Kyrgyz Literature: Two Periods, Two Interpretations (presentation) 

Nurperi Orunbaeva, Museum of Female Arts: Representation of 1916 Uprising in the Kyrgyz Contemporary Art (presentation)  

Elmira Nogoibaeva, ESIMDE Research Platform: What Do the Ata-Beyit Sculptures Say About Ürkün? 

Gulzat Alagöz kyzy, ESIMDE Research Platform: Ürkün Memorial Processions as a Memory Activity (presentation)


SESSION 2.9    Mitigation and Impacts of Climate Change   

Moderator: Bernard Musyck, UCA     

Aziz Ali, UCA: Impacts of Climate Change on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs) and Food Security of Mountain Communities in the Pamir Region of Tajik- and Afghan-Badakhshans (presentation)                  

Darika Vildanova, Deka Group: Mitigation Measures for Climate Change in Kyrgyzstan (presentation)      

Bernard Musyck, UCA: Climate Change and the Development of Winter Tourism in Central Asia (presentation)


SESSION 2.10  Digital Transformation of Education in Kyrgyzstan: Distant Reality or Matter of Fact?        

Moderator:     Jyldyz Doolbekova, Taalim-Forum Public Foundation

Jyldyz Doolbekova, Taalim-Forum: Trends in Digital Transformation of Education in Kyrgyzstan: Challenges and Readiness (presentation)     

Marina Glushkova, Gulnara Ibraeva, PIL Research Company: Infrastructural Factors and Models for an Innovative Approach to School Education System in the Kyrgyz Republic (presentation)                     

Mehrigiul Ablezova, PIL Research Company: How to Measure the Readiness of the Education System for Digitalization? Adapting, Validating and Implementing a Tool for Measuring the Readiness of School Teachers and Students for Online Teaching Post-Covid-19 (presentation)     

Almagul Osmonova, Aigerim Jolchubekova, Taalim-Forum: Teaching in a Digital Learning Environment: Perceptions and Experiences of Distance Education of Teachers in Kyrgyzstan (presentation)                  

Organising 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 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 non-profit academic institute based in Berlin, Germany. We conduct research to improve lives and livelihoods shaped by violent conflict, fragility and humanitarian emergencies, 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 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. With a current enrolment 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. For more information on AUCA, please visit

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: 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 and development in improving literacy and child nutrition, creating access to clean drinking water, organizing school orchards, providing emergency relief, addressing climate change, peace building, and waste management in rural areas. 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 3,500 metric tons of supplemental commodities (fortified flour, rice, peas, lentils and oil) to provide nutritious hot meals to over 170,000 children in kindergartens and primary schools across Kyrgyzstan.For more information on Mercy Corps, 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. 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. For more information on the World Bank, please visit

UNFPA is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. Its mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. UNFPA presence in the Kyrgyz Republic dates back to 1992, and it has assisted the country by supporting the preparation of the first national census, by delivering reproductive health commodities, and by building national capacity in integrated SRH and youth-friendly health services, in the development of policies in youth and gender equality areas, and on data collection and analysis. For more information on UNFPA, please visit

[1] The 2023 October LiK conference was convened by the Institute of Public Policy and Administration of the University of Central Asia (UCA-IPPA), the Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ), and ISDC – International Security and Development Center, with the additional support of the American University Central Asia (AUCA), Mercy Corps, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the World Bank.

Conference details

  • Status: Scheduled
  • Venue: Park Hotel
  • Starts on: 11-10-2023
  • Ends: 12-10-2023
  • Organizers: Institute of Public Policy and Administration of the University of Central Asia (UCA-IPPA), the Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ), and ISDC - International Security and Development Center
  • Partners: American University Central Asia (AUCA), Mercy Corps, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the World Bank