Representatives of authorized government bodies of the participating countries of the Astana Civil Service Hub (ACSH) gathered at an international workshop on the development of human resource management of the merit-based civil service. The activity was organized by the Astana Hub in partnership with the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) in New York, USA.
Continuing discussions initiated at the Baku workshop in December 2022, participants further delved into contemporary strategic human resource management practices based on UN experiences.
Opening the workshop, Chairman of the ICSC H.E. Mr. Larbi Djacta underlined the current imperative for organizations to have resilient staff capable of navigating uncertainty and diverse dynamics. To achieve this, he emphasized the need to focus on attracting and retaining individuals with the right values and skills from diverse backgrounds. Mr. Djacta highlighted the significance and uniqueness of the Astana Hub in assisting participating countries to shape the professional model for a career in civil service.
The International Civil Service Commission shared its perspectives on contemporary human resource management practices within the UN common system, encompassing the framework for HR management, standards of conduct, job classification, compensation system, and performance appraisal.
Welcoming the participants, Chairman of the ACSH Steering Committee Mr. Alikhan Baimenov pointed out that fostering a merit-based civil service is a common goal among the participating countries of the Hub. The establishment of specialized state bodies for civil service affairs in these countries has allowed to increase the level of professionalization of HR units within government entities. This, in turn, contributed to the overall strengthening of institutional and legislative frameworks of the civil service. At the same time, the countries of the region are facing certain challenges, and addressing them effectively requires learning from the best international practices observed in individual countries and global organizations, including the ICSC.
The workshop participants were also offered sessions on the UN Resident Coordinators system, UN Values and Behaviours Framework, performance management system, and talent acquisition, delivered by the relevant UN and UNDP institutions.
Discussing cross cutting issues of the importance and benefits of merit-based civil service practice, the participants from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan also shared their experience and progress in human resource management policies, practices, and processes towards a merit-based civil service.
Chairman of the Agency for Civil Service Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan Mr. Darkhan Zhazykbay shared some insights on measures to improve the civil service in Kazakhstan, aimed at creating a “human-centricity” and service-oriented state apparatus based on a hybrid model of civil service. He also spoke about the Agency’s projects to improve the quality of the country’s human resources through the creation of social elevators for youth, such as the Presidential Youth Personnel Reserve and the possibility of direct appointment to grassroots positions for university graduates with high academic performance, as well as attracting experienced specialists from the private sector.
Distinguished public administration experts from the United States, representing the American Society for Public Administration, took part in the discussion. The executive director of the ASPA Mr. William Shields was honored with a special ACSH award for the valuable contribution to the enhancement of partnership.
During this visit, Mr. Alikhan Baimenov held a number of bilateral meetings with UN representatives, including Under-Secretary-General and UNDP Associate Administrator Mr. Haoliang Xu, also Director of the UN South-South Office Ms. Dima Al-Khatib, UNDP Global Director of Gender Equality Ms. Raquel Lagunas, Head of Governance of the Bureau of Policy and Programme Support Ms. Sarah Lister, and others.
Also, within the workshop, representatives of the ACSH and the authorized bodies from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan had a productive meeting with the UN Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS Ms. Ivana Živković. Participants exchanged their insights on the potential of joint projects.
In the Utah Governor’s Office Mr. Alikhan Baimenov had a meeting with representatives of the departments of human resource management and international relations, as well as with the Prosecutor General. The partners have been invited to the ACSH side events to be held within the CEPA 2024 and ASPA Annual Conference in April next year.