The business projects competition winners are determined

заседание ЕС

Meeting of committee of competition for financial support for development of local entrepreneurship was held on 22 November 2018 in Astana. The “Greater stakeholder engagement at local level in East and Central Kazakhstan” project implemented by “ARGO” Civil Society Development Association, Foundation for Local Government Reform (Bulgaria), Centre for Local-Self Governance Development” (East Kazakhstan oblast) and “ECOCENTER” Karagandy Regional Ecological Centre with financial support from the European Union (hereinafter referred to as EU Project) announced a competition for financial support for the development of entrepreneurship at the local level on 16 October 2018.

ЕСThe general fund of financial support under this competition is 12,000,000 (twelve million) tenge. Business projects with a budget of not less than 500,000 tenge and not more than 1,200,000 tenge may be accepted for participation in the competition. At the same time, the applicant’s own contribution should be in the amount of 10-20% of the total.

The following took part in the competition: small businesses, existing and potential individual entrepreneurs operating in the territory of the EU Project, namely:


East Kazakhstan oblast

  • Pervomaiskiy and Volchanka rural okrugs of Shemonaikha rayon
  • Glubokoe, Belousovka townships and Kozhohovo rural okrug of Glubokoe rayon

Karagandy oblast

  • Nura (Kievka) township, Akmeshit, Izendi, Zharaspai and Mynbayev rural okrugs of Nura rayon.

фото с заседания

31 applications were received for competition (17 from East Kazakhstan oblast and 14 from Karagandy oblast). As a result of competition committee meeting it was decided to provide financial support for 12 projects (5 from East Kazakhstan oblast and 7 from Karagandy oblast) totaling 12 000 000tenge. Award ceremony for winners will be held on 6 and 11 December in Oskemen and Nura township, respectively.



Participation of EU-funded Greater Stakeholder Engagement at Local Level in East and Central Kazakhstan Project at Astana Agro Forum 2018

On October 24-25 the Republican Conference on the Development of Rural Non-Governmental Organizations in the framework of Astana Agro Forum 2018 took place in Astana. Astana Agro Forum 2018 is a global government project whose main task is to increase labor productivity in Agro-industrial complexes and increase exports of processed agricultural products by 2.5 times in 10 years. The event was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Conference participants discussed the mechanisms of interaction between civil society and the state, as well as the role of non-governmental sector in the development of agriculture.

Ms Meruyert Kurmashova, Director of “ECOCENTER” Karagandy Regional Environmental Center, presented the EU-funded Greater Stakeholder Engagement at Local Level in East and Central Kazakhstan project at the conference. She also spoke about inclusive planning, which is an innovative approach to local development allowing to bring together representatives of various sectors at the local level, thus covering the larger population in rural development planning. This approach corresponds to the 97, 98 and 99 steps of the “100 steps to implement five institutional reforms” Nation Plan.

More than 100 participants of the Astana Agro Forum 2018 learned about the activities of the EU project and the use of the European method for local development in Kazakhstan



The 3rd meeting of project’s Steering Committee


On 25 September 2018 3rd meeting of project’s Steering Committee was held in the project office in Astana. Members of the Steering Committee discussed project progress for the period of December 2017 – September 2018 and its further actions.


On the 2nd Republican Forum of Trilateral Cooperation “ASAR”

 Александр Михайлов на АСАР

ALMATY OBLAST – On June 21-22, 2018  the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Civil Society held the 2nd Republican Forum of Trilateral Cooperation “ASAR” in Taldykorgan.

The purpose of the forum is to accelerate the efforts of state bodies, business and the non-governmental sector in solving local communities’ social problems.

Within the framework of the forum, the project held two master classes. Project’s Foundation for Reforming Local Governance partner’s expert Alexandr Mihaylov conducted a master class on the development of local governance and inclusive planning in Europe and Bulgaria. Master class participants asked questions about what the approach of inclusive planning implies, and whether it is possible to implement this approach in Kazakhstan.

The second master class was conducted by Project Director Abay Myrkhin. He shared with participants about how the approach of inclusive planning is implemented within the framework of the project in ten pilot rural territories. Master class participants showed interest in this approach, and also voiced their suggestions on how it could be improved.

For more information please see the link here



Broad Coverage of Project Activities, as well as the Dissemination of Experiences Outside the Pilot Oblasts

Абай Мырхин

KARAGANDY OBLAST – On January 23-24, 2018, a master class on inclusive planning was held.

