Meet Temirlan, Nazym, Symbat and Zhanel, four national UN Volunteers who support civil service effectiveness in Kazakhstan. Placed with the Astana Civil Service Hub (ACSH), they service a virtual alliance and knowledge platform that underpins the efforts of government in building institutional and human capacity.
The Astana Civil Service Hub (ACSH) has been a flagship initiative of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Kazakhstan since 2013. Some 42 countries participate in this knowledge exchange platform.
In 2021, the Government of the Republic of Korea and the Astana Civil Service Hub (ACSH) embarked on a joint project for digitalization and innovation in the public sector in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) and the Caucasus (Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia).
The project aims to improve the quality of life of citizens, increase their level of trust in state institutions and reduce the level of corruption in the public sector. Accordingly, it focuses on enhancing the capacity of civil servants and practitioners in implementing innovations in the public administration system and digitalization of public service delivery.
Supporting learning and capacity building of civil servants is at the core of ACSH's activities. With the help of UN Volunteers, ACSH delivered over 150 capacity-building seminars, conferences and study visits for around 9,123 civil service practitioners, academics and experts from 125 countries, and more than 200 organizations.
Temirlan Tursynov is a Research and Capacity Building Specialist, while Nazym Zhakenova is a Research and Advocacy Assistant. Together with Symbat Tashenova, Project Specialist, they work closely with the ACSH research and capacity-building team. The UN Volunteers have worked extensively on data collection and analysis, as well as developing and publishing research papers. Also a volunteer, Project Assistant, Zhanel Kubenova provides administrative and logistical support.
Alikhan Baimenov, ACSH Chairman of the Steering Committee notes that working together with volunteers is very productive.
There is no clear distribution of roles between teacher and student. In helping volunteers grow and develop professionally, we learn a lot from them. They bring new impetus and ideas to ACSH activities. Undoubtedly, this makes a positive contribution to the development of the civil services of the participating countries, and towards the 2030 Agenda. --Alikhan Baimenov, ACSH Chairman of the Steering Committee.
The 40 knowledge products produced to date include as case studies, journals, research papers and publications. These can be accessed at the Astana Hub.
Due to the pandemic, many organizations and institutions have accelerated their digital transformation. ACSH was one of them. UN Volunteers helped launch the ACSH Virtual Alliance of Practitioners. Its main objective? To support governments in contributing to a global partnership, through an exchange of best practices and advanced solutions that best respond to the challenges of COVID-19.
Today, this Virtual Alliance contains more than 40 practical materials and resources. The body of work reflects the experience of countries and international organizations in public administration, provision of government services, education, medicine and economy. UN Volunteers continue to support the maintenance of the Virtual Alliance and its official website.
Since 2018, ACSH together with the Government of the Republic of Korea, has actively helped build the capacities of civil servants in the field of public administration, human resource management, e-governance and digitalization.
Capacity Building for Innovations in Governance and Digitalization of Public Services is a joint project launched in August 2021. This is an initiative of ACSH, in close cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior and Safety and the National Agency for Information Society of the Republic of Korea. UN Volunteers actively participate in various roles, including preparation of analytical studies, workshops, conferences and study visits to government agencies of the Republic of Korea.
ACSH received a prestigious International Public Administration Award from the American Society for Public Administration in 2022. This was a recognition for its commitment and service towards research and practice of public administration.