ISAR-Central Asia


ul. Shagabutdinova 128, k. 7
480004 Almaty
Tel: 67-71-88
Contact: Jennifer Gable

ISAR, the Institute for Social Action and Renewal in Eurasia, established its Almaty office in 1993 to support the environmental movement in Central Asia and the development of local environmental NGOs. ISAR believes that "providing training to local activists and grassroots groups, and financial support to help them realize concrete projects is the most effective way to encourage citizen activism and public awareness of the region's environmental problems."

Since 1993, ISAR Almaty has administered a small grants program through USAID that has awarded approximately $480,000 to over 360 NGO projects. It also offers information and technical support to NGOs, including individualized training in e-mail, desktop publishing and other computer skills. In 1997, ISAR supplied dozens of computers and modems to NGOs in all five republics, and provides free e-mail accounts to environmentalists in Kazakstan.

ISAR Almaty and the Global Environmental Facility Small Grants Program, Kazakstan, are currently working on a demonstration climate change project in Aralsk, Kazakstan. The Maternity and Obstetrics Hospital in Aralsk regularly loses power. The project was initiated to provide the hospital of Aralsk with wind-powered electricity. As part of the project, a local NGO, Ana Umiti, will conduct a public awareness campaign, including the distribution of Kazak and Russian-language materials on simple measures people can adopt to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and combat climate change.

ISAR Almaty maintains a database of Central Asian environmental NGOs and disseminates information about funding opportunities to them. It also conducted a World Bank project in 1997 to organize public forums for NGOs, and a project supported by the Turner Foundation to conduct seminars on successful NGO projects that can be easily replicated.

A section of the site is now an article archive with full-text and graphic articles from Surviving Together and from Give & Take, ISAR's new journal. Many of the articles, which are organized by country, are on NGOs in Central Asia. If you would like to visit the archive, you can access it from our homepage at, or directly at

A print version of much of the information contained in this Central Asian Third Sector Organizations section can be found in Civil Society in Central Asia (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1999).

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Last updated:    November 1998