Government of Kazakhstan and ADB: Knowledge and Experience Exchange Program
In 2013, the government of Kazakhstan and ADB established joint Knowledge and Experience Exchange Program (KEEP) by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the objective to expand policy dialogue by conducting demand-driven, just-in-time, and cutting-edge research, and capacity development. The program reinforces ADB's role as a knowledge institution that facilitates the sharing of international experiences, best practices, and innovations in line with its approach to engaging with upper-middle-income countries. The memorandum commits the government and ADB to equally cost share (50/50) and jointly manage the program’s activities.
KEEP Overview and Activities
Duration: November 2020 – December 2023
TA Report: Joint Government of Kazakhstan and the Asian Development Bank Knowledge and Experience Exchange Program, Phase 4: Technical Assistance Report
Key Supported Activities:
- Regional Inequality Study for Kazakhstan. Through the application of a wide-ranging set of advanced indices, the study uncovered the particularities of territorial imbalances in Kazakhstan. The report identifies a polarization within Kazakhstan in terms of economic growth, employment, productivity, and competitiveness. It also indicates that some regions in the country may be at risk of falling into a development trap.
- A Policy Perspective on Venture Capital Financing in Kazakhstan. The paper contributes to Kazakhstan’s sustainable growth objectives by examining the national ecosystem for venture capital, analyzing the legal framework supporting venture capital investments, and discussing the importance of developing human capital that can effectively respond to a constantly evolving venture capital market. It provides a range of recommendations for how the current ecosystem can be bolstered to enable venture capital to flow into Kazakhstan.
- Development of recommendations for comprehensive statistics on the domestic e-commerce market. As a result of this project, the Bureau of National Statistics (BNS) revised the following statistical forms of nationwide statistical observations: (i) "Report on electronic commerce" (E-commerce index with annual frequency); (ii) "Household survey questionnaire on the use of information and communication technologies” (H-020 index with annual frequency); (iii) “Quarterly questionnaire on household expenditures and incomes” (D-004 index with quarterly frequency). Based on the results of this project, BNS also developed the “Methodology for calculating indicators on e-commerce”, which was subsequently adopted by the Order of BNS №38 dated 13 December 2022.
- School Quality Assessment Platform Prototype. This study was developed on the back of Kazakhstan’s National Educational Database—a digital information system of administrative educational statistics with detailed and legally secured data on educational organizations, enrolment, students, and staff. It is the first preparatory step toward creating a national secondary education quality assessment framework. It proposes a scientifically proven approach and methods based on data availability, strengths, and weaknesses. The project developed a methodology for a comprehensive assessment of the quality of schools using clear criteria and assessment indicators.
- Training of 30 employees of Supreme Audit Chamber and Revision Commissions under Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) program. All the participants successfully completed the training, passed the exams and received the CIPFA certificates.
- Seminars on parallel financial investigations and identification of cash couriers for 45 employees from Agency for Financial Monitoring.
- Trainings for the Ministry of Information and Social Development and Civil Initiatives Support Center employees on (i) Monitoring and Evaluation of Social Projects for 20 participants; (ii) Project Management under IPMA program for 20 participants (out of which 11 were certified as IPMA D level project managers); (iii) Financial Management for 20 participants; (iv) Training of Trainers for 10 participants. All participants obtained certificates of corresponding course completion.
Duration: December 2017 – December 2021
TA Report: Joint Government of Kazakhstan and the Asian Development Bank Knowledge and Experience Exchange Program, Phase 3: Technical Assistance Report
TA Completion Report: Joint Government of Kazakhstan and the Asian Development Bank Knowledge and Experience Exchange Program, Phase 3: Technical Assistance Completion Report
Key Supported Activities:
- Implementation of accrual budgeting reform in Kazakhstan. In 2018-2020 KEEP supported developing recommendations for the Ministry of Finance on the practical use of instructions for preparing forecast consolidated financial statements (FCFS) of budget programs administrators and FCFS of the republican budget. The methodological handbook "Forecast consolidated financial statements of budget programs administrators in the Republic of Kazakhstan: a practical aspect" was printed in 1500 copies (both in Kazakh and Russian languages) and distributed to 36 recipients in Astana (ministries and central government agencies) and to 19 recipients in the regions of Kazakhstan.
- First voluntary national review on sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Kazakhstan. KEEP assisted the government in preparing the First Voluntary National Report (VNR), which was presented by the Vice Minister of National Economy during the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development at the UN headquarters on 16 July 2019. VNR represents a summary of the results achieved since the implementation of the SDGs and the ongoing initiatives and measures within the framework of the 2030 Agenda.
