Republic of Uzbekistan, Final Project Report: October 1, 1997-September 30, 2002

Anthony Bowyer, Irina Volchansky, Jill Quinn.

December 2002 - IFES

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INTRODUCTION

In July 1997, IFES was awarded $800,000 to conduct programming in Uzbekistan as part of ENI Cooperative Agreement EE-A-00-97-00034-00 focusing on technical election assistance and civil society. Under the auspices of that agreement, IFES presented the Central Election Commission (CEC), Oliy Majlis (Parliament), and Uzbek Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies (ISRS) with a written comprehensive technical review of the election law to provide electoral authorities with a critical, objective analysis of the electoral code with respect to international standards, and offer recommendations for possible improvements to the code. In September 1998, IFES, together with OSCE/ODIHR, the Uzbek Presidential Commission on Human Rights, the Oliy Majlis, and the CEC, conducted a two-day conference on electoral systems, practices, and legal issues. Together with information IFES provided on elections commission structures prior to the adoption of a new law on the Uzbek CEC, IFES was able to render timely and relevant input on the evolution of the Uzbek electoral system.

In January 1998, IFES formally opened an office in Tashkent, allowing IFES to serve as a dependable resource of information for the Central Election Commission, the Oliy Majlis, NGOs, and others working in the area of electoral sector reform and civic education. In July 1999, IFES and its local NGO partner, the Public Education Center (PEC) conducted a 10-day Summer Democracy Camp for students representing all regions of Uzbekistan. The project promoted greater activeness in democracy-building among the future leaders of Uzbekistan, and encouraged these young leaders to take an active interest in the peaceful and democratic evolution of their country. IFES continued to play an important role in the development of civil society in Uzbekistan through its civic and voter education projects. IFES was able to contribute to the OSCE's Education for Women project by providing information on Civic and Voter Education for the project and by publishing and distributing a brochure on women's rights for the training sessions in the regions. In cooperation with the survey research firm Expert, IFES conducted a target survey of five regions in 1999, which generated results critical to the next phases of IFES' civic education program targeting secondary school students. With the survey data, IFES became better able to target programs increasing involvement and understanding of young citizens' role in the building of democracy.

In fall of 1999, IFES initiated a pilot project in four secondary schools in the Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan using a textbook, anthology and teacher's manual focusing on democracy and civic education. The experimental venture included a teacher's training seminar in Nukus, which commenced with the holding of mock student elections in December 1999. During the following summer, IFES initiated a second summer democracy camp for secondary school students in Karakalpakstan. In August 2000, IFES was awarded a new Cooperative Agreement through the USAID/CAR mission to carry on secondary school-based civics textbooks and civic education work focusing on the development and implementation of tertiary-level civic education modules and teacher training seminars, as well as secondary school Student Action Committee (SAC) activities and additional summer camps. Throughout the fall of 2000, IFES continued to work with the Ministry of Education, the Republican Education Center and a number of NGOs on the approval of the new IFES civic education textbook and prepared numerous student-oriented activities and materials. Though the project was discontinued in 2001 due to a shift in USAID funding priorities, IFES developed lasting partnerships and made contributions that positively affected the difficult task of democracy development in Uzbekistan. This report seeks to capsule those efforts over the three-year period of this Cooperative Agreement.

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