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Partnership of Public Councils and Media as a democratic platform for promoting freedom of expression, accountability and human rights (2019-2021)

Due to the Corona Pandemic, the project was extended by an emergency plan in March 2020. Already planned activities were postponed indefinitely, instead an online headquarters was created, which will keep the public informed of the latest events on the situation in the regions.

The project created a taskforce, which is composed of our project team, regional mass media, representatives of local government bodies, civil society representatives, civic activists, and members of small community councils (overall around 100 individuals).

The emergency response plan of the project aims to assist and support the Government and citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic in providing the necessary response measures that will help to inform the population of the country on particularly important topics, which in turn will affect the reduction of outbreaks of COVID 19 in Kyrgyzstan.

The headquarters works online based on the created group in WhatsApp. Information entering the group is published on the project’s social networks, Facebook page of the project.

Working title of the project “Open communities – open media”

Brief description:

The project supports promotion of freedoms and protection of human rights through the formation and maintenance of a free information space, freedom of speech and expression in Kyrgyzstan. It promotes:

  1. free expression of various opinions on problems in society and public policy through increasing the media literacy of public councils at local and national levels
  2. fulfilment of the right of access to information and to the activities of accountable state bodies and institutions through a targeted media program
  3. improvement of inter-sectoral dialogue promoting free exchange of ideas, opinions, and information to allow members of society to form their own opinions on issues of public importance

Brief information on key activities:

The project will start with an assessment and analysis of the capacity gaps/needs assessment of target groups - right holders and duty-bearers – central and local authorities.

Interaction of local and state bodies with the media in the context of maintaining a free information space, freedom of speech and expression in Kyrgyzstan will be supported by organising public platforms in the regions, with the participation of public councils, civil society activists and government officials and journalists.

To interest and involve media experts in the project, local and national competitions for journalists and public councils will be organised.

Live broadcasts with the participation of the Ombudsman, legal specialists and other experts will be organised. Appeals of citizens on infringement upon their rights and injustice will be promptly responded and legal advice provided.

A country-wide needs-based training series for target groups will be offered, mini-grants to Public Councils working in partnership with media partners provided, training manuals, guides on the human right protection for vulnerable groups, information brochures, videos, reels and other publications produced in Kyrgyz and Russian languages.

Projected results will include:

  1. Promoted free expression of various opinions on problems in society and public policy and increased media literacy of public councils.
  2. Strengthened fulfilment of the right of access to information and to the activities of accountable state bodies and institutions through a targeted media programme.
  3. Improved inter-sectoral dialogue promoting free exchange of ideas, opinions and information and enabling members of society to form their own opinions on issues of public importance.

Duration: 01/11/2019 – 31/10/2021 (24 months)

Location/s: Kyrgyzstan (country-wide)

Implementing Partners: Resource Center for Elderly (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan), Generation 21 (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan), Gustav-Stresemann-Institut (Bonn, Germany) and Pro NGO! e. V. (Koeln, Germany)

For further information please refer to
www.gsi-projects.eu
https://www.facebook.com/rce.kg/
https://www.facebook.com/923324101176608/posts/1624115887764089.