Environment in emerging and transition economies

National policy dialogue (NPD) in Kazakhstan



Year of NPD launch:  2013

Present NPD Chair and strategic partners in the government: Water Resources Committee (Ministry of Environment and Water Resources), Ministry of Regional Development

Source of NPD funding: European Union, Government of Germany, Government of Norway, Government of Switzerland

Following the request by Kazakhstan in 2010 to initiate an national policy dialogue on water, and preparatory work conducted in 2012, the NPD process started in the country in 2013. The main areas of work and achievements are summarised on this page. 

Priority areas of work and main activities

Initial areas of focus include an analysis of potential benefits of Kazakhstan’s accession to the Protocol on Water and Health; sustainable business models for WSS in rural areas and small towns; and private sector participation in WSS. Opportunities for addressing transboundary cooperation issues and IWRM governance will also be explored.

Since the launch of the NPD, the following meetings and missions have been taking place to assist Kazakhstan in the NPD process:

  • 2nd NPD meeting of the NPD: 23-25 April 2014, Astana / Borovoye
    Over 35 government officials and representatives of local water experts, NGOs as well as international organisations including the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan, the OECD, WHO, UNDP and UNECE. Delegates commented on the draft Interim Report on business models for water supply and sanitation (WSS) in Kazakhstan and approved a Programme of Work for 2014-25.
  • 1st meeting of the NPD: June 2013, Astana 

  • Joint UNECE-OECD preparatory mission to discuss the launch of the NPD:  24-25 May 2012, Astana
    Bilateral meetings were held in Astana with the Ministry of Environment, the Committee of Water Resources under the Ministry of Agriculture, the Sanitary-Epidemiological Service of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economic Development, Kazhydromet, the Anti-Monopoly Agency, Center for Public-Private Partnership and EU Delegation in Kazakhstan. Themes for the future NPD were agreed.

  • Intergovernmental meeting: 14 September 2012, Astana
    The meeting discussed the composition of the future NPD Steering Committee and the identified the following focus areas: an analysis of benefits of Kazakhstan’s accession to the Protocol on Water and Health; sustainable business models for WSS in rural areas and small towns; and private sector participation in WSS.

Key achievements of the NPD to date


Both OECD and UNECE provided comments on Kazakhstan’s draft State Programme for Water Management to 2040. The programme was adopted in April 2014 and provides a set of targets and priority activities, some of which will be supported through the NPD process.

The radar chart synthetises the level of achievements along five axes within the NPD process in Kazakhstan (0-no activity; 2-fully achieved): 
- Transboundary water management
- National strategies on water, nexus
- The development of RBMPs
- The economis and financial dimensions of WRM
- WSS and Water and Health

Plans for the future

  • Water is a key pillar of the Kazakh Green Economy Concept and this will drive future work.
  • The EUWI NPD will support the transition of Kazakhstan towards a Green Economy by 2020 as well as the implementation of the State Programme on Water Resources Management to 2040.
  • Target setting process in the context of the Protocol on Water and Health is being planned within the NPD.

Bartogai dam on the Chilik river, Kazakhstan

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