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The state is interested in strong NGOs – expert

by January 27, 2017 Legal

The Government of Kazakhstan introduced new forms of State Support to NGOs in the form of grants and awards in order to improve the sustainability of NGOs, along with the system of state social order, implemented since 2003.

“The grant mechanism for NGO financial support instrument is widespread in the European Union and the United States. I think this experience will be interesting and successful in Kazakhstan as well, ” A.Galimova.

According to the expert, grants are an additional opportunity for the implementation of NGO social projects on a long term basis. In addition, NGOs can use part of the grant (up to 10% of the total) to their own institutional development.

The order of grant funding of NGOs does not focus on the legislation on public procurement, tenders for NGOs spared the complicated bureaucratic procedures and distanced from the direct-government agency customer as opposed to state social.

11 projects were implemented within the framework of grant funding in 2016. Basically, projects affected topics of gender equality in Kazakhstan, the issue of children and young people, protection of their rights. Also,grant projects focused on the development of mediation, a national dialogue (Civil Society Forum), expert communities (Congress of political scientists), coordination of public councils, strengthening the Kazakh identity.

VII Civil Forum of Kazakhstan was one of the major projects as part of the grant funding in 2016, which was attended by more than 300 NGOs, where the most topical issues of interaction between state bodies and non-governmental sector have been raised.

Also, the International Center for Human Rights has developed Map mediators in 2016, under which qualified lawyers and mediators provide free legal assistance to mediation and vulnerable groups.

Last year, the opening of the National Contact Center for Children’s Rights “111” was another grant project. As a result, the contact center received more than 37,000 calls. Pre-launch of hotline service has identified the need for call-center on a permanent basis. This year, the office of the National Contact Center for Children’s Rights has been further developed. The reference and consulting service and crisis call-center for children is planned to be created on its basis.

“Creation of this service proves its efficiency. It is planned to maintain this subject in the framework of the grant funding. It can be a variety of social employment service, consulting, educational centers, research in the areas of civil society, education, employment, right,” said A.Galimova.

In general, theme of grants is approved in accordance with the priorities of the state, taking into account the suggestions of experts and NGOs. In the framework of the competition for grant funding, NGO independently offers solutions for the implementation of the proposed topics. At the end of the contest, an independent expert committee takes a decision on the allocation of grants for the implementation of the most efficient and effective project.

Also, according to the expert, the award will be given on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan to non-governmental organizations, which implemented successful social projects based on public suggestions and evaluation of their activities, since 2017.

The operator in the field of grant funding – NGO “CISC”, which has a role in the accumulation fund to work with NGOs, has been created as part of the legislative innovations.

“It should be stressed that the operator does not monopolize the sphere of public funding of NGOs as well as the mechanism of state social, as before, will be in action,” said chairman of the committee.

As for the base of these NGOs, in accordance with the Law of Kazakhstan “On state social order, and awards grants for NGOs in the Republic of Kazakhstan,” all NGOs send information about its activities to the authorized body for its formation.

According to A.Galimova, statistical data of Kazakhstan’s non-governmental sector will be kept up to date with the help of the database; the information about real actions of the organization, the most successful NGOs will be available to the public; awareness of NGOs will be increased.

In general, according to the experts, many of the recommendations on the mechanisms of interaction between the state and NGOs have been developed within the framework of the civil forums. This applies, for example, the introduction of grant financing system. Certain questions were worked on special interactive areas for NGOs. For example, Coordinating Council for Cooperation with NGOs works under the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Civil Society, an advisory body on human rights issues works under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Late last year, the VII Civil Forum was held with the participation of NGOs and representatives of the central state bodies; the Action Plan to implement the recommendations of VII of the Civil Forum for 2017-2018 was adopted as the result. It includes 13 recommendations and 53 measures for their implementation. Its further relations between the state and the non-governmental sector in Kazakhstan will be built in accordance with the plan in the next two years.

“At the same time, the Government of Kazakhstan is working on the development of other platforms for dialogue and interaction mechanisms. Today, measures are being taken to improve the level of outreach by the state adopted legislative measures, ” concluded A.Galimova.

Earlier, the issues of cooperation between the state and NGOs were discussed at a meeting of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan on January 24 this year. First of all, it is – the implementation of joint social projects of the state and NGOs, improving the organizational, financial and legal sustainability of non-governmental organizations, to further develop a system of dialogue between NGOs and government bodies, as well as the generalization of the best practices of NGOs and systematize their success stories.

Source: Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan