Decentralisation and Multi-level Governance in Kazakhstan

image of Decentralisation and Multi-level Governance in Kazakhstan

This review examines the reforms undertaken by the government of Kazakhstan in the area of public governance and evaluates their impact on the powers and responsibilities of subnational levels of government. It places particular emphasis on finding the right allocation of roles and responsibilities among different levels of government, and on using decentralisation as a means to increase self-reliance, civic participation, accountability, and enhanced capacity at the local level. The report also offers a number of recommendations for further strengthening the role of local executive bodies and democratising some aspects of local government.


Executive summary

At the dawn of its independence, Kazakhstan had a highly centralized administrative system inherited from the Soviet period. This system was characterized by strict control of the central level over the resources, decisions, and responsibilities of the local government. Later, as economic reforms progressed, the country saw the need to grant more autonomy and flexibility to the local level in order to increase transparency and responsiveness to citizen needs. These efforts took place as part of a set of public governance reforms in Kazakhstan to streamline the public administration and budgeting systems, apply the principles of the rule of law and a regulatory state, and modernise public institutions.


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