Our Blog

      • Aral Sea Shores Pt. 2 – Battling the Dust

        23 May 2016

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        UNDP Uzbekistan - Teaching farmers how to get the most out of their land, and encouraging them to share that knowledge with their peers, has been a vital part of boosting human security in Karakalpakstan

        The UN Aral Sea Joint Programme ended in 2016, concluding four years of work addressing long-term social, health and economic impacts of the Aral Sea disaster. To present the project’s main results and its sustainability, we are publishing three blogs about the completed work and what the next plans are. Building on our last blog that looked at how we’ve made communities more economically and socially resilient, in this blog we’ll look specifically at how our programme has worked to counter environmental problems caused by the Aral Sea disaster. We’ll look at how worsened desertification and airborne sands have directly influenced human security and well-being in the region, and how we’ve worked to address these crucial issues. (Human Security refers to maintaining livelihood and standards of living in the face of trying circumstances – check out our previous blog to learn more about the concept as it applies to our response to the Aral Sea disaster) Resilient agriculture Alternative business is growing in Karakalpakstan, but to a strong degree agriculture has replaced fishing as a major source of income in the regional, and the well-being of communities relies on how farms can maximise their outputs and minimise negative environmental impacts. The  Read More

      • Export Made Easy - Uzbekistan's First National Electronic Trading Platform

        22 May 2016

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        UNDP Uzbekistan - The UzTrade website is a new channel to deliver unique national products, like high-quality fruit and vegetables, to overseas buyers

        “Our company specializes in producing and selling fresh and dried agro-produce, and we are interested in expanding to new markets. The new ‘UzTrade’ trading platform provides us with a channel to offer products to a larger circle of potential overseas buyers,” entrepreneur Mr. Askar Kadirov told UNDP staff at the opening of Uzbekistan’s first online platform for international business. Like Odinakhon Saidova, who we featured in a previous blog on international trade fairs, Mr. Kadirov’s goal is to turn domestic success into international trend-setting. His company Spectrum ITG exports fruits and vegetables, products that Uzbekistan is already renowned for, and the UzTrade website has been proved the best tool for facilitating this trade. “I believe that through ‘UzTrade’ I will conclude more contracts and increase export volumes," he said. "I would like to thank the website’s initiators and developers for their good job. The initiative was simply necessary in the era of e-commerce.” Ground-breaking tool for business “Bill Gates’s quote – “If your business is not on the Internet, then your business will be out of business”, absolutely applies to benefits of the newly established ‘UzTrade’ Electronic Trade Platform for Uzbekistan SMEs,” said website client Mr. Mumtoz Dalimov, from Tune Consulting LLC. It's inescapable that Uzbek businesses  Read More

      • Preparation in Action – Kamchik Pass

        11 May 2016

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        UNDP Uzbekistan: Securing the essential Kamchik pass in a national priority.

        One Friday morning in late 2016, Tashkent feels a slightly stronger-than-usual earthquake. At the UN Country Office, staff feel distinct vibrations through the floor and walls and ripples appear in cups of coffee. Meeting participants scramble under the conference table and take hold, while other staff do the same at their desks, and colleagues in corridors crouch next to the nearest load-bearing wall. After a few seconds the shuddering ends staff gather to make sure no one is hurt, and life continues as normal. However, on an isolated stretch of the Kamchik Pass that connects the fertile Namangan, Andijan and Fergana regions to Western Uzbekistan, a much stronger earthquake hits accompanied by a rockfall and landslide. In the time of a radio transmission a series of well-established systems and meticulously-rehearsed procedures kick into action, helping to keep stranded motorist safe and re-opening a transport route. *** This is only a hypothetical scenario, but one that presents the vital work UNDP Uzbekistan conducts in partnership with the Ministry of Emergency Situations to better fortify the nation against possible natural disasters. The established systems that will limit the impact of such natural disasters, should they occur in the future, have been established in  Read More

