First Central Asian Annual Regional Transparency Forum Begins Today

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USAID Regional Mission Director Christopher Edwards at the Regional Transparency Forum
USAID Regional Mission Director Christopher Edwards at the Regional Transparency Forum

For Immediate Release

Friday, July 16, 2021

July 16, 2021, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan - Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Social Innovation in Central Asia program hosted the first virtual annual Regional Transparency Forum to facilitate an exchange of ideas and experience on improving transparency and accountability among Central Asian countries.

The forum focused on three key policy areas: open budgets, open data, and open procurement. It offered opportunities for civil society organizations and government agencies from across Central Asia to present results on anti-corruption activities, government accountability, and transparency policies. The goal of the forum is to facilitate dialogue between government, business, and citizens to strengthen and build transparency.

In his opening remarks, USAID Regional Mission Director Christopher Edwards emphasized USAID’s support for efforts to tackle corruption, stating, “Efforts to increase transparency and fight corruption are core priorities our Agency will advance in the coming years. In June, 2021 President Biden issued a presidential memorandum identifying corruption as a core national security priority. The memorandum recognized that corruption steals from the pockets of taxpaying citizens and breaks down public trust in governing institutions. USAID believes that giving civil society a greater role in promoting transparency and public accountability will improve and sustain their ability to engage citizens and articulate their interests, monitor government performance, and advocate for positive change.”

The forum brought together experts, public figures, representatives of civil society, academia, the private and public sectors, and media. Among the speakers were Sholpan Aytenova from the Zertteu Research Institute, Kasimkhan Kaparov, a partner of EMCG, Olga Shiyan, Director of Transparency Kazakhstan, Victor Nestiula, of Open Partnership Contracting, Marat Mamayev, of Health & Capital, and Vitaliy Kulik, from the consulting-center ZUBR.

Panel discussions focused on monitoring of public procurement, financial policy, and transparency in financial management; local budget development and decentralization, accountability, and key international and regional standards, commitments, and initiatives; combating corruption in local governments; measures to strengthen local integrity systems; and rethinking global health policies.

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USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. To know more, visit the USAID Central Asia website and Facebook page.

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Last updated: July 16, 2021

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