Poverty Reduction in Tashkent and Fergana

Funding Organization: United States Department of State

This is a pilot project to conduct research into the various parameters of poverty in Uzbekistan as well as the means by which families can raise their socioeconomic status.

This action is being taken in coordination with the Republican Center for the Social Adaptation of Children (RCSAD) in Tashkent and Fergana, who are the direct recipients of the grant. This research will engage 200 families in assessing their socio-economic level and designing ways to improve it. The research tool being used is the Poverty Stoplight platform developed by the Fundación Paraguaya and for which Vatandosh Connect is holds the license in Uzbekistan.

Preliminary research has included contextualizing thirty-five poverty indicators for Uzbekistan, and initial field work will be conducted over several months. Research outcomes will include the establishment of a baseline as well as comparative analysis of that baseline with data collected at the completion of the initial period of field work. A full report describing the results of this research will provide guidance and recommendations for continued action.

It is expected that subsequent iterations of this action will take place on a nationwide basis. Talks about this have already begun with the Uzbek Ministry of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction.

Addressing Domestic Violence in Samarqand

Funding Organization: United States Department of State

This pilot project is conducting research into a new method of addressing the domestic violence crisis in Uzbekistan. Domestic violence has been an historical problem impacting the economic well-being and family integrity of the nation as a whole, has spiked during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This action, coordinated within Uzbekistan by Vatandosh’s partner the Republican Center for the Social Adaptation of Children (RCSAD), is focused in Samarqand. Vatandosh has contracted with Elia International Ltd of Australia for expert consultation on the project. Andrew Turrell and Penelope Turrell of Elia, who developed internationally known “Signs of Safety” program, are conducting preliminary conversations with RCSAD personnel, the concerned ministries, and mahalla (neighborhood) representatives.

The pilot project will establish an innovative paradigm of addressing domestic violence by emphasizing the role of the man in Uzbek family life and society-at-large as benefactor and protector. In this connection, the cultural and religious expertise that VICAR brings is particularly important, as this action is aiming to shift cultural norms, informed by religious values, at a fundamental level in civil society.

This action will also apply this research by training up to 80 field social workers and professionals in related fields and supporting roles to address the burgeoning challenge of domestic violence in Uzbekistan. VICAR will be on hand to address questions regarding the religious and cultural implications of the project approach.

Research results will include a comparative analysis of baseline and post-action surveys of the program participants. A full report will be written describing the impact and results of project as well as recommendations for continued action.

Enhancing Public Budget Transparency in the Nation of Uzbekistan

Funding Organization: United States Department of State

This action, taken in support of the University of Connecticut, the direct recipient of the grant, and in collaboration with the United States Department of the Treasury, is working with the Uzbekistan Ministry of Finance to enhance the delivery of the public budget program and to increase the engagement of the Uzbek public with the budgeting process and the resulting national budget.

Vatandosh Connect, and VICAR in particular, is providing support to the University of Connecticut in contextualizing the work of this action. Vatandosh Connect is also drawing on its extensive network of professional contacts within the country to contract for supporting services, including the collection and analysis of budget date; the design and execution of the website platforms for public engagement; and the design and production of educational videos.

VICAR will provide ongoing consultation regarding cultural dimensions and possible resistance within civil society to changes being implemented in the public’s relationship to the national budgeting process.

Generating an Agreement to Establish an International University in Samarqand

Colloborating Organizations: Eriell Group (Tashkent) and Colorado School of Mines (Golden, USA).

This action originated in a request to Vatandosh Connect from the Ministry of Public Education (MoPE) to create a proposal for a new international university emphasizing the English language education of public secondary school teachers. With the collaboration of officials at the University of Connecticut, Vatandosh Connect created an initial proposal. VICAR participated in the review of the cultural dimensions of this project.

Subsequently, at the request of the Eriell Group, Vatandosh sent the proposal to Eriell personnel for presentation to the corporation’s Board of Directors, who made the further request to revise the proposal to emphasize petroleum and other engineering. The University of Connecticut withdrew from the project at this point, and Vatandosh Connect found the Colorado School of Mines as the preeminently qualified partner to revise and submit the requested proposal to Eriell.

The Eriell Group and the Colorado School of Mines are in the process of concluding a contract to draw up the master plan for the initial multiyear development of the Samarqand International University.

The Diagnosis and Treatment of Children with Autism

Funding Organization: United States Department of State

This is a pilot project to address the urgent need within Uzbekistan to raise awareness of autism and to train both parents and professionals in diagnosis and treatment.

This action is being taken in coordination with the Republican Center for the Social Adaptation of Children (RCSAD) in Qarshi, who are the direct recipients of the grant. This research will train healthcare and social workers in the early diagnosis of autism, best practices in treatment in clinical and educational settings and in how to work with parents, Training will be done by personnel of the TEACHH Autism Program at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill (USA) and will engage approximately 80 trainees.