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Regional Meeting of Participants of cabar.asia School of Analytics Held in Dushanbe

Young analysts and journalists from Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have discussed challenges and trends in their countries in 2019 at a three-day meeting, held a regional meeting on the quality of analytics and water and energy issues in the region, and also have improved their skills of writing analytic materials and visualisation.


На русском Тоҷикӣ

The participants of the regional meeting have been the alumni of summer schools of analytics and analytic journalism of cabar.asia, as well as the newcomers. The event was supported by the MFA of Norway and the British Embassy in Bishkek.

Since 2018 the representative office of IWPR in Central Asia has organised a series of intensive theoretical and practical programmes, worked at the formation of a new pool of young experts and analytic journalists, who are able to provide quality analysis for state bodies and general public.

In their opening speech, Lola Olimova, a programme manager of the representative office of IWPR in Tajikistan, and Timur Toktonaliev, a regional editor of IWPR in Central Asia, have emphasised that the analytical platform cabar.asia provides an opportunity to young experts and journalists to publish their materials and to develop

For more details about the project, please follow this link

On the first day, participants have discussed the topics and trends that would be relevant in their countries in 2019, as well as diverse aspects of their coverage. Afterwards, separate sessions on the standards of writing, improvement of reports, correction of errors have been organised for journalists and analysts.

Shohrukh Abdullaev, a Tashkent-based researcher:

They showed us in practice how, in what light and from what angle we should cover certain issues, which I have missed in my career. Also, I liked the way the workshop was organised. The lecturers, lectures and topics were interrelated and properly sequenced. I have many things to work at and I will be using these methods and approaches.

Nurbek Bekmurzaev, an independent Bishkek-based researcher:

What I liked the best was a session dedicated to errors committed when writing analytical articles. Also the session on data visualisation and discussion of the trends in each of the countries in 2019 were very useful. I’ve learned a lot of new things happening in neighbouring countries. And in future I would like to participate in more sessions where they would be teaching how to analyse national programmes and strategies. Because our state often adopts five-year programmes and there should probably be some peculiarities of how to analyse such programmes, which focus on a single issue for a very short time.

Read our participants’ blogs under the heading “Opinions”

Asel Sooronbaeva

Lola Olimova, an editor of IWPR, has told the journalists about the standards of writing of news analytics, peculiarities of work and selection of topics. And the alumna of the summer school of analytic journalism, Asel Sooronbaeva, has held a session about the journalism ethics.

Khadisha Akayeva, an alumna of the cabar.asia School of Analytic Journalism, from Semei, Kazakstan:

I like that the summer project is growing. The feedback was very useful to me: discussing errors committed by journalists and getting advices on how to work further. This is a good motivation. I also would like to note that it was a perfect decision to bring journalists and experts together – it will let us write deeper and thought-out materials.

Asel Sooronbaeva, an alumna of the cabar.asia School of Analytic Journalism, from Bishkek:

The programme has been useful for all the participants. Bringing young journalists and analysts together in one place has provided an opportunity not only to share experience, but also to better know each other. The events held with participation of representatives of neighbouring countries give impetus to joint projects, enable coverage of common problems, seeking new ways to solve them.
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The second day of the event has been dedicated to how experts in Central Asia can influence the political and managerial decision-making process and what problems exist. The following speakers have delivered presentations about situations in their home countries: Shokhrukh Abdullaev (Uzbekistan), Timur Toktonaliev (Kyrgyzstan), Muslimbek Buriev (Tajikistan), and Askar Mukashev (Kazakstan). Kakhramon Bakozoda, a director of Zerkalo [Mirror] think-tank, has told about the mechanisms of interaction between the expert community and decision-makers.

Also, a regional expert meeting has been held as part of the meeting of alumni of cabar.asia summer schools. It has been dedicated to hydropower engineering issues in Central Asian states. Sherali Rizoev, an analyst of the Centre for Strategic Studies at the president of Tajikistan, has told the participants about the launch of the first unit at the Rogun Dam, the economic and political aspects of this issue.

