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Call for applications: summer school on social cohesion

Young boys in Kyrgyzstan
Young boys in Kyrgyzstan. Photo: Damir Esenaliev

SIPRI and the University of Central Asia (UCA) are pleased to invite applicants to a summer school on social cohesion in Kyrgyzstan. Read the announcement in Russian (pdf).

Social cohesion has emerged over the last two decades as an important concept in both academic and political discourse. Quality of connections and cooperation between people and groups is essential to stability and development. Social cohesion—convergence across groups in society—provides a structure that helps ensure greater degrees of predictability and certainty in inter- and intra-group relations. While there is no guarantee that all groups within a society will agree on all issues, convergence across groups offers an incentive for groups to coexist as a peaceful society.

The summer school ‘Social Cohesion: Concept, Implementation and Impact Evaluation’ is a capacity-building activity for researchers, practitioners and policymakers in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia. It is organized as part of the ‘Social Cohesion through Community-based Development’ project implemented in Kyrgyzstan from 2014 to 2017 and funded by the World Bank and the Aga Khan Foundation. The project aims to identify, pilot and build capacity for social cohesion mechanisms in community-driven development approaches.

The summer school will be held on 11–18 June 2017 and will cover the following topics:

  • Concept of social cohesion;
  • Measurement of social cohesion using micro-data from Kyrgyzstan;
  • Application of social cohesion as a development intervention outcome, such as in impact evaluation studies; and
  • Processing and analyzing micro-data using the statistical package Stata. 


Key instructors and speakers include Professor Kathryn Anderson (Vanderbilt University), Dr Damir Esenaliev (SIPRI), Dr Mandi M. Larsen (Jacobs University Bremen) and Dr Kanat Tilekeyev (UCA).


Important dates

5 April 2017 : Application deadline

10 April 2017 : Shortlisted applicants contacted

5 May 2017 : Online preparatory course deadline

12 May 2017 : Successful applicants contacted

11–18 June 2017 : Summer school in Kyrgyzstan



The summer school will take place from 11 to 18 June 2017. The languages of instruction will be Russian and English. Simultaneous translation will be provided. Sessions will include lectures, class discussions, group work, case study exercises and statistical analysis.

Upon successful completion of the summer school, participants will receive a certificate of attendance.


Requirements for applicants

  • A Bachelor or Master degree in social sciences;
  • Knowledge of basic statistics (both the online selection component and the summer school will include statistics exercises); and
  • Working knowledge of English is desirable (participants are expected to work with Stata software and read literature in English).     


Researchers, primarily young professors, PhD students, development practitioners, and policy analysts from government, international agencies and civil society organizations based in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) are encouraged to apply.



Participation is free of charge for up to 20 successful applicants and will cover tuition, regional travel expenses based on reasonable and average air and bus ticket prices, return travel from Bishkek to Issyk-Kul, accommodation and food. Additional spaces are available for self-funded participants.

Participants are required to bring their own laptops to the summer school, with MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint software installed. The Stata statistical package will be provided by the summer school organizers.


Application submission

Applicants should submit, in English or Russian:

  • A CV; and
  • A two-page motivation essay highlighting the relevance and potential benefit of the summer school's topic to applicant's work, research or studies. The essay should also describe the applicant's experience with quantitative research methods and statistical analysis.


These should be submitted via email to with ‘Summer School Application’ in the subject line.

The application deadline is 5 April 2017. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted by 10 April 2017.


Compulsory preparatory course

Shortlisted applicants will be required to complete an online three-week preparatory course that includes reading research materials on social cohesion, survey and impact evaluation methods, and assignments on basic statistics. The deadline for completing and submitting this course is 5 May 2017. Successful applicants will be contacted by 12 May 2017.


Location and contact information 

The location of the summer school is Raduga Resort, Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan.

Queries are to be sent to Damir Esenaliev, Guljan Asylbek kyzy (SIPRI), and Aida Bolotbekova (UCA) by email to                                                  


About the project

The ‘Social Cohesion through Community-based Development’ project has two main components: an intervention component implemented by the Aga Khan Foundation Kyrgyz Republic (AKF Kgz) through its Mountain Societies Development Support Programme in Kyrgyzstan (MSDSP KG), and a research and evaluation component implemented by SIPRI and UCA. The project is funded by the World Bank and the Aga Khan Foundation.


Similar activities in the past

Read about the previous summer schools on labour markets held in summer 2014 and on impact evaluation methods held in summer 2015.

The organizing institutions are part of the Life in Kyrgyzstan Study, which is a research-based, open access, multi-topic longitudinal survey of households and individuals in Kyrgyzstan. The survey was first conducted in 2010 and it tracks the same 3,000 households and 8,000 individuals over time in all seven Kyrgyz regions (oblasts) and the two cities of Bishkek and Osh. The data is representative nationally and at the regional level (East, West, North, South). The survey interviews all adult household members about household demographics, assets, expenditure, migration, employment, agricultural markets, shocks, social networks, subjective well-being and many other topics.   


Organizing institutions


Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

SIPRI is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. Established in 1966, SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public.


University of Central Asia’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration

The University of Central Asia’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration provides in-depth analysis of Central Asian economic policies and quality professional development opportunities for civil servants in the region.


International Security and Development Center

The International Security and Development Center (ISDC) provides evidence-based analysis and policy advice on the interactions of security, conflict, violence and fragility with socio-economic development, growth, employment and poverty alleviation. ISDC is based in Berlin and collaborates with a broad range of partners in academia, policy making and practice.