ASTANA – The Kazakh government has agreed to provide $14 million in funding over the next three and a half years to support the Regional Civil Service Hub that will be managed by the United Nations Development Programme. An agreement to strengthen the Regional Hub in Astana was signed on Sept. 17.
The hub was established in 2013 by a partnership of 25 countries and six international organisations that work together in an institutional framework. It is now a dialogue platform that brings together 29 countries for the continuous exchange of best practices and experience in the field of civil service. The hub’s mission is to help develop effective civil service systems in the region.
On the occasion of the signing of the agreement, the former Chairman of the Agency for Civil Service Affairs of Kazakhstan Alikhan Baimenov said that “[t]he agenda of civil service reforms is determined by governments based on their internal priorities. At the same time, a continuous exchange of experience and knowledge serve as a good support for making respective decisions. The Regional Hub will become an institutional base to this end. Studying other countries’ experiences undoubtedly benefits the countries of the region.”
In the hub’s first year of operation it has published two editions of its e-journal, held technical workshops and training sessions and conducted a global conference within the Astana Economic Forum.
Kazakhstan’s new funding will help the hub establish a Civil Service Research Centre, strengthen the secretariat and create a permanent position of Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Regional Hub of Civil Service in Astana. Last month, Baimenov was appointed to that position, having left the newly reformed Agency for Civil Service Affairs and Fighting Corruption where he held the position of a deputy chairman since the government reshuffle in August 2014.
United Nations Resident Coordinator in Kazakhstan Stephen Tull said, “This new agreement creates a qualitatively better institutional environment for the Regional Hub. Ultimately, this benefits citizens in Kazakhstan and across a wide region, as it spreads the best practices in public service. The Regional Hub has come a long way already, and now it will have the capacity to satisfy the demands of its members.”