From Kyrgyzstan with love – a documentary on communities and mining

“I love my country, Kyrgyzstan. I love the scenery, I love the people of Kyrgyzstan and I want to see my country flourish so that the people find satisfaction in their lives, so that they benefit from our natural resources and so that our country remains as beautiful as ever.”

So says Kalia Moldogazieva as she sets off on a journey to two different mining areas in her country – one where she has been able to work closely with local authorities, mining companies and the community and one where she has not been in six years.

Kalia’s goal, and that of her NGO Tree of Life, a PWYP member, is to help local communities living in extractive regions access information and be empowered to take part in decisions made over how projects are carried out and where the mining profits of their districts should be directed.

PWYP members have said in the past that communities who are not listened to are more likely to engage in direct action or indeed violence in a bid to be heard. Unlike the rhetoric spouted by some, communities do not seek to impede modernity or progress, but to have their concerns and grievances heard and addressed. In Kyrgyzstan, this is a crucial issue as conflicts in mining areas break out regularly and rarely obtain positive results.

Watch this film to see Kalia’s journey unfold and find out what happens where dialogue is promoted, or where voices are ignored.

What members said of the film at its screening in Kiev:

Anila Hajnaj (Albania):

When I watched it the first thought was to stand up and hit the road! We can’t remain sitting still. It’s a big signal for civil society and those who sit in the MSG should make a serious difference. Very dramatic film!

Larysa Mykytko (Ukraine)

I liked so much the beautiful nature and those words of Kalia that she loved her country touched me a lot and echoed in my heart. I looked at those terrible conditions of roads that reminded me a bit of Ukraine and I wondered how the government can remain indifferent? The life of local population seemed so undeserving.. How can we use EITI to claim more accountability from the government?

Zhanibek Khassan (Kazakhstan)

I really liked the video, especially the close up filming. Seeing the sick people in the hospital really touched me. This film not only informs of crucial issues but emboldens fellow campaigners in PWYP coalition to take an action.

Testing the PWYP coalition model

The Overseas Development Institute carried out a study testing PWYP’s coalition model. Below is the introduction, click here to read the full report.

Introduction

Since its inception in June 2002, the PWYP campaign coalition has grown from a few UK-based organisations to become a global network of more than 700 organisations in almost 60 countries organised into a fairly loose alliance of affiliated national coalitions. Some of these coalitions share the same PWYP brand and logo, while others have distinct and independent identities. All, however, share the same status of affiliation, without differentiation.

With the growth and evolution of the global campaign has come two particular challenges. Firstly increasing demands on the international secretariat for coordination and support to national coalitions far outstrip its current capacities. Secondly, despite the important achievements of the campaign at the international level, national coalitions continue to face numerous operational challenges, which undermine their effectiveness to advance the advocacy agenda at national level. These problems are to be found at different levels and to differing degrees, though they are present in almost all coalitions in the resource-rich countries.

With this in mind, this study has two primary objectives:

1.     To test the organisational theory of change (“the coordinated, collective actions of a diverse coalition of organisations will be most effective in driving policy change for greater extractive industry transparency”) and assess the extent (and where, why and how) to which this theory has been proven at national level (or not).

2.     To assess the operational difficulties of coalitions and to recommend good practices for how coalitions can best be managed and supported.

The study began with a review of 10 country coalitions, selected in consultation with the International Secretariat: Ghana, Niger, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Chad, Indonesia, Australia, US and UK. Of the ten countries, field trips were conducted in first four while the remaining six were studied remotely through telephone interviews. 

After preliminary analysis of the country reviews, a number of common themes were identified.  These were tested across a wider sample of opinion through a Delphic consultation conducted through two mechanisms at the PWYP conference in Amsterdam in 2012 – an instant vote system of up to 100 delegates within a session at the conference, and distribution of a paper questionnaire to all participants who were then able to answer on paper or online. The survey received 54 responses.

Read the rest of the report.