Official launch of the “IshtApp” mobile application for job-match between the unemployed and employers, and online trainings Welcoming Remarks by UNDP Resident Representative, Louise Chamberlain

May 6, 2022

Good morning to you all! Thank you for being here with us in celebrating the official launch of the mobile application “IshtApp”. We are very excited about today’s event, which signals the end of a preparations, and hopefully the beginning of a new era for job search in Kyrgyzstan.

We all know, how COVID-19 pandemic has had a large negative impact on economic activity and on the levels of poverty across the country. In the labour market we see unemployment rising and vacant posts dropping, and a central question is of course how workers can overcome this crisis and be able to search for new jobs; and for companies, having access to the right talent is a critical success factor.

UNDP’s response to the COVID-19 crisis in Kyrgyzstan aims to leverage digital disruption and green growth for better recovery, governance and social protection. Our ambition is guided by the principle of Leaving no-one behind and protecting those most vulnerable to the risk of exclusion. The joint ADB-UNDP-Government Socio-economic impact assessment of COVID 19 published in July 2020 clearly indicated that workers in the informal sector are among those most negatively affected by this pandemic. But the pandemic has also brought opportunities, and the digital economy offers a recovery path that is more equitable and green.

The application that we are launching here today has been developed in the context of the UN’s COVID-19 Socio-Economic Response and within a project to support an inclusive and multi-sectoral response to COVID-19 and addressing its socio-economic impact in the Kyrgyz Republic. I would like to first of all thank the Government of Japan for its support, which has enabled UNDP to mitigate the socio-economic effects of COVID-19 and support for not just recovery, but for building back better.

We very much appreciate the endorsement by Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, through the Ministry of Digital Development and the Ministry of Health and Social Development and for all the support offered in promotion of this initiative, both online and offline.

I would like to also thank the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and Joachim Fritz personally for generously and in a true spirit of partnership agreeing to transfer the platform’s prototype designed by GIZ and enabling UNDP to take further this endeavour, for the sake of thousands of users and those in need across Kyrgyzstan.

The platform IshtApp offers a solution for the unemployed and employers to get real-life, interactive responses to meet their needs in searching jobs and adequate workforce respectively. It is targeted to help the recently unemployed, many of whom were working in the shadow economy, such as daily workers and returning migrants (including women, youth, minorities, etc.) to register online in the database, linking to new employment opportunities through an innovative matching system and accessing skills upgrading services.

In addition, the analytical insights, generated through Artificial Intelligence from the data collected – disaggregated by geographical location, rural/urban, disability, gender identity, migrant status, nationality, level of education, household type and composition, and so on – will serve policymakers, businesses and the unemployed to help develop more effective labour market policies and strategies. The platform will serve as an effective tool to increase our understanding of job market trends, dynamics in seasonal labor force change, sectoral demand and supply.

The ishtApp application also has the potential to leverage other public solutions, including the Learning portal of the Ministry of Digital Development.

Another important objective is to leverage Medium and Small Enterprises as key players in increasing the resilience of the national economy. The investments that enabled the development of ishtApp helps bring the supply and demand side of the labour market together, with focus on the most vulnerable target groups. And already in the first few days, more than 1,000 users have downloaded the app.

UNDP will make every effort together with all partners to make this tool successful, by creating effective, easy and convenient condition for citizens not only to find suitable jobs, but to provide opportunities to learn new skills in the rapidly changing environment of the labor market.

Let me reiterate our appreciation to the Government of Japan and His Excellency Ambassador Maeda for our continuing excellent cooperation. The Government of Japan responded swiftly to the COVID pandemic crisis by providing immediate support through UNDP in record time to swiftly deliver socioeconomic recovery assistance in 29 countries across 4 continents, and we are glad that in this regard, Kyrgyzstan was made a priority.

No doubt there are extraordinary socio-economic challenges that remain ahead. By working together in multi-stakeholder partnership, with government, civil society, private sector and development partners, let us continue joint efforts towards supporting the implementation in recovery and to regain the path towards  sustainable human development to meet the SDGs by 2030.

Thank you very much!  Spasibo!  Chon’ rahmat!