Why does Akorda need re-registering of NGOs

According to numbers by Darhan Kaletaev, Kazakhstani non-governmental sector today is a scorched earth. Even though the overall number of registered NGOs today is over 20 thousand, overall number of people employed in them is only 30 thousand. Thus, in overwhelming number of organizations only one person is employed.

Considering these numbers, the proposal of Darkhan Kaletaev - the new minister on religious affairs and civil society, to conduct a re-registration of all NGOs in the country isn’t particularly surprising. Actually, considering Kazakhstani realities, this idea is quite sensible and useful. Because, according to current domestic policy logic of Akorda, non-governmental sector is not as much an institution through which social activity of Kazakhs is realized, as a collection of various structures, which could, must and would be useful to utilize in implementing of plans and intentions of authorities.

Thus, it would be useful for the government, whose interests Ministry on religious affairs and civil society represents, to find out which of them is “alive” and who isn’t. Due to this, we wouldn’t be surprised if despite negative reaction from the public, re-registering of the NGOs will be implemented. Thankfully it isn’t hard to implement from a purely technical perspective – religious associations have gone through a similar procedure earlier, though with large losses for non-traditional movements. It could be assumed that government’s attitude towards NGOs will be softer, but won’t go without losses among non-registered NGOs.

By the way, thanks to this inititative of Darkhan Kaletaev, his employees not only will be occupied for about a year, accomplishing an important mission, but will also be able to increase their influence, first on NGOs and through them – on other governmental structures. Different story is that separation of NGOs into pure and un-pure and liquidation of the latter likely won’t have a positive effect on a non-government sector. What definitely won’t be solved are the main problems of the latter – noticeable social passivity of citizens, clear lack of financing and self-financing and excessive dependability on the state, financially.

Unfortunately, minister on religious affairs and civil society of RK, justifying his idea, didn’t voice an overall amount of NGO financing in the country, and only named the sum of state expenditures – over 19 bil. tenge in 2018. If you divide this number by 4.5 thousand NGOs, registered for participation in state grant programs, you get an average of 4.2 mil tenge a piece.

As for the overall amount of registered non-governmental organizations today, as we have noted in the beginning, there is over 20 thousand of them, when the overall number of workers employed by them is slightly more than 30 thousand. This means, that only one person is employed in the overwhelming number of Kazakhstani NGOs, and as a rule he is the administrator.

 Thus, non-governmental sector, with the exception of few tens (hundreds at most) more or less active and promoted NGOs is a scorched earth. Thus, in order for the government to meet the “National plan on development of cooperation between non-governmental organizations and the government of RK for 2016-2020” it must urgently uncover those NGOs that are still functioning and with which it will be able to cooperate. Looks like this time the end will justify the means, though with a lot of resentment.


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