The Fourth Annual Life in Kyrgyzstan (LiK) conference took place in Bishkek on 17-18 October 2018. The academic event was attended by over 150 participants from 11 countries. The conference was organised by the University of Central Asia’s (UCA) Institute of Public Policy and Administration (IPPA), Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ), and ISDC – International Security and Development Center.
The conference brought together national and international researchers and experts from the government and public sector, development agencies, non-governmental organisations, academia and research institutions to exchange scientific knowledge and experiences on recent socio-economic developments in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia and to promote evidence-based policymaking. Remarking on the importance of dialogue between policymakers, practitioners, and researchers, Professor Tilman Brück of ISDC and IGZ noted, “Social scientists can learn from policy makers and practitioners about what information they need and what topics concern them. Through such dialogue, everyone can help to provide a better representation of our social reality – and enable people to lead healthier, happier and meaningful lives.”
The keynote speech was delivered by Kathryn Anderson, Professor of Economics of Vanderbilt University (USA) on the importance of teachers for development. The speech summarised the theoretical basis for education investment, compared teacher policies in several countries, and presented empirical evidence on the impact of wage policy reforms on employment and wages of teachers, health and social workers in Kyrgyzstan.
In 18 sessions in total, the conference speakers addressed a range of topics, including education, social cohesion, energy policies, migration and remittances, social protection, household welfare, trade, local development, climate change, child health, human capital, employment, technological development, social norms, agriculture, and data infrastructure. The conference also informed on the results of the 5th wave of the LiK study carried out in 2016 by an international consortium of research institutions including UCA, IFPRI, IGZ, and FAO.