Project Director Abay Myrkhin conducted a master class on inclusive planning for members of the Nura branch of the national veteran’s public association, which was attended by 20 people. The participants increased their understanding of the territorial approach to local development. The participants were also provided with information on the activities of the project in Nura rayon. Master class participants expressed a desire to participate more actively in the project activities.



Study Tour on Development of Local Self-Governance to Bulgaria

стажировка в Болгарию

From January 21 to 27, 2018, ARGO, together with the Foundation for Reforming Local Governance (Bulgaria), organized a study tour to study practical experience of  local self-governance development  in the Republic of Bulgaria and their potential application in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Eight people took part in the training, including representatives of the Ministry of National Economy, oblast, rayon and rural akimats, as well as NGOs. The reason for choosing the Republic of Bulgaria for an international study tour was the fact that the countries of Eastern Europe have a similar political structure that was historically formed in the post-Soviet period, so their experience is applicable to Kazakhstan. During the internship the participants became acquainted with issues such as providing social services at local level, involving citizens in the decision-making process at local level, holding meetings of local communities, elaboration of an annual rural development plan, collecting taxes and imposing fines at local level, urban planning for city development, and SMEs and tourism at the local level. They also learned the European LEADER approach to local development, as well as the legislative framework of local self-governance in Bulgaria and state authorities. During the study tour participants visited Sofia City Administration, the municipalities of Veliki Tarnovo, Troyan, Elena, and rural territories in these municipalities.

As a result of the training, the participants increased their knowledge on the following topics: mechanisms for the development of local self-governance, the relationship between central and local government bodies, the decision-making process for allocation of a rural budget, drawing up plans and programs for rural development, the provision of social services at local level, the role and functions of municipal mayors and other topics.


For more detailed information please visit the following link:



Results of Developing the Inclusive Plans

One of the successful examples of solving local problems through inclusive planning was the initiative conducted by the akim of Zharaspai rural okrug in Nura rayon of Karagandy oblast to establish mobile communications network.  While writing the inclusive plan, local citizens voiced their concern over the lack of a mobile network. As a result of discussions, akim Mr Bagzhan Bilyalov initiated a plan to bring mobile communication to the okrug. In January 2018 the mobile network Beeline  was successfully connected to  Zharaspai. To date, 560 people have access to a mobile network. This served as a motivation for the akim of Izendi rural okrug to bring mobile communication to their okrug as well. In the future, it’s planned for an additional 653 people to be connected to mobile communications.

Another problem that has been solved through inclusive planning is the absence of medical personnel. Earlier in  Zharaspai an outpatient clinic was built, but it did not have the necessary staff. Following discussion with local community, this was flagged as a priority issue. As a result, akim of Zharaspai invited a doctor and a nurse from the East Kazakhstan to work in this outpatient clinic. Thus, residents of the Zharaspai and nearby settlements gained access to certain types of medical services.

Additionally, it is planned to open a pharmacy and hairdressing salon in Zharaspai in 2019.



Inclusive Planning Process Implementation


From August 2017 to January 2018, the inclusive planning process was conducted in ten pilot rural territories in East Kazakhstan and Karagandy oblasts.

The project team conducted an inclusive planning process in the Glubokoe and Belousovka townships, Kozhokhovo rural okrug of Glubokoe rayon, in Pervomayskiy and Volchanskiy rural okrugs of Shemonaikha rayon of East Kazakhstan oblast, as well as in Kievka township and in Akmeshit, Izendi, Mynbayev and Zharaspai rural okrugs of Nura rayon of Karagandy oblast. The process of inclusive planning consisted of three stages:

  1. Creation of Thematic Working Groups in three focus areas in each pilot rural territory: economy and agriculture; social infrastructure and social services; engineering services and maintenance
  2. Meetings with each of the Thematic Working Groups and Planning Committees in each rural territory (a total of 90 meetings)
  3. Agreement of the inclusive plans with local communities.


These events outlined above made it possible to involve a wider audience in the process of elaborating rural development plans. In total, more than 300 people took part in the process.

As a result of the inclusive planning process, three-year development plans were developed for each pilot rural territory. These plans include an analysis of the current socio-economic situation in the pilot rural territories, priority directions for development, strategic goals and an action plan to achieve them.


Work on inclusive planning

по инклюзивному развитию

EAST KAZAKHSTAN AND KARAGANDY OBLASTS – In August and September 2017, there were held the first and second meetings of the Planning Committees and thematic subcommittees on inclusive planning.

