Component 2: Capacity to Plan, Implement, Monitor and Evaluate Oblast Development Strategies
Component 2 operates within the overall policy framework to support the regional authorities in the design and management of development strategies in our 3 pilot regions. This Component addresses all aspects of Programme Cycle Management (including programming, programme management systems, funding arrangements, monitoring and evaluation systems, etc.). It provides expert advice on specialist regional development problems and in the design of regional projects for funding. A key element of Component 2 is the assurance of strong citizen participation in all stages of the programme cycle.
This Component aims at the improvement of the implementation of regional development strategies in three pilot oblasts that have been selected by the consultation between the European Union and the Government of Kazakhstan. These are Mangystau oblast, Kyzylorda oblast and East Kazakhstan oblast. The socio-economic structure, natural resource base, infrastructure and skills base of those three regions differ significantly. This diversity can provide an excellent mix of relevant examples of good practice to the other regions in Kazakhstan.
This Component helps improve strategy development and implementation processes (planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring, evaluation) and mechanisms for public participation in decision-making at regional level. The assistance concentrates on the technical entities at the operational level (the akimats), but also on the political level (the maslikhats). In addition, it seeks to ensure a proper representation for non-state structures in the policy design and implementation processes.
The specific areas of focus of this Component are:
- Support to the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of regional development programmes;
- The development of systems to ensure that citizens and other non-state actors become an integral part of the regional policy framework in Kazakhstan;
- To improve regional governments’ access to high quality specialist skills in a range of technical areas;
- To create a kind of “learning network” amongst Kazakhstan’s regions so that the lessons from various developments and initiatives can be shared amongst participating regions.
The following activities are foreseen under this component.
Action Area 1 “Pilot oblasts and their rayons are acquainted with, and use, technologies (e.g. GIS) and policy management modalities aimed at improving local development, including data collection, problem analysis, evidenced-based policy making, monitoring and evaluation”:
- Assess the existing management modalities, instruments and technologies (i.e. GIS systems, statistics,) currently used at oblast level for local development and locally provided public services purposes, and support their improvements.
- Develop capacity building strategies, including through training needs assessments, for local government stakeholders, and liaise with Regional Training Centres on their implementation.
- Support pilot oblast administrations in analysing poverty rates and poverty dimensions, and in developing poverty reduction strategies, policies and action plans.
- Support pilot oblast administrations in developing and implementing adequate monitoring and evaluation mechanisms and capacities for locally provided public services and local development policy implementation.
- Establish thematic Working Groups bringing together relevant entities from the pilot oblasts and possibly non-pilot oblasts, with possible participation of the non-state sector.
Action Area 2 “Voice of citizens and civil society actors to contribute to local development decision making and local public services are enhanced, and feedback/ accountability mechanisms are strengthened”:
- Review existing legislation and practices of citizen’s participation in local decision making in the three pilot oblasts and possibly at rayon levels, and promote the use of enhanced participatory practices.
- Develop, and promote the implementation of, institutional and individual capacities for enhanced citizen's participation in various stages of local decision making processes, including for example through manuals and other tools.
- Support the channeling of citizen's voice on public services including one-stop-shop (OSS) to the relevant decision makers, regulators, managers etc.
- Develop mechanisms that enhance the participation of vulnerable and marginalized groups.
- Assist in promoting interactions with and transfer of well-developed citizen's participation institutions and practices in Europe.
Action Area 3 “Pilot oblasts are provided with high class short-term expertise upon demand on topics related to specific local development problems, potentially covering social, economic, environmental, public utilities, (renewable) energy/ energy efficiency and local governance issues”:
- Based on sound problem analysis and local policy priorities, provide and follow up on short-term expertise upon demand of the oblast administration, on specific topics related to pre-identified local development challenges, aiming at sustainability and local ownership.
- If needed, links to providers of loans for investment in the above fields are promoted, including e.g. to the EU's IFCA program.
Action Area 4 “Exchange of good ideas and practices among pilot oblasts, and spill-over benefits from pilot oblasts to other oblasts have been achieved”:
- Develop and implement mechanisms which allow the spread of ideas and good practices among pilot oblast and to non-pilot oblasts.