Majilis deputy: IV Civil Forum is second stage of civil development of Kazakhstan


Muratbek Makulbekov

Majilis deputy: IV Civil Forum is second stage of civil development of KazakhstanIn light of the forthcoming chairmanship of Kazakhstan in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe the issues of civil sector development prove to be very important. Below is the interview with Aygul Solovyova, Deputy of the Majilis of the Kazakhstan Parliament, Head of Civil Alliance of Kazakhstan, who told Kazinform about the present-day relations between the authorities and nongovernmental organizations as well as the problems that need be raised at the IV Civil Forum

How does the oncoming Civil Forum differ from the previous ones?

The IV Civil Forum sums up the results of the first stage provided under the Concept of Civil Sector Development in Kazakhstan. Let’s remember the history. At the time of the I Civil Forum, initiated by the Head of the State, the nongovernmental sector of Kazakhstan was recognized to be a motive power of the democratic process. New partnership between the government, business and NGOs was announced there. It is notable that the Civil Alliance of Kazakhstan was created during the II Civil Forum. The Concept of Civil Sector Development was adopted and approved by the President then. The action plan for the concept implementation was developed and approved by the Prime Minister during the forum as well. The III Civil Forum was devoted to further development of partnership within the framework of the civil society democratization and realization of the Civil Sector Development Concept.

Today we are getting ready for the IV Civil Forum. How the situation stands now? It is worthy of note that the nongovernmental sector expands, partnership between the government and NGOs develops, legislation for realization of such partnership is being improved. The constitutional amendment lifting ban on state financing of public organizations was adopted. The notion “social monitoring” was introduced to the Budget Code of Kazakhstan. The law “On the state social order” was accepted. Thus we consider that the first stage of establishment of the nongovernmental sector in Kazakhstan is completed. All goals have been reached. According to the international organizations, Kazakhstan’s legislation in this sphere is one of the best in the CIS.

What goals does the non-governmental sector set now?

Issues of quality move to the forefront at the second stage. Having good legislation doesn’t suppose that it keeps pace with the development of the civil society. How do we estimate the quality of work of NGOs? I think, the main thing is that we were able to influence the decision making process at the regional and central levels. Being mediators between people and state we must transmit thoughts, demands and expectations of people at the highest level. Social monitoring – identification of social well-being of people – is one of the instruments of such approach. It means that we conduct a diagnostics of social expectations of people, find out their opinions on the work of the executive body in different sectors.  

“Nur Otan” Party has a program on increase of people’s welfare and we consider this issue from this position. People express different opinions on our questions. Someone says they see improvement from the measures taken by the executive bodies, others say there is no improvement, and the third is at a loss to answer.

We appraise not only the work of the government, but our own contribution as well. The activity of NGOs in their sectors is identified through the social monitoring as well. 

What other issues are to be discussed at the IV Civil Forum?

There are a lot of questions. For example the issues on social standards: how the state bodies must provide the social services. The sphere of social order is developing today. The Government allocated KZT 1.5 bln for its development. We can implement some social functions in this sphere. NGOs can render many services more efficiently and cheaper than the state bodies. It is necessary to modernize this instrument.

Another issue concerns the e-Government. To what extent it is accessible for people; can everybody use this service?

One more question is connected with that our budget is approved for three years now. It is necessary to plan the social order for three years as well. It will allow NGO to work more sustainably.

We hope that all these issues can be solved at the second stage of the realization of the Conception that will promote qualitative growth.

A contest among NGOs is scheduled to be held within the Forum. What is the main purpose of it?

“Tanym” contest will be held in order to encourage non-governmental organizations that achieved good results in their spheres. We have NGOs that have been working for many years in such spheres as protection of rights of people with disabilities, old people, AIDS prevention, rehabilitation of drug addicts. And these NGOs achieve success in their activity.   

What is the Forum’s program?

Top officials of the state bodies and international organizations are expected at the forum. At a plenary sitting we will analyze the progress of the Civil Sector Development Concept realization. Seven discussion sections will operate within the forum. The problem of social responsibility contemplating sustainable development of the society and region with active participation of business in this process will be discussed. The topic of Kazakhstan’s chairmanship in the OSCE will be touched upon at all sections.