Kazakhstan being the ninth largest country in the world has a population of only 15 million and no more than 4000 NGOs. The non-governmental organization (NGO) sector is a new phenomenon in Kazakhstan, but the grassroots and civil activities have always existed and are expanding rapidly. This development is largely spontaneous.
In Kazakhstan an eRider is a new term, and a new approach to the topic of Information, Communication Technologies (ICTs) for non-profit development. Kazakhstan is the first among the CIS countries to launch an eRiders project in August 2002. Today, the project is successfully running in three pilot cities and involves 12 eRiders. Currently, Kazakhstani eRiders are addressing the ICT needs of 36 non-profit Kazakhstani organizations.
The effective use of ICTs is becoming an essential factor for strengthening non-profits in Kazakhstan. The purpose of eRiding in Kazakhstan is to provide NGOs with effective consultation and education on ICTs issues. The result will be to strengthen the capacity and improve the performance of the non-profit sector as a whole.
Motivation is the crucial point for eRiding. To keep the eRiders motivated on a high level, the Kazakhstani team is trying to provide their eRiders with sufficient autonomy in decision-making that address client needs rather than donors’ preferences. For this purpose there are plans to develop an eRiding Code for national self-organized operation of the project. In the future, we will also develop and distribute a newsletter on ICTs to NGOs; arrange a Day of Service (on the volunteer basis) to address needs of NGOs and public agencies; build relationships with business providers working on ICTs (internet-providers, sellers of computer equipment, etc.) to improve services to NGOs; create a website on ICTs for NGOs with the special place for eRiding; and finally, design a project to train volunteers as eRiders to address needs of NGOs and public agencies.
After almost a year of work, the eRiders in Kazakhstan have many lessons learned and practical solutions to everyday communication issues to better serve the technology needs of the NGOs in Kazakhstan. For further information and a detailed account contact Maiya Tsyganenko () or Yulia Leonova ().