Supporting conscious civic participation among youth of the Kyrgyz Republic

Kyrgyzstan’s youth is a diverse and dynamic social group that is both the majority of the population and the main actor in the state’s human capital development programs.

A concept of youth policy for 2020-2030 was developed in accordance with the program activities of the Kyrgyz Government. This is a strategic document that defines the prospects for the youth policy development and indicators of investment in youth programs, projects, and youth associations. Kyrgyzstan’s youth is a diverse and dynamic social group that is both the majority of the population and the main actor in the state’s human capital development programs. At the same time, it is important to understand that young people are also active actors with their own values and attitudes. According to the “Youth study Kyrgyzstan: Lost in transition? 2020/21” family and community play a key role in many young people’s lives, thus all family-related values are essential for youth. Young people also value civic engagement and participate in social activities by signing petitions, volunteering, and participating in other initiatives.

Despite this, Kyrgyzstan’s youth demonstrate a rather passive attitude toward politics. Young people are almost not interested in political processes. For example, more than half (53%) of those surveyed said they were not interested in politics at all. This tendency to detachment can be explained by the fact that young people tend to associate politics mainly with the struggle for power. In addition, a lack of understanding or complete lack of knowledge about political processes can aggravate the level of detachment.

Youth policy and civic engagement are one of the main areas that the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Kyrgyz Republic is working on. In 2022 we launched a project aimed at improving competencies related to youth policy, green economy, and social entrepreneurship among young people from all regions of the Kyrgyz Republic. The Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Kyrgyz Republic in partnership with GIZ Kyrgyzstan (German Society for International Cooperation) and the Ministry of Culture, Information, Sports and Youth Policy held the 7th stream of the youth leadership program “Dilgir”. 25 participants of the project were provided with a full-fledged training program. Participants gained knowledge and practical skills on topics such as civic literacy, local youth development strategies and youth in building a clean, green and sustainable future of the Kyrgyz Republic.

On November 10 the country annually celebrates the International Youth Day since 2002, which was established by the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic. This year the FES Kyrgyzstan in partnership with the Institute of Youth Development and the state institution "Innovation Center '' under Kyrgyzpatent implemented a youth forum “JashTech: Digital Generation-2022”. “JashTech” was an open platform in a free and flexible format for exchanging knowledge, projects, achievements in the field of digital technologies and digital civic engagement. As noted, the role of digital media in modern society plays a significant role in the lives of young people. According to the study, about one in three (36.3%) spends up to two hours a day online, every second (50.8%) - from 3 to 6 hours, and about one in ten (9.6%) - more than 6 hours. More than 200 participants were given the opportunity to participate in several panel discussions with speakers from such fields as cybersecurity, e-commerce, fact-checking, digital public services and many others within the forum. The speakers shared their success stories, as well as practical recommendations. In addition, the participants discussed the possibilities of developing the digital economy with entrepreneurs, representatives of government agencies and experts.

Youth study Kyrgyzstan: Lost in transition?

Youth study Kyrgyzstan: Lost in transition?

2020/2021 ; A study exploring values and attitudes of young people in Kyrgyzstan
Bishkek, 2022

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