Series of events by the World Bank's Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Unit in Bishkek
April 16-18, 2013Bishkek, the Kyrgyz Republic

Bishkek, April 12, 2013 – The World Bank’s Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Unit is pleased to invite civil  society organizations, youth, think tanks and academia to discuss highlights from the World Bank’s recent research on poverty issues in the Kyrgyz Republic at a series of events to be held in the week of April 16 -17-18, 2013, in Bishkek.

Simultaneous Russian-English translation will be provided at all of the above mentioned events. 


09.00-12.00   “Gender and Health” Workshop at Park Hotel (87, Orozbekova Street)

During this event, Ms. Sarosh Sattar (Sr. Economist and Gender Coordinator, Department of Europe and Central Asia, World Bank) and the World Bank’s Health team, including the members of the Health Policy Analysis Center under the KR Ministry of Health, will present three reports which focus on the state of economic opportunities and health in the Kyrgyz Republic as related to women.

The first report on Gender Disparities in Endowments and Access to Economic Opportunities provides an overview of the gender disparities in three major domains - human capital (including health), labor market and entrepreneurship in the country. The Maternal Mortality in the Kyrgyz Republic report presents an analysis of the maternal mortality trends and its determinants, reviews national programs oriented at mother’s health and evaluates antenatal care delivered by health organizations at rayon and oblast levels of the country. The third report on Health Equity and Financial Protection looks at inequalities in health care utilization and whether health program in the sector disproportionately benefit the better off or the poor—that is, benefit incidence analysis.

16.00-17.00     “Poverty Profile and Regional Welfare Disparities in the Kyrgyz Republic”           Public Lecture at the University of Central Asia Office in Bishkek (138, Toktogula Street)

This open lecture will be based on the recent WB report, which attempts to explain regional (oblast level) welfare disparities in the Kyrgyz Republic. The main author of report and presenter is Mr. Aziz Atamanov (WB Consultant).


Every country has places where living standards are lower than the national average. The welfare disparities between and within regions may stem from the concentration of people with better demographic and human capital characteristics (concentration hypothesis) or due to the differences in returns to these characteristics (geography hypothesis). The recent poverty profile demonstrates how poverty varies with geography and how it is affected by different household-level attributes. The analysis also shows that welfare disparities are particularly striking between Bishkek and other regions, for example, the poverty rate in Naryn region is 50 percent versus 18 percent in the capital. The main goal of the paper is, therefore, to analyze regional disparities in the Kyrgyz Republic by quantifying the relative contribution to welfare disparities of characteristics and the returns to characteristics. Welfare disparities will be analyzed between and within the regions of the Kyrgyz Republic. In addition, the role of returns and characteristics in explaining welfare disparities both at the mean and across the distribution using Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition and its extensions is quantified.


09.00-12.00     “Regional Dimensions of Poverty” Workshop at Park Hotel (87, Orozbekova Street)

During this event, the World Bank and KR National Statistical Committee team will present the results of the poverty mapping exercise for the Kyrgyz Republic (i.e. estimation of poverty at the district/rayon levels). Poverty maps will be used in conjunction with other geo-referenced maps of socio economic indicators (of education, employment, access to infrastructure) to aid the visual depiction of spatial disparities.  Given importance of the location specific characteristics of poor areas, the market accessibility index is estimated and compared to maps of socio economic indicators. The workshop will also discuss whether regional disparities in welfare are related to concentration of people with unfavorable characteristics or to higher productivity/returns in particular areas.  


13.00-14.30     “Spatial Aspects of Poverty: Importance of Market Access” Public Lecture at the American University of Central Asia (205, Abdymomunova Street)

Speaker Bio:

Mr. Nobuo Yoshido is a Senior Economist at the Poverty Reduction and Equity Unit of the World Bank. He holds Ph.D in Economics from Boston University (USA) and has been widely published in leading professional journals. His current research interest lies in the areas of measuring and analysis of poverty and inequality, multidimensionality and spatial aspects of poverty.

Access to markets and social services is among major determinants of economic status and welfare. Measurement of access is therefore of great importance for policy analysis and planning of interventions. The objective of the presentation is to expose students to the way of measuring and visualising accessibility—a potential accessibility index—and its applications. This index gauges connectivity of a specific location to large cities while taking into account the population of the cities or other destinations of interest and the transportation facilities to reach them. The potential accessibility index is used in the empirical literature to test the hypotheses from the ‘New Economic Geography’ regarding the impact of market access on regional economic growth. Along with recent developments in poverty mapping, this index could also be used to investigate the spatial relationship between poverty and market access. Accessibility indexes are gradually gaining acknowledgement of policy makers and development practitioners as important monitoring instruments of development.


For more information, please contact:

Dinara Akmatbekova, (+ 996 312) 45-40-40,
Aibek Baibagysh Uulu, (+ 996 312) 45-40-40,