Kyrgyzstan is a multiethnic country, home to different nationalities. Due to the lack of land resources, low economic growth, high unemployment rate and poor social conditions and high population density, Ferghana Valley part has been recognized as an area prone to inter ethnic conflicts. Not all state borders of Kyrgyzstan with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are fully delineated and demarcated, which increases the risk of tensions among the local population over natural resources such as land, forest and water.
Lack of a solid and consistent state policy with regards to managing multiethnic communities and national programs on strengthening tolerance, leads to emergence and escalation of conflicts between different ethnic groups, which take form of misunderstandings and hostility, and sometimes escalate to the violence towards each other.
Women, youth and poor are the most vulnerable groups suffering from violence and aggression caused by emerging conflicts. The most vulnerable groups do not have an opportunity participate in decision-making and influence the processes, which are taking place in their communities. In the South of Kyrgyzstan women and youth are particularly limited in their access to material and social resources, are not aware sufficiently on their rights and opportunities.
In order to mitigate conflicts and their consequences on a community level, there is a need to conduct a thorough and an in-depth work with women and youth groups in conflict zones and places with a high potential for their emergence.
Realization period: 2011
Areas: Ak-Sai and Ak-Tatyr okrugs, Batken oblast and Nookat town and Toolos aiyl okrug, Osh oblast
Donor: The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through International Resources Group
Project was aimed to develop and test an innovative tool for involvement of socially vulnerable groups such as women and youth in conflict discussing and taking part in decision making processes by their capacity strengthening, setting up community dialogue and working out recommendations for local self-government in mitigating conflict situations with other community members.
– Capacity building of vulnerable groups in understanding and analyzing conflicts, decision-making to resolve conflicts;
– Setting up and strengthening dialogue between representatives of Kyrgyz, Tajik and Uzbek ethnic groups, particularly women and young people in border areas by involving them in joint analysis of conflicts, conducting community discussions and development of conflict prevention and mitigation plan;
– Creating favorable conditions and opportunities for vulnerable groups to participate in discussion of conflict situations and their resolution with local authorities;
– Providing small grants opportunities for vulnerable groups in building peace and good neighborhood.
Project was implemented in Batken oblast: Ak-Tatyr and Ak-Say aiyl okrugs (Ak-Say, Ak-Tatyr, Uch-Dobo, Kok-Tash, Orto-Boz villages) and Osh oblast: Nookat town and Tolos aiyl okrug (Jaiylma, Dodon, Ai-Tamga, Talman, Mertik, Murkut, Shoron, Kenesh).
Main project activities
– Social mobilization of communities: organizing meetings, joint discussions with representatives of target communities;
– Collecting information, conducting situational analysis of conflicts in target communities;
– Selecting project participants among youth and women and conducting training on Photo-voices methodology;
– Conducting photo research by community members on the issue of conflicts;
– Organizing and conducting group discussions, selecting photos and photo-essays;
– Joint discussions and development of Conflict Management Plan on the village level;
– Organizing mobile exhibition of photos and community-level discussions based on the findings of the research and results of photo-exhibitions;
– Providing small grants to local communities, which favor the implementation of joint Conflict Management Plan.
– Within the process of photo-research women and young people were experienced in formulating, defining, insonifying their needs and decisions on problems connected to conflict situations and disputes.
– Through joint discussions and conflict analysis, Kyrgyz, Tajik and Uzbek women and young people were able to get into a contact with each other and thereby promote peaceful relations in the researched areas.
– There were opportunities and conditions built for socially vulnerable groups for their taking part in decision making processes through organizing the mobile exhibitions and joint discussions.
– On the basis of the Conflict Management Plan developed by women and youth groups there was a small grants program designed, and within the framework of which there were micro projects implemented.