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IWPR and OSCE Academy in Bishkek To Enhance Capacity of Young Experts in Central Asia

The Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) and OSCE Academy in Bishkek launch the three-year project to enhance the capacity of the new generation of analysts and journalists in Central Asian region.


Photo credit: the OSCE Academy in Bishkek

Amid the growing problems and emerging complex challenges, the Central Asian region needs its own specialists that are capable of analysing, independently and comprehensively, the situation in each of the countries and offering efficient solutions with the use of new approaches.

In the three coming years, the representative office of IWPR in Central Asia and OSCE Academy in Bishkek through a series of intensive theoretical and practical programmes will work over the creation of a new pool of young experts and analyst journalists who can provide quality analysis for public authorities and general public.

The project is funded by the Foreign Ministry of Norway. Helene Sand Andresen, Deputy Director, Section for Russia, Eurasia and Regional Cooperation, MFA Norway, has stated that Central Asia is a very important region and Norway is interested in the development of all five states.

“It’s very important for us to support the new generation of experts, and we are glad to launch this project,” Helen Sand Andersen said. “This project strengthens the cooperation between our two important partners in this area – OSCE Academy in Bishkek that educates graduate students, and IWPR that develops independent and analytical journalism. We are glad to support such an initiative and will be looking forward to seeing its outcomes”.

Alexander Wolters, director of the OSCE Academy in Bishkek, and Abakhon Sultonazarov, IWPR Regional director for Central Asia. Photo: the OSCE Academy in Bishkek

Regional Director of IWPR in Central Asia Abakhon Sultonazarov has expressed hope that after two years the region will have young and ambitions experts and journalists who would help to develop their countries and neighbours using their knowledge, drive and unquenchable curiosity.

“The OSCE Academy in Bishkek has a strong research and academic base, whereas IWPR in Central Asia has a pool of experts and analysts. Our joint cooperation and integration of this capacity will help us grow a new constellation of experts and journalists who are capable of producing quality analytical product,” Abakhon Sultonazarov said.

Director of OSCE Academy in Bishkek Alexander Wolters has thanked for the initiative and support of the project and said that the integration of the capacity and experience of two analytical organisations will have a positive impact on the upbringing of future analysts and journalists.

From left to right: Ole Johan Bjørnøy, Norwegian Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, Director of OSCE Academy in Bishkek Alexander Wolters , Regional Director of IWPR in Central Asia Abakhon Sultonazarov, Senior Advisor to the Foreign Ministry of Norway for Russia, Eurasia and Regional Cooperation, Ellen Stie, Senior Advisor,  Section for Russia, Eurasia and Regional Cooperation, MFA Norway and Helene Sand Andresen, Deputy Director, Section for Russia, Eurasia and Regional Cooperation, MFA Norway. Photo: IWPR

On February 22, the contract signing ceremony was held in the OSCE Academy. The participants of the event were  Ole Johan Bjørnøy, Norwegian Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and Ellen Stie, Senior Advisor,  Section for Russia, Eurasia and Regional Cooperation, MFA Norway.

Project Content

Participants of the programme to be selected on a competitive basis in five Central Asian states will take an intensive Summer School, where they will be identifying the problems in the region, learning the fundamentals of expert analysis, and getting valuable advices from the key specialists in the region and invited experts from abroad.

Upon completion of the Summer School, young experts will be allocated to IWPR CA offices and will start practical training, where they will be analysing the problems within their area of expertise, and will be writing analytical articles under the supervision of analysts and editors of IWPR.

The works by the participants of the programme will be published on the analytical platform of CABAR.asia, an IWPR project, which has been offering a quality analysis of the trends in the region to public authorities, expert community and mainstream audience for three years.

Along with beginner experts, IWPR will also be training young journalists. Also, young journalists will be openly selected in the countries of the region, will take Summer School, and will be practicing in IWPR offices to produce news, reports, news analysis and multimedia material. Their works will be published on the platform of CABAR.asia and on the global website of iwpr.net.

After the first stage of the programme, a group of most active and ambitious experts and journalists will be sent to Eastern Europe for practical training, where they will be studying the local situation, successful reforms, sharing their experience and knowledge with local colleagues, and adopting their best practices in their expert and journalist activities.

In addition to educational programmes, the representative office of IWPR in Central Asia, with the assistance of the OSCE Academy in Bishkek, as well as Central Asian think tanks, will be holding a series of public online discussions at the country and regional levels focused on the promotion of the rule of law, observance of human rights, prevention of conflicts, extremism, and strengthening of freedom of the media.

Central Asia-based alumni of programmes will be united in a network where they will hold meetings, individually organise various events, and share experience.

In the final stage of the project, a group of young experts and journalists is expected to be created in order to produce quality analytical and journalist materials in regard to Central Asian countries.