Planning Committees and three thematic subcommittees – economy and agriculture, social services and social infrastructure, and engineering infrastructure and maintenance – were established in every aul. During the first meetings of subcommittees, joint community needs were assessed and SWOT analysis was conducted. Also, a vision of the aul development was developed for the next 5 years on every individual theme. During the second meetings, strategic goals were elaborated based on SWOT analysis and future development vision, as well as an action plan on how to achieve each of the strategic goals on every theme. In future it is planned to hold the third meetings of thematic subcommittees where an action plan on how to achieve the strategic goals will be developed.


“Inclusive Local Development Planning” master class by Ginka Kapitanova

Гинка Капитанова

ALMATY – On 29th of June, in the framework of the VIII International Conference “Insight into Development” European inclusive planning expert Ginka Kapitanova conducted a master class on “Inclusive Local Development Planning”.

The workshop was attended by 40 participants from Central Asian countries. During the workshop the participants displayed interest in an inclusive planning approach and a desire to conduct the inclusive planning process within their rural areas. The master class participants received materials with information about the European inclusive planning best practices.


Project work as part of the VIII International Conference “Insight into Development”

на конференции

Round table on topic “Innovative Approaches to Local Development”

ALMATY – On 28-29th of June, there was held the VIII International Conference “Insight into Development”.

Within the framework of the conference on June 28th the project team conducted a round table discussion on topic “Innovative Approaches to Local Development”. Representatives of the Ministry of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, akimats of pilot oblasts, and representatives of Mangystau and North Kazakhstan oblasts took part in the meeting. Besides, among participants of the event were guests from the Kyrgyz Republic and European countries. In the process of round table discussion the participants shared their experiences in applying various innovative approaches to local self-governance development.

Inclusive rural planning trainings

тренинги по инклюзивному планированию

From 22nd through 27th of June, trainings on inclusive rural planning were conducted for akims of auls and okrugs in the pilot regions of the Project. The workshops were conducted by European institutional development expert Ginka Kapitanova. More than 70 participants were involved in this activity, 40% of them were women.

In East Kazakhstan oblast the training was conducted on 22-23rd of June for representatives of akimats of the oblast, rayon and okrugs. For two days the participants acquired theoretical and practical knowledge about inclusive planning. In addition, trainer-consultant Leila Muktaganova presented information about budget planning and its effective implementation to the workshop audience. The participants displayed great interest and were actively involved in the trainings. On 26-27th of June, 2017 a similar training was conducted in Kiyevka aul of Nura rayon in Karagandy oblast for representatives of the akimat of Nura rayon, CSOs, local community chairmen, entrepreneurs and for 23 akims of okrugs. Akims demonstrated their interest in the Project and willingness to enhance local self-governance to promote local economic development.

Project launching in regions


On 26th of May and 16th of June, 2017, round tables were conducted in Oskemen and Karagandy on launching the Inclusive Planning for Local Development project in regions. More than 30 people participated in the activities, among them were oblast and rayon akimats officials, representatives of stakeholders and Project experts.  

The project team presented the Project overall objectives, ways of implementing them and action plans aimed at developing inclusive planning processes. Participants of the meetings shared their opinions on the necessity of self-governance development in regions and expressed their support of implementation of the Inclusive Planning for Local Development project.

During the meetings 10 rural okrugs in two oblasts were selected as pilot rayons, namely – Glubokoye and Belousovka auls, Kozhokhovskiy okrug of Glubokoe rayon, Pervomaiskiy and Volchanskiy okrugs of Shemonaiha rayon in EKO. In Karagandy oblast, Kiyevka, Zharaspai, Izendi, Mynbayeva, Akmeshit okrugs of Nura rayon were selected as pilot rayons.

As a result of the meetings held between akimats of the pilot rayons, regional partners and ARGO, memorandums of cooperation were signed which main goal was to implement the Project successfully in the territory of both pilot oblasts.

Cooperation with Project beneficiaries

рабочие встречи в Караганде

On 30th of May, working meetings of the Inclusive Planning for Local Development project team with representatives of oblast and rayon akimats and representatives of the maslikhat were held in Karagandy oblast.  

The project team met with secretary of the maslikhat of Karagandy oblast Kairat Nurkenov and Deputy chief of the akim administration of Karagandy oblast Daulat Yeshkeyev. During the meeting, the Project specific objectives and activities were presented, as well as ways of implementing them were considered. As a result of the meeting, an agreement was reached with representatives of the executive branch concerning further joint activity.