Social protection and employment services to increase inclusiveness of persons with disabilities – workshop in Kyrgyzstan

On 23-25 November, 2022 Kyrgyzstan’s capital city of Bishkek hosted a workshop to jointly develop a concept of new social protection and employment services to increase the inclusiveness of persons with disabilities.

News | 26 November 2022
The workshop entitled "Design thinking to identify needs of persons with disabilities for supporting the design of social protection benefits enabling inclusion into labour market." was organized by the ILO project “Enhancing disability-inclusiveness of social protection system in Kyrgyzstan” funded by the European Union. The event was carried out jointly with experts from the German organization Protellus – Karg & von der Heyde GbR.

Around 30 representatives of the Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and Migration of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, the Ministry of Finance, the Federation of Trade Unions of Kyrgyzstan, the Business Association “JIA”, Association of Social Entrepreneurs (ASP), public employment service and social protection department of the Bishkek city administration,  the Kyrgyz Society of the Blind and Deaf, the Association of Disabled People of Kyrgyzstan, "Equality" Union of People with Disabilities, disabled persons and  development partners participated in the workshop.
The participants discussed the social protection and employment issues from the perspective of persons with disabilities, and identified their needs and challenges. A separate point on the agenda was prototyping, i.e. visualization and further developing ideas by making them physically tangible.

N. Cholumova, head of Department for Social Services for People with Disability and Senior Citizens, Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Migration, stressed the importance of new approaches in the implementation of social programmes.  “We hope design thinking will become a new effective approach that will allows to take into account opinions of all stakeholders”.

According to Maria Mambetalieva, head of department, Ministry of Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic, “the financial part of any government programme is vital, the budgetary approach allows for the optimization of its lines, with due regard to the development objectives”.

Marat Orozmatov, disabled person and representative of the Kyrgyz Society of the Blind and Deaf, called human-centered design process “a creative approach to problem solving.” “We have put people with disabilities at the center of the development process, and tried to create services that are tailored to our needs”, he said.

Discussions of the workshop will be analyzed by the German organization Protellus – Karg & von der Heyde GbR, which will draft a policy report with recommendations for the relevant ministries in Kyrgyzstan.

ILO Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia was represented by Jasmina Papa, Social Protection Specialist, Bolotbek Orokov, ILO National Coordinator in Kyrgyzstan, and Aida Bektasheva, national project coordinator.