ASTANA, February 6, 2019 - A public awareness seminar on official development assistance (ODA) was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan. The seminar was conducted by experts from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The seminar was attended by representatives of government bodies of Kazakhstan involved in ODA issues.
This event was held in the framework of a joint pilot project “Assistance to Kazakhstan in cooperation with Afghanistan in the field of official development assistance”. The agreement on its implementation was recorded in the Joint Statement of President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe in October 2015.
Welcoming the participants of the seminar, the Director of the Foreign Economic Policy Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Olzhas Issabekov informed about the ongoing development of its own ODA mechanism and noted the high level of interaction between Kazakhstan and JICA in the implementation of the pilot project. In particular, the project envisages capacity building of Afghan specialists in the field of public administration and health care, as well as the development of the ODA expert capacity of representatives of Kazakh state bodies.
During the seminar, JICA experts gave a presentation on all aspects of the Japanese ODA system, including on policy and instruments of assistance.
JICA experts elaborated on the various measures to strengthen the public understanding of the essence of ODA within the country and enhancing its effectiveness, in particular on the ongoing work with ministries and departments, NGOs, and the Japanese media. For example, ODA topics are included in the curriculum of secondary schools. The JICA Parliamentary Group and the Special Commission for ODA under the Parliament of Japan are also involved in this process of raising awareness.
At the end of the seminar, representatives of government agencies of Kazakhstan and JICA experts exchanged their views and actively discussed the provision of international development assistance. In particular, measures aimed at raising awareness of ODA were discussed.
During the visit to Astana, representatives of JICA also met with the Vice-Rector for Strategic Development, Research and International Partnership of the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Aigul Kosherbayeva, and the Director of the Institute of Diplomacy at the Academy, Marian Abisheva. They discussed mutually beneficial cooperation between the two departments. Given the global relevance of ODA, a lecture on "The history of official development assistance system in Japan" was delivered for the faculty and students of the Academy by JICA experts.
The seminar provided a unique opportunity to gain valuable practical skills in raising awareness of ODA, as well as best practices for the development of Kazakhstan's ODA system.