Heller Profiles

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University

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Davron Mirsagatov

Uzbekistan

MA-SID '16

Youth are not only our future, but our present

Davron Mirsagatov believes youth participation is the key to any development process.

An exchange program in rural Texas affirmed to Davron Mirsagatov, MA-SID’16, the importance of doing small things for one’s community. His experiences volunteering with his host family inspired him to become more active in his home country of Uzbekistan. Upon returning, he represented his high school in the UNESCO-supported “League of Schools Towards Future without AIDS,” an initiative that carried out peer education activities on topics related to HIV/AIDS and sexual reproductive health, which are two sensitive topics in Uzbekistan.

After graduating with a degree in Political Science, Davron served as a fellow at the United Nations Population Fund Headquarters in New York. While there, he learned about the UN’s strong record of assisting countries in designing programs and policies on youth development. Committed to ensuring that “young people [in Uzbekistan] have a voice,” Davron moved to the UNFPA office in Uzbekistan, where he coordinated the newly launched peer education network by developing its structure and mobilizing volunteers. As a result of this network, thousands of young Uzbeks strengthened their knowledge about HIV and reproductive rights.

After three years with the UNFPA, Davron joined the U.S. embassy to oversee small grant programs that support civil society development in Uzbekistan. “My experience at the US embassy was challenging, yet fulfilling,” he says.  

Davron admits that supporting grassroots initiatives and seeing positive change happening, albeit gradually, gave his job greater meaning.  

Immediately prior to joining the SID Program, Davron served as international UN Volunteer in Ukraine, coordinating a project that leveraged sports as a catalyst to involve young people in community development.   

Through the SID Program, Davron hopes to build strong relationships and widen his knowledge base so that he can better understand the theory behind development work. He says, “it is important to include communities in decision making”—and this is what he hopes to do once he leaves the Heller School.

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