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Enterprises in ethnic conflict zones

The decision structureFive entrepreneurs had approached the team and each of them was interested in project assistance in developing their businesses: "Pasta", one came with a proposition for a new line of pasta; "Medicine", a second had a plan to produce medical herbs; "Dried Fruit + Vegetables", a third had a proposal to produce dried fruit and vegetables; "Honey", the fourth with an idea to harvest and ship honey and "Milling", an owner of a private mill wanted to expand its flour production.Selection criteriaThe aim of the project is the economical development of five businesses able to contribute to the economic and social development and an improvement in the relation between the ethnic groups in the Uzgen region. As budget is limited, the project has to make a selection based on the following Goals: "Peace", the enterpreneur who is best in solving ethnical conflicts; "Economy", the enterprise that is most viable economically and "Labour", the proposal that creates the most jobs.

Enterprise Development and Ethnicity

The project’s business development experts calculated, for each of the five business proposals, the indicators for Economy and Labour. These, together with the findings and outcome of the opinion survey, are entered into tables of an Excel workbook. By linking these data to the sheets where the aims and objectives are given weight values, in a sheet named "Ranking" the five enterprises are ranked in order of priority.All the data are entered in an Excel workbook. This workbook contains three groups of sheets: One with the data on the five enterprises. In the second group of sheets weighting is possible to put a weight on the three goals and objectives. The third group shows the ranking of the five proposals of the enterprises. The contents of the excel workbook sheets is shown in the PDF file here on the left. The last pages of the PDF file show examples on how the changing in weights has an effect on the priority ranking of the fields to be demined. To open this PDF file, click on the button at the left. A click on the "Movie ON" buton shows in a movie the Exel sheets and the effects of weighting on ranking. The Excel file also can be obtained. A click on the button opens a secured "PayPal" site where after having paid €10 for the file with Paypal or a credit card, it will be possible in "Click2Pay" to download the file.

In ConclusionThe example shows that, when preparing a project, it is possible to address a sensitive issue like ethnic diversity. As long as the issues at stake are well differentiated, their relative importance assessed and made visible and the extent to which they can influence the selected outcome is known, there is a big chance that such an issue as ethnic diversity can be discussed objectively. Moreover since this subject is to be openly discussed and accepted as a goal from the beginning of the project, it can be monitored and evaluated more easily later.Finally, it shows that with the use of Excel, a popular program available on every PC, a person who is familiar with its commands can easily make a workbook application that can also meet the needs of sensitive issues such as ethnic tensions.

IntroductionIn many parts of the world people of different ethnic origin live together. This might give reason for tension and social disturbance. How to address it in a pro-active manner is a challenging undertaking. The example of a choice structure on this page addresses this issue. It is situated in the South of Kyrgyzstan and involves the planning of a Small Enterprise Development project in Uzgen, an old town in the most eastern part of the Fergana Valley. In 1990 there had been serious conflicts in the city and in the nearby city of Osh between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz ethnic groups. In 2004, there were no open conflicts but the relations between the two ethnic groups were tense. A few years later in 2009, a small outbreak occurred in the city of Nookat, more to the south. Kyrgyz policemen forced a group of Uzbeks, who were celebrating a holiday in the streets, to return home. In 2010 the tension exploded and approximately 2000 people most of them Uzbeks were killed mainly in the cities of Osh and Jalalabad.

In 2004 a project in the development of small enterprises also aimed at better inter-ethnic co-operation. Their experts had professionally assessed and calculated economic and technical data of five plans of entrepreneurs who were interested in project support and they were able to present a clear picture of the present and the future situation of each proposal. They had given sufficient attention to the effect these plans would have on the creation of labour and on enterprise development. They however, had paid no attention to the aim of improving inter-ethnic cooperation.

It was decided to conduct an opinion survey amongst a total of 42 local business men, religious leaders and government officials to ask their opinion on which of these five entrepreneurs they considered best suited to contribute to the inter-ethnical peace process in their region, based on the ability of the entrepreneur and on the nature of his proposed plan. Using this information, a ranking could be made of the plans that would have the best chance of contributing to the peace process. Grouping the respondents according their ethnic background was considered but the management judged this as too politically sensitive.In most cases the religious leaders were of Uzbek and the government officials of Kyrgyz background, so by putting more or less weight to one or the other, one could still indirectly assess this aspect. The ethnic background in the group of businessmen was mixed.

Uzgen at the edge of the Fergana valey

A small enterprise, a butchery with in front a Kyrgyz with his Kalpak on and on the chair an Uzbek.

PEACE

ECONOMY

LABOUR

Peace divides into: Business based on the opinions of colleague entrepreneurs; Religion based on the opinions of religious leaders and Government, based on the opinions of government officials

distinguishing the business plan that might make the largest Profit and the plan that would require smallest Investment

divides into three: The entreprise that would create most jobs for the Youth; that which would create the most jobs for Women and the one that would create most jobs Overall.

This makes a choice structure as shown here

Drying of vegetables is often done along the side of the road

Bee keeping and honey production is a profitable undertaken

Present flour processing

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