Countries involved: Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan
Relations between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan can be characterized as cooperative and peaceful but there are a significant number of unresolved border-related issues that threaten to undermine the countries’ security and developmental gains. Analysis of the incidents between Kyrgyz and Tajik neighboring communities pointed to youth as a key demographic group behind much of the recently recorded inter-communal/ cross-border tensions. Given the fact to the demographic situation in both countries and significant representation of the youth in overall demographic structure of the population the decision was made to pay special attention to addressing the youth issues through a number of strategic interventions. Need assessment of youth identified poor communication and lack of cooperation among the neighboring community as well as low level of ethnic tolerance of youth of two countries.
Therefore, in 2016 UNDP came up with the initiative to target youth through educational and capacity development initiatives and foster youth involvement in the development and implementation of joint youth activities in Tajik-Kyrgyz border areas, thereby, contributing to the strengthening of multicultural understanding and tolerance.
UNDP focused its youth related activities on the group of youth between 18-30 years old that are prone to conflicts and their consequences and probable incidents with the neighbouring communities in Kyrgyzstan. It is assumed that through participation in the project activities the young people will build friendship, cooperation and social networks with their peers from the neighboring villages of Kyrgyzstan, learn together the social and business knowledge and develop the skills through implementation of joint social and business initiatives.
To achieve the set goals in frames of the current initiative the decision was made to bring to the youth of neighboring communities the knowledge and opportunities to cooperate through the following activities:
- Establishing of Youth Contact Groups in the 8 target villages of Isfara and B. Gafurov districts, Sughd region of Tajik side and 15 target villages from Kyrgyz side consisting of young entrepreneurs, teachers, representatives of local government, and “youth-at-risk” (8 - 10 people per group, at least 3 of them are females).
- Conducting 4 cross border youth camps (two in each country) for 272 participants from two countries and facilitate the developing of the joint action plans of socio-economic cooperation;
- Support to implementation of the joint action plans of socio-economic cooperation by youth in the target villages throughout the year 2017;
- Build capacity of the Youth Contact Groups through the following training programs (two following major packages):
- Social development and peace building package, consisting of: Tolerance; Leadership; Critical thinking; Negotiation and dialogue; Participation in decision making;
- Business package, consisting of: Joint assessment of the local business opportunities; Business plan developing; Trainings on taxation and entrepreneurship legislation; Learning the best practices and success cases – meetings with the local entrepreneurs, the owners of the enterprises in Isfara and study visits to the enterprises; Couching in practical implementation of business ideas and starting of business.
The following results have been achieved so far:
- The Youth Contact Groups in the 8 target villages from Tajik side and 15 target villages from Kyrgyz side consisting of young entrepreneurs, teachers, representatives of local government, and “youth-at-risk” (8 - 10 people per group, at least 3 of them are females) are established.
- The first out of four planned cross border youth camps (two in each country) for 86 participants from two countries is conducted and the joint action plans of socio-economic cooperation of 6 Tajik and 10 Kyrgyz communities are developed;
Partners: FTI Kyrgyzstan - Foundation for Tolerance International; ASTI Tajikistan (Association of Scientific and Technical Intelligentsia); Local Authorities at district and Jamoat level.
Budget: 141.000 USD
UNDP Tajikistan: Ms. Gulshod Sharipova, M&E Specialist, UNDP Khujand AO
UNDP Kyrgyzstan: Mr. Akyn Bakirov, Project Specialist, UNDP Batken AO