- National report on anti-corruption enforcement for 2019. The report examined the results of the work of all anti-corruption actors including government agencies, quasi-public sector, and public organizations.
- National Standard of the Republic of Kazakhstan on “Rationing (standardizing) the quality of wastewater discharges from treatment plants in settlements with a centralized sewage system” was developed under KEEP in 2020 and approved by Order of the Committee for Technical Regulation and Metrology of the Ministry of Trade and Integration of Kazakhstan No. 413 dated 11 November 2021.
- Based on recommendations of international experts in AML/CFT on raising the status of the Committee for Financial Monitoring, the Committee was reorganized as the Agency for Financial Monitoring under the President of Kazakhstan in January 2021.
- Improving the institutional capacity of the International Center for Green Technologies and Investment Projects Center (IGTIC). Road Map and Action Plan for IGTIC’s institutional development to optimize the organizational structure, activities, and business processes for obtaining Green Climate Fund (GCF) accreditation was developed. As a result, in 2020, IGTIC adopted internal guidelines on the Policy of Environmental and Social Management, Policy on Combating Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing, Gender Policy, Code of Business Ethics, and Policy on Conflicts of Interest. A package of amendments to legal acts such as Budget Code, Code on Subsoil and Subsoil Use, Entrepreneur Code, and Law on Public-Private Partnership was proposed to: (i) define mechanisms for the introduction of “green” technologies and the role of the IGTIC; (ii) expand IGTIC’s areas of activity; (iii) adopt measures for introduction of “green” technologies and implementation of “green” projects. Optimization of IGTIC’s business processes was carried out: (i) IGTIC’s business process maps; (ii) IGTIC’s organizational structure; and (iii) competencies model were developed.
- Scaling Up Livestock Production in Kazakhstan's Akmola Region. Analysis of field sampling and remote sensing data provided important insights into the potential for expanding beef cattle grazing and the challenges. Analysis of data and information revealed the baseline information of livestock carrying capacity, challenges, potential, and opportunities to expand, enhance and invest in Akmola’s livestock production, including management practices, governance policies, animal health, and climate change. The project was conducted by a group of experts from Michigan State University, the Agricultural Research Service at the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Kazakh National Agrarian Research University under KEEP.
- Training of 30 Supreme Audit Chamber and Revision Commissions employees under CIPFA Public Auditor program. Additional 31 Supreme Audit Chamber employees took part in training under CIPFA Module 2 “Audit and Assurance” and obtained certification.
- Training of 42 Supreme Audit Chamber employees under “Evaluation of Investment Project II: Sources of Financing and Other Complex Questions”, “Financial Analysis II: Valuation of the Effectiveness of Company’s Activity”, “Financial Modeling I: Model Development Technique and MS Excel Capabilities” programs with certification.
- 21 educational seminars for more than 1100 representatives of the akimats of regional cities, villages, towns and rural districts across 11 regions/oblasts of Kazakhstan. Seminars focused on 4 main topics: (i) Budget processes: forecasting budget revenues and expenses; (ii) Development, review, clarification and approval of the budget; (iii) Mechanism for managing communal property; (iv) Procedure for imposing administrative fines.
Duration: July 2015 – December 2018
TA Report: Joint Government of Kazakhstan and the Asian Development Bank Knowledge and Experience Exchange Program, Phase 2: Technical Assistance Report
TA Completion Report: Joint Government of Kazakhstan and the Asian Development Bank Knowledge and Experience Exchange Program, Phase 2: Completion Report
Key Supported Activities:
- Development of Services for the Agricultural Sector in Kazakhstan. The report uses a simplified conceptual framework that examines services within an institutional and agrifood system context. The institutional aspect includes three groups of actors - national politicians and policymakers, service providers, and service end-users. The agrifood system includes the production, marketing, transformation, and purchase of food, and the consumer practices, resources, and institutions involved in these processes. It covers all activities in the upstream, midstream, and downstream segments of the agrifood system.
- Development of Islamic Finance in Kazakhstan. In 2017 KEEP supported the development of a legal opinion on AIFC’s jurisdiction concerning the development of Islamic finance in Kazakhstan, complemented by a draft Concept of Islamic Insurance and Reinsurance Rules, draft Islamic Financial Business Handbook, draft forms of prudential reporting for Islamic financial organizations. Draft Islamic Insurance and Reinsurance Rules were approved and adopted by the Astana Financial Services Authority in 2018.