The second day of the event has been dedicated to how experts in Central Asia can influence the political and managerial decision-making process and what problems exist. The following speakers have delivered presentations about situations in their home countries: Shokhrukh Abdullaev (Uzbekistan), Timur Toktonaliev (Kyrgyzstan), Muslimbek Buriev (Tajikistan), and Askar Mukashev (Kazakstan). Kakhramon Bakozoda, a director of Zerkalo [Mirror] think-tank, has told about the mechanisms of interaction between the expert community and decision-makers.

Read more: “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”: Experts and Officials Need Closer Dialogue

Also, a regional expert meeting has been held as part of the meeting of alumni of cabar.asia summer schools. It has been dedicated to hydropower engineering issues in Central Asian states. Sherali Rizoev, an analyst of the Centre for Strategic Studies at the president of Tajikistan, has told the participants about the launch of the first unit at the Rogun Dam, the economic and political aspects of this issue.

Farkhod Amidzhonov

Farkhod Amidzhonov, deputy director of the Central Asian Institute for Strategic Studies, has delivered a presentation about the position of Tashkent and the impact of the Rogun Dam on the hydropower issue in the region. Political analyst Zhavlon Boimat has told why Uzbekistan has changed its position regarding the construction of the dam in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Positions of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakstan on this issue have been explained by analyst Amangeldi Dzhumabaev and political analyst Meruert Seidumanova.

Read more: Central Asian Hydropower System: Doomed to Joint Development

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Farkhod Mirzabaev, an analytic journalist from Tashkent:

I have been interested in taking part in the event and I have learned a lot. First, [I’ve learned] to structure the article, which has motivated me to write new articles and cooperate with cabar.asia. Featured sessions have been very interesting, too, especially the ones dedicated to hydropower projects in Central Asia with participation of key experts. The meeting has provided food for thought and can even motivate to write new articles in future.

Mizhgona Khalimova, an alumna of the School of Analytic Journalism, a Dushanbe-based journalist:

I’ve been very glad to see the participants of the summer school again. Another thing I’ve liked is that I have acquired enough information about dams. I am very grateful to the organisers who do this for us.
Anastasia Valeyeva

The final day of the event has been very intensive. It has been dedicated to practical skills and online tools, which can be helpful both to journalists, and to experts. Anastasia Valeyeva, an alumna of the summer school of analytics, has held a session on data visualisation. She has told about the main principles of work with numbers, data sources, and also how visualisation is used in analytics and which services should be used. Participants have worked with numbers in practice and tried to create their infographics.

Bermet Ulanova, an alumna of the school of analytic journalist, a Bishkek-based journalist:

The meeting has given us an opportunity to meet journalists and experts of Tajikistan and other Central Asian states. A conference on hydropower has been the most useful. I have also liked the training on data journalism.

Amangeldi Dzhumabaev, a Bishkek-based researcher:

I wish there were more trainings on how to write analytical articles, standards, more practice. I also have liked the session on visualisation. I think it will be useful for writing articles, data visualisation.
Askar Mukashev and Khadisha Akayeva (Kazakstan)

A session on fact-checking has been important for the participants: why it is important for journalists and experts and how to verify information. It has been held by a media trainer, Farishtamokh Gulova.

“If you, as journalists or activists, understand it’s fake news and its purpose is to get likes and clicks, you can use it in future. There are certain rules of fact-checking. First, find the original source. If you cannot find it, you should find at least a few independent sources who can confirm information,” Gulova said.

Zhavokhir Ochilov, a Tashkent-based journalist:

It’s been a great experience and a lot of positive emotions. This event has caused new ideas and purposes in my life. I hope the knowledge I have acquired will help me in my work.

At the end of the event, participants have summarised the first regional meeting of alumni of summer schools of analytics and analytic journalism. Similar meetings are expected to be held regularly to improve the skills of participants and to establish transboundary cooperation, as well as to strengthen the forum of Central Asian experts and analytic journalists.

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