Many of you have likely been wondering “Where’s the content! What happened in Kazakhstan!” I’ve been putting off posting, mostly due to a rigorous school schedule and it’s demands on my time, but also out of respect to my colleagues and the process of transition occurring at the embassy in DC. Since former Ambassador Idrissov is settling in well in his new role as Foreign Minister, I thought I’d provide a couple updates and highlights:
- For those of you that are new on Kazakhstan, check out the Foreign Minister’s new article reflecting on 20 years of Kazakhstani Independence: http://www.diplomaticourier.com/news/opinion/1281-kazakhstan-reflecting-on-21-years-of-independence
- Incredible performance by Kazakhstani Athletes in the Olympics (more from startled Londoners here: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-News/2012/0806/Olympics-2012-Among-the-top-gold-winners-in-London-Kazakhstan)
- More up the alley of my friend and colleague is an innovative new solar energy project in the southern part of the country: http://www.kazakhembus.com/in_the_news/solar-energy-coming-to-kazakhstan
- A round table “Health Reforms toward Social Modernization” was held on November 15, 2012 with comments from my friend in Kazakhstan-US healthcare partnerships, Dr. Almaz Sharman. While in Kazakhstan I heard analytics and data cited over and over again as a major barrier to strategic healthcare delivery, and I think efforts like National Household Health Survey are a step in the right direction. This project was funded by the World Bank and Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Health. Check out the discussion proceedings here: http://healthproject.kz/en/page/460 and Dr. Sharman’s presentation in particular here: http://healthproject.kz/sites/default/files/RT-3%2C%20APM%20WB%20Presentation%2CNov%2015%2C%202012%2C%20ENG.pdf
- And Kazakhstan was officially honored by election to the UN Human Rights Council in November. This is fantastic for the public image of Kazakhstan and a recognition of the work that has been accomplished over the past twenty years, but many critics out there exist. In my opinion a very sober and enlightening article largely free from political pandering or reactionary obstructionism from the Eurasian Daily Monitor here: http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=40129&tx_ttnews[backPid]=7&cHash=60872a40b2ca17822b6a28b55ba4e118
Soon I’ll be updating with some research and trip highlights, and eventually a link to my final report!