      • Changes in industrial demand for personnel

        05 May 2016

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        The economic breakthrough, enabling shift of the country to upper segment of middle-income countries according to methodology of international development organizations will largely depend on the quality of manpower that are available on labor market. Workforce shall be able to work with the most modern facilities, offer and implement innovative ideas and solutions. President Islam Karimov set a target to increase industry’s share in the country’s GDP. Nowadays, as well as in near future there will be a greater demand for technical personnel. A diagram below shows forecast for industrial sector’s demand for personnel. The diagram confirms accuracy of the chosen path to implement the professional colleges system. At the same time, educational system faces new challenges caused by rapidly changing conditions of market economy. In this regard, technicians must not only be produced by colleges but also meet expectations of employers in the private sector. Graph I Meanwhile, in order to meet requirements of industrial demand, it is necessary to take additional measures and change the training process, primarily professional college students. There are, on average, 500,000 pupil graduating from the secondary school annually in the country, of which 90% continue their studies at professional colleges. Currently, every pupil is  Read More

      • Aral Sea Shores pt. I – Evolved Communities

        24 Apr 2016

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        UNDP Uzbekistan: Providing vulnerable groups with employment and incomes has been just one objective of the Aral Sea Joint Programme's work in targeted districts

        This is the first in a series of blogs that present the results of the UN Aral Sea Joint Programme, specifically looking at the development of communities and alternative business. The second blog will look into how the programme reviews the human impacts of environmental change, and the third reviews how the programme’s impacts will be sustained into the future. Every country around the world faces challenges. Some challenges are resolved through naturally changes over time, while others need focus, perseverance and thinking outside the box. As my home, Australia has no shortage of environmental, economic and particularly social difficulties – pride in my nation comes from its doggedly tackling these concerns for the benefit of all its citizens. For Uzbekistan, a major challenge is the Aral Sea Disaster – a situation not created but inherited, but one whose repercussions are now coming to bear. While life can be difficult in this far western region, the combined efforts of UNDP, UNFPA, UNESCO, WHO and UNV, and tireless contributions by regional government, have shown what can be achieved. The best way to see changes made by the Aral Sea UN Joint Programme is to visit communities and directly witness the work done  Read More

      • Planning for climate change – An approach for agriculture in Uzbekistan’s Dry Regions

        12 Apr 2016

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        UNDP Uzbekistan: At a project inception meeting, stakeholders meet on-site to discuss how climate change risks can be most effectively mitigated

        While December 2015’s Paris Conference generated a global push to combat climate change, closer to home UNDP Uzbekistan has engaged national partner representatives in planning an approach to addressing the global challenge. Climate change is a particular concern in regions with environmental challenges, an example being agricultural communities in Uzbekistan’s Karakalpakstan region which have grappled with dry climates, extreme temperatures and water deficits, but have to date withstood climate change-induced risks. Assisting the transition from spontaneous climate change adaptation to a planned approach has been the purpose of UNDP’s jointly-implemented ‘Developing Climate Resilience of Farming Communities in Drought Prone Parts of Uzbekistan’ project. Planning for this initiative began in late 2014, with the input of national partners, international expertise and the intended beneficiaries themselves, making sure the project would be well coordinated and implemented. As a result of this extensive planning process, 2015 saw the establishment of two demonstration workshops held both in the western city of Nukus and at the project’s pilot site in the Kegeyli district. As a means of overcoming the problem of boosting Karakalpakstan’s climate security, the workshops presented the use of information sharing systems designed to prepare farmers for potential future drought situations. They also covered  Read More

      • Why putting climate change on paper will make a difference

        11 Apr 2016

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        UNDP Uzbekistan: The new Climate Risk Profile report serves as a framework for helping Uzbekistan's most vulnerable communities overcome climate change risks

        By Blogging Consultant James Brindley Uzbekistan is a country of different environments – in the east the terrain is dominated by snow-caped mountains and grassy hillsides, while journeying west reveals extensively-farmed fertile lands, gradually shifting into dry regions and eventually the Karakalpakstan deserts and the Aral Sea’s shores. What these vastly-different areas have in common is that the health of their environments, and the well-being of people who live there, are both vulnerable to the accelerating effects of climate change. Proceeded by an uncharacteristically mild winter, a number of 2016 initiatives will focus on addressing Uzbekistan’s climate change threats, and among these will include the promotion of the Climate Risk Profile (CRP) document, as an authoritative information source regarding climate change in Uzbekistan. It’s creators, including UNDP and national research partners, hope it will both inform people of existing climate change induced risks and the way that they can be mitigated. “This report intends to put the matter of climate change induced risks onto a national scale, an area not yet broadly considered, but one that can have a significant impact on Uzbekistan’s future,” said Ms. Natalya Agaltseva, the manager of UNDP Uzbekistan’s Climate Resilience project, who coordinated the collective work  Read More

