The Fifth Annual Life in Kyrgyzstan (LiK) conference brought together over 100 participants from 10 countries, and served as an open and stimulating platform for intellectual exchange on social and economic changes in Kyrgyzstan, and Central Asia. The conference was aimed at promoting evidence-based policymaking, and gathered national and international experts from the government and public sector, development agencies, non-governmental organisations, academia and research institutions in Bishkek on October 23-24, 2019.
The conference speakers addressed a broad range of topics, including migration, agriculture, nutrition, health, youth employment, poverty, social protection, and social norms. The keynote speech was delivered by Louise Grogan, Professor of Economics at the University of Guelph (Canada) on the legacy of the Soviet Union on gender roles in Central Asia. “The Life in Kyrgyzstan Conference is an excellent if not unique opportunity to inform evidence-base policy making. It is my strong conviction that better data, better research and better communication can make better policies and thereby better lives for all,” said Professor Tilman Brück of IGZ and ISDC.
The conference was organised by the University of Central Asia’s (UCA) Institute of Public Policy and Administration, Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ), International Security and Development Center (ISDC), and the World Bank. It is supported by Aga Khan Foundation Kyrgyzstan, the UK’s Department for International Development, and the United States Agency for International Development. “The socio-economic issues facing Central Asia are analytically complex, and evidence-based studies are required to inform policies and practice. UCA is deeply committed to playing a solid role in research, and is committed to ensuring that this stimulating forum continues to develop over the years to come,” noted Dr. Bohdan Krawchenko, Dean of Graduate School of Development at UCA.
The conference also announced the release of the 5th wave of the LiK study carried out in 2016, as well as the launch of the 6th wave of data collection in the Fall 2019.