The Tian Shan Policy Center (TSPC) in association with the Central Asian Studies Institute (CASI) convened a conference at AUCA on how to build cooperation between government, think-tanks, and research institutions. The dialogue sought to broaden perspectives for new initiatives in policy development. Over 75 participants attended the event, including Parliamentarians, research institutes and centers, experts, civil society organizations, and university faculty and students.
Roundtable Participants and Experts
Members of Parliament: Esengul Isakov, Ravshan Jeenbekov, Gulniza Beishenbaeva, Shirin Aitmatova, and Kurmanbek Dyikanbaev.
Representatives from JK Committees: Damir Imanbaev of the Committee on Social Policy, Burul Namazova of the Committee on Constitutional Legislation, State Structure and Human Rights, Taalaibek Ybykeev of the Committee on Law Order and Legitimacy.
Messrs. Rodger Dillon of the Tian Shan Policy Center and Shairbek Juraev of Central Asian Studies Institute
Mirsuljan Namazaliev of the Central Asian Free Market Institute
Duishon Shamatov of the University of Central Asia
Aktilek Tungatarov of the International Business Council
Kregg Halstead of the Development Alternatives, Inc’s Kyrgyzstan Parliamentary Strengthening Program
Kurmanbek Turdaliev of the EU-UNDP Legal Framework Project
Nurlan Sadykov of the Institute of Constitutional Policy.
The conference was opened by Mr. Rodger Dillon, the Executive Director of the Tian Shan Policy Center, followed by a welcome speech from Mr. Andrew Wachtel, the President of AUCA, and brief remarks by Mr. Shairbek Juraev, the Director of CASI. Some of the important questions addressed included the Kyrgyz government’s current use of and perception of their need for additional formal research, analysis, and empirical data in formulating policy and crafting legislation; the level of experience of think tanks and policy centers with respect to their interaction with government on these matters; existing barriers to the greater use of empirical research; and ways to come to a better process for think tanks, research institutes, and policy centers to provide such research and information to policymakers.
In his presentation as invited speaker and participant on the Roundtable, Member of Parliament Kurmanbek Dyikanbaev, indicated the benefits of developing a partnership with AUCA’s Tian Shan Policy Center and other research centers in Kyrgyzstan, identifying the issues related to an upcoming World Water Forum as an area where Parliament would welcome input and collaboration. He voiced his full support to the initiatives outlined by the policy center and its partner agencies.
Similar approval was received from a number of other participating statesmen, including Member of Parliament Esengul Isakov, who recommended that close cooperation could be established via a Memorandum of Understanding, outlining the areas of developing clear, solid data and analysis that such centers could provide in supporting the JK work. Member of Parliament Ravshan Jeenbekov further iterated that we should take into account a full list of scientific research, suggesting that since the legislative process affects the whole of Kyrgyzstan, the government needs better analytical assessments.
Adding her further assent, Member of Parliament Ms. Gulniza Beishenbaeva said she is ready to work with all members of civil society in advance the work of the JK. Agreeing on the need for cooperation with centers to build better scientific assessment capacity, Member of Parliament Shirin Atmatova indicated that too often the lack of scientific evaluation means that laws are passed without significant understanding of the full impacts on society. Other representatives of the government and leading think-tank and research institutions in Bishkek who took part in the Roundtable provided further examples of where such cooperation is warranted. The ensuing roundtable discussion was complemented with dialogue and full participation from the audience.
A small reception was held upon completion of the event.