Developing Responsive Public Administration

As a young, progressive state, Kazakhstan is determined to build an efficient, modern public administration system.

While a number of complex public-administration reforms have been implemented, regional and local governments still have difficulty delivering on their commitments. With the support of a presidential decree, in 2011 the President’s Administration, together with the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, developed a national system for public-administration assessment. It covers national and regional – or oblast -- executive bodies, capital cities, and cities of republican status.

“Let me congratulate Kazakhstan on its achievements. You are only 20 years old, and you’re already working on a system of public administration efficiency, and doing it well. It took Canada 30 years to reach this point.”

DORIN WILLSON, public-administration assessment expert from Canada.

Realizing the scale of the reforms, the President’s Administration invited UNDP to join the initiative, bringing international expertise to the task. It did so with assistance from the Global Programme on Governance Assessments and the Democratic Governance Thematic Trust Fund.

Goals of the reform project were to create a government-efficiency assessment system, promote government accountability, raise public awareness of government efficiency, attract multiple stakeholders to the efficiency effort and build civil-society capability.

The project started in June 2011. It has achieved the following results:

  • Twenty-one civil society organizations from various regions of the country agreed to offer their thoughts about the assessment system. The pledge came after roundtable discussions and training sessions with state bodies. Similar seminars are planned nationwide in the next year, both for state and non-state stakeholders.
  • Kazakhstan’s government-efficiency assessment methodology is being reviewed to align it with international standards and practices. Options for improvement will be identified with the help of national stakeholders.
  • Two training sessions for national and regional governing bodies are planned for October to give civil servants the ability to conduct assessments and apply the results.
  • Kazakhstan’s key decision-makers obtained hands-on experience and exchanged information on assessment practices during a study tour to Canada and an international conference in Astana.

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