Kazakh President urges larger role for NGOs in Kazakh society

ASTANA – Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed at the Nov. 27 eighth Civil Forum of Kazakhstan the importance of reducing barriers to interaction between the state and society.

Photo credit: akorda.kz.

The forum looked at the role of civil society in helping implement state programmes.

The number of NGOs in Kazakhstan has grown from 5,000 to 22,000 in the last 15 years. Today, governmental social programmes receive financial support totalling $53.40 million. NGOs address many essential aspects of the social development, said Nazarbayev.

NGOs in Kazakhstan have mainly contributed in helping vulnerable groups of society, developing social entrepreneurship and other projects of social importance.

“The participation of NGOs in creating a proactive environment for people with disabilities, children and young people with special needs is positive. The development of an inclusive society is a global practice and one of the key social objectives that are implemented through civil society in all developed countries,” said the President.

Nazarbayev also instructed the Kazakh government to create an electronic register of NGOs. The organisations “will be registered on a voluntary basis, posting the necessary materials that will allow forming NGO ratings to ensure their access to funding,” said the President.

Photo credit: akorda.kz.

The Civil Alliance of Kazakhstan was also assigned to facilitate state-society relations.

“Akims (mayors and governors) of cities and regions need to introduce a system of providing services to the population in open barrier-free spaces on the principle of a single window using digital technologies,” said Nazarbayev.

The government now must develop a six-year plan to form civil society.

The head of state suggested the government and the Ministry of Social Development study proposals from the forum to create programmes in ecology, social work, children’s rights in other areas.

The President instructed government to increase its support of volunteer movements. Volunteers helped organise EXPO 2017 and the 26th Winter Universiade.

Photo credit: akorda.kz.

The President said the Ruhani Zhangyru (Modernisation of Kazakhstan’s Identity) programme should be continued as noted in the President’s recent article “Seven Facets of the Great Steppe.”

The coming year has been designated the Year of the Youth, so the President also encouraged NGOs to develop youth policy.