Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, May 26, 2022 – Today, the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Kazakhstan Rule of Law program, implemented by the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), and the Committee for Civil Society Affairs under the Ministry of Information and Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan, organized a meeting between regional civil society organizations (CSOs) and the government to discuss the current challenges and opportunities for their participation in decision-making processes.
More than 30 representatives from the government, members of the Parliament of Kazakhstan, and representatives of academia, think tanks and CSOs from various regions and rural areas discussed the role of civil society in policy-making processes, women’s leadership and participation, and learned about effective tools for strategic planning.
“Active participation in policy making is vital to ensure the openness of the decision-making process at the regional level as well as to promote an open dialogue between civil society and the state,” said Garret Harries, Kazakhstan Country Coordinator, USAID/Central Asia, the USAID office in Nur-Sultan.
The participants discussed the necessity of increasing the capacity of regional CSOs and civil activists, and developed recommendations for the government on strengthening the role of regional CSOs. The event promotes the legal enabling environment for civil society and contributes to raising regional CSO participation and their role in policymaking. This assists in fostering citizen participation in decision-making processes and strengthening civic education, which, in turn, ensures government accountability and transparency at every level.
“The development of local self-government strengthens the role of citizen participation in government policies at the local level,” noted Madiyar Kozhakhmet, Chairman of the Committee on Civil Society Affairs of the Ministry of Information and Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Participants in the dialogue platform agreed that in order to actively and freely participate in the decision-making process, the government should create an opportunity for CSOs to openly discuss vital issues at the regional level and propose evidence-based analysis and recommendations.