- Theory of Public Audit. A book on public audit theory was published with 1,000 copies distributed among the government agencies of Kazakhstan and supreme audit institutions of the Commonwealth of Independent States member countries.
- Studies on compliance and performance audits to increase the government's awareness of international experience and best practices in the area of compliance and performance audits.
- Preliminary assessment of the draft national budget and elaboration of criteria for assessment of the country's economic development. The study presented: (a) methodological documents of selected countries on assessment of draft national budget and recommendations for standards of conducting the preliminary assessment by Supreme Audit Chamber; (b) issues of the mechanism of conducting the preliminary assessment of draft national budget, including international best practices; (c) assessment and analysis of value and influence of adopted strategic and program documents on expenditure part of the budget and relevant economic sectors; (d) analysis of the foreign governments' policy on a set of economic and fiscal conditions, medium term macroeconomic indicators for the budget planning and its future influence on budget allocation; and (e) analysis of growth and public expenditures reduction in the context of functional, economic classification of expenditures on the basis of multiplicative effect on GDP and with construction of econometric models.
- Training and certification of 58 Supreme Audit Chamber and Revision Commissions staff under CIPFA program.
- Training of 32 employees of the Supreme Audit Chamber, Revision Commissions, Ministry of National Economy and Ministry of Finance, covering a range of topics: fraud risk assessment, development of audit procedures, evaluation of audit risk, identification of weaknesses in the internal control system, etc.
- Training of 50 Astana International Financial Center, Ministry of Finance and National Bank employees on “Facilitating the Implementation of the Islamic Financial Services Board Standards”. Training included discussions on risk management in Islamic financial companies, requirements to capital, basic elements of regulatory supervision over Islamic financial companies pursuant to the international best practices.
Duration: July 2013 – January 2017
TA Report: Knowledge and Experience Exchange Program - Phase 1
TA Completion Report: Joint Government of Kazakhstan and the Asian Development Bank Knowledge and Experience Exchange Program, Phase 1: Technical Assistance Completion Report
Key Supported Activities:
- Backward and forward linkages and key sectors in the Kazakhstan economy. The study focuses on the importance of services sectors from interindustry linkages perspective. It reveals important aspects of the structure of the Kazakhstan economy. In particular, it is found that a rather large part of income generation and employment support is concentrated in a few industries. Given the nature of the top income-generating and employment-providing sectors, it becomes evident that for a long-term sustainable economic growth purpose, a thoughtful diversification strategy of the economy is necessary.
- Measurement of Kazakhstan’s Services Sector: Statistical Issues. The review of Kazakhstan’s services industry statistics compared the main elements of the statistical outputs for the sector produced by the Committee of Statistics of the Ministry of National Economy and the National Bank against the recommendations outlined in the wide range of international guidelines and recommendations specified in the main report.
- Methodology for evaluation of economic costs of road traffic accidents and calculation of economic costs of road traffic accidents in Kazakhstan. The study contributed to enhancement of government's capacity to make cost-efficient investments and better-informed policy decisions in road safety.
- Analysis of international best-practices to assess market concentration and competition. The study helped the government to increase its capacity to assess the level of competition development in Kazakhstan on the basis of relevant international experience and best practices.
- Initial economic analysis of introduction of performance-based road maintenance services in Kazakhstan. The study allowed the government to gain more knowledge of main features of performance-based road maintenance services and their applicability in Kazakhstan.
- Study tours to Australia and New Zealand treasury departments to support introduction of accrual budgeting in Kazakhstan.
- Study tours to Supreme Audit Institutions of Japan and Sweden to improve quality of public audit in Kazakhstan.
- Training and examination under CIPFA program to improve the quality of public audit in Kazakhstan.
Applications for policy research and capacity building under KEEP are developed by the government line ministries and agencies for submission to the Ministry of National Economy (MNE) and Kazakhstan Resident Mission (KARM) of ADB for initial screening. The applications are reviewed and endorsed by KEEP Coordinating Committee (KCC) with the assistance of the KEEP Support Team. KCC consists of the government and ADB representatives, who meet on a need basis at least once a year to review KEEP applications, discuss program status, and approve work plans with budgeted activities.
Successful applicants develop draft Terms of Reference (TORs) which are reviewed by KEEP Team and ADB staff. Upon approval of the TORs, consultants are hired and services/goods procured according to the ADB Procurement Policy (2017, as amended from time to time) and its associated project administration instructions and/or staff instructions. ADB jointly with the applicant monitors consultants and reviews their outputs. ADB submits quarterly and annual reports on disbursements and services rendered to the MNE according to the Memorandum of Understanding.
KEEP Coordinating Committee