Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia

Increasing Active Public Participation in Social Projects

According to research conducted in 2011 and 2013, critical problems for the residents in Zhylyoi district of Atyrau oblast are the poor quality of public entertainment places and the lack of management system of multifamily apartment houses (MFAH).

In 2014, the two-year ‘Orleu’ EFCA project started. The aim of the project is to promote active participation of the local population in addressing issues of MFAH and places of public entertainment, search and assistance in developing MFAH management system. The project became a continuation of the pilot ‘Places of Public Entertainment’ project (2013) which contributed to an increase in the involvement of local residents in the development of Kulsary and Atyrau.

Initially the needs of the population were assessed through interviews with 300 residents of the microdistricts. As a result, problems of MFAH, the willingness of the population to take part in their solution, were identified. During the study, community leaders were identified. A series of trainings (7 trainings / 175 members) was organized for their mobilization. Public performances, house management and legal literacy assisted with organizing work with the community and addressing issues with their houses. An information campaign covered 1,500 residents of microdistricts. Social events as sport competitions, clean-up events and concerts were held in which residents, media, akimat representatives and service companies took part. Twenty legal sessions on housing and registering condominiums helped to register two condominiums.

In order to facilitate the creation of a house management system in Kulsary, experts in the field of housing and public utilities - National Chamber of Housing and Utilities of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Center for Development of Local Government were invited. After reviewing the situation, the experts proposed the concept for addressing housing problems in the district. The concept was discussed with the local authorities and employees of utility companies and the public. A contest of grant projects for the public to improve MFAH was held. Five applications worth 3.9 million tenge were funded.

It is remarkable that the grant funds were spent to purchase repair and construction materials. Residents did all the work themselves or hired workers at their own expense. For example, a monetary contribution by residents for roof repairs and replacement of windows and doors was 620,000 tenge. 120 residents of three microdistricts in Kulsary took part in mini-projects. People not only repaired porches, roofs, stairs and windows, but also felt the unity and ability to formulate and solve problems of their houses.

The total number of direct beneficiaries of the project is 856 people.