Focus Group INIDI
On July 9, 2019, in the office of the Yerzhan Tatishev Foundation, a focus group was held within the framework of the project of the Public Fund “Institute of National and International Development Initiatives” (PF “INIDI”) “Development and publication of the National Report on Trends in the Development of the Non-Governmental Sector in the Republic of Kazakhstan”. Svetlana Ushakova, director of the INIDI Public Foundation, acted as a focus group moderator; Sholpan Aytenova, co-founder and executive director of the nonprofit organization «Zertteu Research Institute», and EITI expert (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative) in Almaty Tatyana Sedova, President, participated in the focus group. Yerzhan Tatishev Foundation Dana Zharikova, Program Coordinator of the Yerzhan Tatishev Foundation Aliya Slanova. The purpose of the event is to determine the effectiveness of interaction between NGOs in the sector, the state and business and the compliance of NGO services with the current needs of target groups. The focus group consisted of four main blocks and was conducted in a semi-structured interview format.
During the discussion, questions were raised about the vertical and horizontal relations of NGOs with other players in civil society, the factors influencing the choice of the territorial scope of NGO projects and the validity of choosing one or another target group, the most effective NGO projects, the potential, resources of NGOs and the effectiveness of their use. Also discussed were issues of organizational development, such as the availability of strategic planning, the need to maintain permanent staffing and the necessary material and technical resources for the functioning of NGOs, the level of interaction with horizontal and vertical partners of NGOs with state, other non-governmental and business organizations, as well as with foreign partners and experts.
The focus group participants came to the main conclusion that among Kazakhstani non-profit organizations there is a tendency to attract grants for projects that do not meet their mission and goals, and this is often dictated by the survival of NGOs. This negative practice leads to a loss of trust on the part of target groups and donors and does not stimulate the professional growth of NGOs. The NGO sector needs to interact more effectively with other stakeholders: the target audience is to study its needs more deeply and increase professional competencies in matters within their sphere of influence; look for common ground with commercial organizations and involve them in solving social issues and increase the level of trust in donors.