International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Uzbekistan embarked on an ambitious reform path in 2017, starting to liberalize its economy after years of state control. Incomes are still relatively low compared to other emerging economies. Uzbekistan entered the COVID-19 crisis with relatively strong macro-economic fundamentals.
We discuss existing shortfalls and inequalities in the accumulation of human capital—knowledge, skills, and health. We analyze their immediate and systemic causes, and assess the scope for public intervention. The broad policy goals should be to improve: the quality, and not just the quantity, of education and health care; outcomes for disadvantaged groups; and lifelong outcomes. The means to achieve these goals, while maximizing value for money, include: focusing on results rather than just inputs; moving from piecemeal interventions to systemic reform; and adopting a “whole-of-society” approach. Reforms must be underpinned by a robust evidence base.