European Union to support a territorial approach to local development in Kazakhstan

On 23rd of January, 2020 a closing conference of the Greater Stakeholder Engagement at the local level inEast and Central Kazakhstan and Auyldy Birlese Damytu projects was held in Nur-Sultan. Both projects are aimed at introducing new mechanisms of local self-governance and community involvement into the decision-making process. These projects were started to be implemented in 2017 with the financial support of the European Union in rural areas of East Kazakhstan, Karaganda and Mangystau regions. The Projects budgets totaled EUR928,412, with the EU’s contribution totaling EUR832,570.

“Kazakhstan has become an important partner of EU in the recent years. We see new opportunities for cooperation with Kazakhstan in future. Currently, in the context of our cooperation we are focusing attention on the two major areas – prosperity and cooperation. We are very proud that we promote the civil society empowerment in Kazakhstan through implementing these projects that help the local administrations and local communities formulate shared understanding of the development priorities and work together to improve the living standards,” said Johannes Stenbaek Madsen, the Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation to Kazakhstan.

The main outcomes of the projects were presented to the conference participants, including lessons learned from inclusive development plans implementation and financial support to rural entrepreneurs. Thus, over 3 years of the projects implementation in three regions of Kazakhstan, inclusive development plans of 23 pilot auls were developed and introduced with the involvement of local community members, about 80 discussions were held to highlight the problems of auls, and financial support totaling more than 32 million tenge was provided to 33 rural entrepreneurs. Thanks to the efforts of the project partners, today entrepreneurs succeed in doing own businesses, provide necessary services to rural communities, create new jobs and expand own opportunities.

“The region’s development should be aimed at improving the life quality regardless of a place of residence. I believe that the projects you are implementing are very important. I want to mention that funds within the Nurly Zhol and Nurly Zher programs will be allocated for the rural development. The work on development of a new format is underway – it will take into consideration the specifics of a region, as well as the pressing problems of residents of such region. Besides, one of the key elements of Kazakhstan development is local self-governance development,” said Vice Minister of the National Economy of Kazakhstan Yermek Alpysov.

In addition, the conference participants discussed recent developments in the area of local self-governance and de-centralization, analyzed the problems and primary needs. Also, the perspectives of further local self-governance development, community involvement into the decision-making and local budget formulation processes were determined, as well as the competencies of rural akims and local communities.Recommendations were developed for the government on how to address the key issues of local self-governance, public participation and the role of local akims.