      • From the Basics Up – How to Build Good ICT in Government

        04 Apr 2016

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        UNDP Uzbekistan - ICT expert Andrey Kuznetsov highlights the need for institutional reform as a bedrock for strong e-governance

        By Blogging Consultant James Brindley When Latvian ICT expert Andrey Kuznetsov presented at a national seminar hosted by UNDP’s ‘E-Government Promotion for Improved Public Service Delivery’ project and its partners in December 2015, the message was simple – the strength of an ICT-based e-governance system is only as solid as the institutions it’s built on. Institutional reform is a pre-requisite of e-governance – it is a foundation that needs to be built before ICT is introduced. “Only then can follow the implementation of any ICT solution,” Mr. Kuznetsov said to UNDP Uzbekistan, after completing his mission to Uzbekistan. “An attempt to “push” old paper-based technology and approaches into an ICT system can never improve services, but in most cases makes situation even worse than without automation at all.” Good ICT with the Back Office to Match Back when e-governance was a new idea being introduced in Uzbekistan, systems at the time relied extensively on written paperwork which made implementing public services a time-intensive process, and limited the government’s ability to act as a service provider. Considerable progress has been made from that point, with ICT systems having been introduced in courts, business, governance, and most significantly through the medium of the  Read More

      • LGSP – Building Trends in Local Government

        24 Mar 2016

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        UNDP Uzbekistan: By implementing extremely successful pilot projects, LGSP has demonstrated what can be achieved with the right focus and commitment.

        By Blogging Consultant James Brindley Enhancing the accountability and transparency of regional and district-level government in Uzbekistan has required persistent effort since the inception of the first stage of the Local Government Support Project’ (LGSP) back in March 2010. Those efforts were not in vain, and have sparked changes in practice that have had long-term and quite influential impacts. The project’s goal was as novel as it was ambitious – as far back as living memory centralised government was the norm, and local government saw itself as a channel for resources and decisions from higher ministries and departments to their regions. In brief, what LGSP sought to achieve was a shift to a model in which local government’s main purpose was to improve the lives of everyday people. Now halfway through the implementation of LGSP’s second stage, we want to review what ideas have been ‘run with’ as a means of establishing significant change. From pilots to national trends The LGSP project has particularly triumphed in establishing bonds of trust with national government partners, as a means of boosting local-level development. The projects have ranged from innovate tourism development that support communities, to eliminating reliance on paperwork, and details of many  Read More

      • Moscow Inlet for Small Business Exports

        20 Mar 2016

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        UNDP Uzbekistan: Odinakhon Saidova is one of many women entrepreneurs who have expanded their international range through the 'Aid for Trade' project's support.

        By Blogging Consultant James Brindley "I was very afraid at first and even refused to participate in the event, but coworkers persuaded me to go because there would be experienced export company staff who would join us. Also my husband supported me with his faith. After that, things started moving.” Odinakhon Saidova is a member of Uzbekistan’s growing entrepreneurial society crossing more than one divide. By taking part in September 2015’s ‘World Food Moscow’ exhibition in Moscow, with support from UNDP’s ‘Aid for Trade’ project, she has demonstrated the dynamics of the new face of Uzbek business. Since 2011, phases of the ‘Aid for Trade’ project have been working with small businesses throughout Uzbekistan to build their business connections overseas, as part of a push to develop the nation’s small and medium business sector, while also growing Uzbekistan’s image as a good option for overseas investment and growth. Taking part in international business exhibitions has been a principal part of this work. Through the years, the ‘Aid for Trade’ project has supported the participation of over 60 businesses like Ms. Saidova’s in 15 trade fairs, held as far from home as China’s eastern urban hubs and setting up over 43 million  Read More