On October 27, 2022, USAID’s Jigerduu Jarandar project hosted a conference titled “Araket Sozsuz Aktalat” (“Efforts Always Pay Off”). The conference highlighted the important role of civic engagement in the country’s development by demonstrating how active citizens, local governments and businesses work together to solve local issues.
The conference gathered more than 100 participants, among whom were government representatives, civil society organizations, and members of initiative groups and local self-governments from the project’s partner municipalities.
One of the key goals of the Jigerduu Jarandar project is to enhance collaboration between the civil society, the government and the private sector to address issues of local concern. Since 2020, the project has been supporting twenty citizen-driven initiatives in ten municipalities of Chui, Issyk-Kul, Jalal-Abad and Osh regions, eight of which have been completed. The initiatives include creation of public spaces, improved street lighting, construction of safe sidewalks along major roads, expanding children’s access to musical education and inclusive playgrounds.
For example, in Ak-Zhar village in Osh Region, active citizens mobilized their efforts to raise funds and install street lamps on 11 main streets of the village with a total length of 8 km. In the village of Don-Aryk, located in the Chui Region 84 kilometers far from Bishkek, residents built a playground for children after raising over KGS 3 million from various sources including the local self-government, community members, and private sector. Citizens from both Ak-Zhar and Don-Aryk participated in the conference to share their experience.
Noel Bauer, USAID Democracy and Governance Office director in the Kyrgyz Republic, in his remarks said: “The United States Government, through USAID, is proud to have supported local community efforts. We will continue to support citizens and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic as they come together to improve the everyday lives of people.”
Presentations of successful cases were followed by discussions of lessons learned that would inform future сitizen initiatives. Starting from 2022, Jigerduu Jarandar plans to support citizens in partner municipalities in designing and implementing initiatives that tackle management and disposal of solid waste.
The event concluded with an award ceremony honoring outstanding community leaders, activist groups and a local ayil okmotu (village administration).
Jigerduu Jarandar is a five-year project funded by USAID and implemented in 2019-2024 by FHI 360. The project supports the efforts of Kyrgyz civil society organizations, their networks and leadership to strengthen civic participation and engagement in Kyrgyzstan. The project’s key thematic areas include improving waste management policies and practices, prevention and response to gender-based violence, strengthening civil society and expanding citizens’ access to justice.
For more information, please contact:
Zhibek Abylbekova, USAID Jigerduu Jarandar, +996 220 068 969, ZAbylbekova@fhi360.org