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Naryn Urban Resilience Program (NURP)

Program overview


NURP is a five-year project designed to help transform Naryn into a resilient urban settlement, equipped to prosper economically, socially and culturally in the challenging mountain environments of Central Asia. NURP promotes partnership between government, community, business, and international agencies to achieve the sustainable investments required for a prosperous and secure economic future for Naryn.

To support the enhancement of resilience in Naryn and cities across Central Asia, the three implementing agencies of AKDN – The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, The Aga Khan Foundation, and the University of Central Asia (UCA), with the support of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO),  have been collaborating with the Governments of Kyrgyzstan (for Naryn) and Tajikistan (for Khorog) to develop a Central Asian model for development tied to international best practice in the delivery of Urban Resilience Programming. The Naryn Urban Resilience Program is an analogue of the Khorog Urban Resilience Program and adopted/adjusted for Kyrgyzstan.  


The Role of UCA’s Graduate School of Development:


  • Certificate Program: Training high-potential government staff in urban resilience. The capacity-building ‘Certificate Program in Urban Resilience’ (CPUR) is an intensive program in promoting sustainable urban development and planning, tailored specifically for Naryn and Khorog and delivered by the University of Central Asia’s (UCA) Graduate School of Development (GSD). The content of the Certificate Program is concentrated in 30 academic credits (ECTS) accumulated across the five urban resilience pillars aligned through four key practical management themes including governance, disaster risks, management, and administration.
  • Collective Vision for Naryn: Using a Human-Centered Design Approach to gather ideas and develop city projects. Based on a design thinking methodology, UCA’s Civil Society Initiative will organize a town-wide competition "My Vision for Naryn" which will provide an opportunity for all of Naryn’s stakeholders to use design thinking tools to develop project ideas for the development of the city. A similar project was organized successfully in Khorog in 2021.
  • Collaborative Research Centre: Establishing a research hub to assess community needs and vulnerabilities. UCA’s Civil Society Institute will strengthen the long-standing partnership between UCA and Naryn State University (NSU) through a collaborative research center which will promote innovative and joint research endeavors aimed at enhancing the economic, social, cultural and environmental resilience of Naryn.
  • STEM Skills for Schoolchildren: Teaching practical STEM skills relevant to everyday life. While skills to build robots are good to acquire, motivation to learn can be stimulated by focusing on practical needs such as making house appliances function more effectively, enhancing capacity of an old bike, saving energy, and heating a home. This component is aimed at approaching STEM skills development among schoolchildren by localizing resources as much as possible as well as by making any learning experience commensurable with children’s life experiences.
  • Advisory Committee: Bringing experts together to review, validate, and guide program initiatives. The Advisory Committee – in both Khorog and Naryn – provides a platform to bring together academic experts and development practitioners, who will review, validate, and enhance the initiatives taking place under the Urban Resilience Programmes. This will ensure that interventions carried out under the programme are aligned with best practice, are adapted to the local context and resiliency inputs are incorporated throughout.
  • Proof of Concepts: Implementing quick-impact construction projects aligned with the resilient town plan. To demonstrate to stakeholders the return on investment from engaging in resilience building, several transformative construction projects are identified in consultation with the local government and communities which align with the resilient town plan and reflect the priorities for a resilient city. In Naryn, the first proof of concept project involves transforming Orozbekov Street by improving sidewalks and drainage systems and assuring maximum quality and best practice from inception to delivery.