The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) jointly with the Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Civil Service Affairs and Anti-Corruption organized a training for the Ethics Commissioners of central state and local executive bodies on May 20-21, 2019, in Nur-Sultan. 8 women and 22 men from different regions of Kazakhstan took part in the training.

The event brought together experts, the representatives of civil society and the business environment to discuss how transformations of the public administration and the development of the civil society affects public servants in their work. They need to acquire new skills, including the use of new technologies, communication tools and innovative problem-solving techniques.

In this context the state, represented by civil servants, should be the leader of change, able to foresee demands through innovations and meet the needs of society. Under these conditions, the Ethics Commissioners are faced with the serious task of ensuring the compliance of civil servants with the requirements of changing working conditions. For three years of work, the Institute of Ethics Commissioners has already shown its first positive results, including the improvement of moral and psychological climate among public servants and the facts of preventing conflicts of interest while performing official duties.

Opinion polls in 2017 and 2018, conducted with the support of UNDP, show a positive trend both in improving ethics in the civil service and reducing corruption risks. More than 70% of respondents confirm the presence of professional ethics in the work of civil servants. The understanding of the role of Ethics Commissioners among the government officials and the public in general is increasing.

The training participants discussed current issues in the work of Ethics Commissioners in the field of interaction with civil society, sources of conflict of interest in the public service, studied the skills of preventing and resolving conflict situations, as well as applying the “design-thinking” approach in the work of civil servants.

As a long-term partner of the government of Kazakhstan, the UNDP has been supporting the state’s efforts in priority development areas for more than 25 years, one of which is the creation of institutional conditions for professional public service to be free from corruption and meeting international standards.

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