Public Lecture - Active Labour Market Policies in the Kyrgyz Republic: Addressing Employment Barriers for a More Inclusive Labour Market?

4 June, 2024


Date and Time: 4 June 2024, 15:15 – 16:20 (Bishkek time, GMT +6)
Venue: In person - OSCE Academy Conference Hall, 1A Botanichesky pereulok, Bishkek
Zoom Webinar - 
Lecturer: Eugenia Pesci
Registration link:
Language: English
Organizers: OSCE Academy



The labour market in Kyrgyzstan has undergone significant changes since 1991, characterized by a shift from wage employment to self-employment, informal employment, and mass labour migration. Despite the establishment of a public employment service (PES) providing “passive” and “active” measures to support the unemployed, unemployment remains a hidden phenomenon. The emphasis on active labour market policies (ALMPs), particularly vocational training and paid public works, has limitations, failing to address the diverse needs of individuals and to promote social inclusion. Recent initiatives targeting poor households and vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities, youth, rural women, and returning migrants mark a promising shift towards a more inclusive labour market. Nevertheless, there are challenges, including donor dependency, potential negative consequences of strict conditionality, and a focus on a “work-first” approach. This policy brief argues that there is a need for more comprehensive labour market policies in Kyrgyzstan that not only enhance employability, but also focus on the quality of opportunities they provide. Structural constraints such as limited funding and human resources within the PES are analysed and recommendations for improvement are given to policymakers and donors. This policy brief was written by Eugenia Pesci and Kairatbek Dzhamangulov.



15:15 - 15:25   Opening remarks

       OSCE Academy moderator

15:25 - 16:00   Policy Brief Presentation – Active Labour Market Policies in the Kyrgyz Republic: Addressing Employment Barriers for a More Inclusive Labour Market?                            

       Eugenia Pesci 

Doctoral researcher at the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki, and Associate Research Fellow at the OSCE Academy.

16:00 - 16:30    Q&A Session


About the Speakers & the Fellowship

Eugenia Pesci is a doctoral researcher at the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki. She is a Marie Curie early-stage Researcher in the Horizon 2020-funded International Training Network “Markets”. Her research focuses on the development of labour market and employment policies in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. She is interested in analysing how global active labour market policies are translated and adapted in the context of highly informalised labour markets, by investigating how the notion of unemployment is being constructed through the activation framework in social policy. She is particularly interested in the perspective of the local bureaucracies and in understanding how they translate the policies into practices at the street-level. Methodologically, her study relies on in-depth interviews with a wide range of local and international stakeholders, participant observation, and analysis of official legislation, policies, programs, and reports. She holds a Master's degree in East European Studies from the University of Bologna, Italy.

Kairatbek Dzhamangulov is pursuing an advanced doctorate at the Center for Social Research at the Institute of Philosophy, Law and Socio-Political Research of the National Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic. He defended his PhD at the Institute of Economics and Industrial Production of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Novosibirsk. His research focuses on youth migration from Central Asia to Russia. He is currently an advisor to the Kyrgyz-German project “Promoting Employment and Vocational Training,” implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Government.

The OSCE Academy Associate Research Fellowship (ARF) was launched in 2017 and aims to support PhD Candidates and/or Post-Doctoral researchers in conducting their research projects and provide institutional affiliation to independent researchers. The length of the fellowship is from six to twelve months and is open for Bishkek-based and non-Bishkek residents. The ​Academy provides Fellows ​with ​access to the library and all available online resources as well as ​with ​an opportunity to present their research ​and to​ deliver a lecture to students and the public. The Academy assists the ​A​ssociate Research Fellows to make a presentation on her​/his​ research and to publish their results in one of the OSCE Academy’s  outlets.


QR Code to the Research Paper

Back to list