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FEATURE STORY

Joint Economic Research Program in Kazakhstan

April 6, 2002

The Joint Economic Research Program (JERP) is the cornerstone of the World Bank’s Country Partnership Strategy for Kazakhstan. The JERP provides policy analysis, strategic planning expertise, and good practice options to assist the Kazakhstan’s Government develop economic and social development reform agenda.

Kazakhstan has been a pioneer in drawing on the Bank’s pool of knowledge under the JERP and serves as an example to other countries now. In 10 years since its launch, the JERP grew several-fold and has proven an innovative instrument, promoting the use of strong analytical tools in policy-decision making as well as ownership at high levels of the Government.

The Program works on a cost-sharing arrangement between the Bank and the Government to ensure relevance and ownership on both sides of the table. The areas of focus and scope of the economic research program are determined by the Government in consultation with the World Bank.

The high-level brainstorming sessions, co-chaired by the Prime Minister, became a highlight of the JERP. Since 2003, 16 brainstorming sessions provided direct input to the Government’s ambitious reform agenda. These forums make use of Bank's technical expertise and international experience to build capacity in reform formulation and implementation.

In the past years, the JERP analytical work and policy dialogue focused on the areas of public resource management, education, health, agriculture, and private sector development; and - more recently - on poverty, social protection, and social sector expenditures.

In order to keep the programmatic work on track and achieve greater impact, the JERP design incorporated more intensive interaction with counterparts.  The programmatic approach introduced in 2012 with a 3-year-program-budget will help increase strategic focus of the program, intensify sector dialogue, and generate more impact.

The technical assistance and analytical work under the JERP for 2012 is focused on:

  • mitigating macroeconomic and fiscal risks,
  • enhancing competitiveness of the economy,
  • strengthening public finance management and public administration, and
  • improving human development outcomes.

Among the key JERP supported results are: