On January 30, 2020, an expert discussion on the “Formation of the Active Longevity Roadmap for 2020-2022: Principles, Methods and Approaches” took place at KazISS. The event was organized by the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The guests of the expert discussion were representatives of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) - the Head of the Population affairs Vitalija Gaucaite Wittich, consultant Olga Kharitonova and the officer Lisa Wart.
Opening the discussion Advisor to the Director of KazISS under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Madina Nurgaliyeva noted that currently, in accordance with the Concept of Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan the government is working on a draft of the Active Longevity Roadmap for 2020-2022. In implementing the Kazakhstan-2050 Strategy, the Government adopted the Concept of Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan until 2030, the purpose of which is to create conditions for improving the quality and competitiveness of human capital, as well as achieving a high standard of quality of life for all Kazakhstanis. In particular, within the framework of the Concept, one of the priority areas of state social policy is the improvement of the quality of life of older people. At the same time, the main priority areas identified are the income protection, affordable medical care, active longevity and.
Subsequently, the Chief Expert of the Project Management Department of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Kazakhstan (MLSPP of the RK) Asiya Akanova added that “Kazakhstan has developed a National Action Plan to improve the situation of older people in Kazakhstan for 2011-2020 and the Republican Integrated plan to improve the quality of life of older citizens for 2018-2020. Currently, the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan aim is to develop a Roadmap with comprehensive engagement of older people there”.
In her speech, the Head of the Population affairs Vitalija Gaucaite Wittich emphasized that this is the first visit of UNECE experts to Kazakhstan, the purpose of which is to meet with representatives of government bodies, deputies of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Ombudsman for Human Rights, trade unions, NGOs and the expert community. Based on the data collected during the meetings, UNECE representatives will develop guidelines for the formation of the Active Longevity Roadmap for 2020-2022. The expert said that “Population aging is a process that affects the economy, the structure of society, and the healthcare system. In Europe, one in five persons is aged over 65. There are several international approaches have been developed nowadays – the Madrid Aging Plan, the World Health Organization Declaration on Healthy Aging. Many countries are already joining these regulations”.
In his speech, Yuri Buluktaev, the chief researcher at the Institute of Philosophy, Political Science and Religious Studies of the Science Committee of the Ministry of Education and Science shared his vision: “Aging is a problem in all sectors of the economy and Kazakhstan is now paying great attention to this problem. For example, since 2018 the centers of active longevity have been opened and they are now actively operating in Almaty. However, this is not enough because it is necessary to take into account the length of a healthy lifestyle of older people, eliminate the problem of ageism - age discrimination, solve the problem of caring for the elderly and strengthen training and develop geriatric centers in the republic”.
Rector of the International Academy of Economics and Finance, Lyazzat Nurkatova, provided statistics on supporting older people and noted that work is underway in Kazakhstan to create an effective social protection system. “The Concept of Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan until 2030 stipulates that elderly citizens will be provided with new opportunities for self-realization. The total number of adopted regulations on social support for elderly citizens since 1991 amounted to 425 units. Currently, 16 universities are training social workers and 23 have licenses for such trainings. It should be noted that not all the graduates go to work in their field, only 38-40% go “to the profession”. About 13 000 specialists, consultants and social work assistants work in the social protection system and with representatives of health care system, education, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the penitentiary system, a total number of 19 000 people are involved. Only about 5% of NGOs are engaged in public services”.
The head of “Ulagat Consulting Group” LLP Marat Kairlenov gave an economic assessment of measures to support older people noting the underfunding of the social sphere. According to him, the Roadmap needs to focus on the aspects that will give a multiplier effect. “Older people are additional resources, so it is necessary to build the sphere of all social services for older people. For example, the Law on Mass Sports is being adopted, and therefore it is very important to consider engaging older people there”. In addition, the expert concluded that it is possible to improve the quality of life of older people, if we teach them how to use electronic services and change the way of thinking of an elderly person, taking up different things and developing social entrepreneurship.
The founder and director of the Public Opinion Research Institute Botagoz Rakisheva confirmed that no systematic studies have been conducted on the situation of older people in Kazakhstan. “We study young people well, but the older generation has fallen from the focus of research.” The expert shared the experience of South Korea, which received a positive assessment. “In South Korea, nursing homes and orphanages were combined. This made it possible to solve the issues of socialization of older people who passed on their experience to children and received wages for this. This practice has been introduced in other cities. ” They were given some kind of salary for this work.
As part of the expert discussion, a constructive exchange of views and took place on the drafting of the Active Longevity Roadmap for 2020-2022: Principles, Methods and Approaches. ” The meeting was also attended by employees of KazISS under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Zhanna Karimova, Asara Mukanova, Zhanar Sanhayeva, Aidana Akessina, Almas Arzikulov, Zhasulanbek Maylybay, Aizhan Moldagaliyeva and Gulnar Bimagambetova.