Research on the Needs of Civil Society in Uzbekistan

Funding Organization: The Oak Foundation
Dates of Action: November 2018-October 2019

This action investigated the current needs of civil society in Uzbekistan. Vatandosh personnel conducted extensive research into all aspects of the cultural, educational, economic, and environmental life of the nation, including a six-week in-country visit.

This investigation revealed that the integrity of the Uzbek family is the central challenge of Uzbekistan today. Through emphases placed by professional social workers, attention initially focused on the deinstitutionalization of children placed in orphanages. Subsequently, that focus was widened to include domestic violence and poverty as underlying issues.

It was the experience of Vatandosh in this project, and the lack of formally trained academic capacity, that eventually led to the establishment of VICAR.

Colloquium on Orphanage Deinstitutionalization in Uzbekistan

Funding Organization: The Oak Foundation
Collaborating Organizations: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University
Dates of Action: March 2019-July 2019

This action arose directly out of the original action “Research on the Needs of Civil Society in Uzbekistan”. In May 2019, Vatandosh Connect, in collaboration with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University, convened a colloquium of representative of the Government of Uzbekistan, Uzbek NGOs, UNICEF, and the Columbia School of Social Work. This colloquium examined the dynamics of the orphanage system in Uzbekistan and possible components of an overall action for deinstitutionalization.

A concrete result of this colloquium was the formation of the Uzbekistan Working Group on Alternative Care (UWGAC) which included most of the participants of the colloquium. The UWGAC remains available as a core group for continued work on deinstitutionalization of the orphanage system.

In this action, as was the case in the original project on “Research on the Needs of Civil Society in Uzbekistan”, Vatandosh experienced that its ability to undertake the work it is now engaged it would be greatly advanced by the establishment of VICAR.