Kazakhstan Sustainable Development Program

Program Foundations and Introduction

The Kazakhstan Sustainable Development Program (KSDP) is an applied research and professional training initiative for Kazakhstan offered by Columbia University (CU) and funded by Bolashak International Scholarship. The program was developed and is led by Professor André Corrêa d’Almeida (School of International and Public Affairs – SIPA) in close collaboration with Professor Glenn Denning (SIPA) and Professor Jeffrey Sachs (The Earth Institute). In 2017, KSDP will focus on two main focus areas: sustainable finance and educational leadership. Current Kazakhstani partners include the Astana International Finance Center (AIFC) and the Almaty Management University (AMU). The Program will bring mid-career professionals from Kazakhstan that demonstrate a focus on various sustainable development, education, and green finance sectors to New York City and CU to study alongside world-renowned research scientists as well as to get area-specific experience in financial organizations.

Program Structure

KSDP has the duration of six to nine months and is broken down in two intertwined main components:

  1. Applied Research;
  2. Professional Placement.  

During this period each participant will produce an applied project related to their professional mandate – one that contributes to building capacity in his/her business area.

Applied Research

In complement to and integrated with their professional placement participants will develop their individual applied projects with the support of several partnering CU research centers (KSDP will adjust the pool of partnering research centers every year depending on the range of individual projects of each program cohort):

Each participant will be paired with one academic mentor from the above listed CU research centers and units. Connecting participants and CU research experts will allow the former to develop a strong research and theoretical foundation for their projects.

Professional Placement

Each participant will be paired with one professional mentor from his/her hosting NYC-based company. Professional mentors from the hosting companies will guide participants in their skills development and provide them with specific on-the-job training expertise and knowledge. Professional placements occur intertwined with work on Columbia campus during the entire period of the program. The final project will be graded.

Selected participants will ideally be notified two months before the start of the program in order to allow for adequate pre-departure preparation. These two months plus the first four weeks in NYC will be used to finalize the terms of reference (ToR) of each participant’s project.  

KSDP is an applied research and practical program designed to custom fit specific professional development needs for its key personnel. A detailed program agenda will be finalized upon enrollment and will include:

  • Professional placement during the entire period of the program;
  • Access to Columbia University libraries;
  • Real-problem focus: participants will address and solve real problems their home organizations may be facing; KSDP Welcome Week to introduce participants to the program and finalize the ToR for each participant’s project.
  • One-on-one mentorship from Senior Researchers and independent research;
  • One-on-one mentorship from a professional mentor from the hosting company;
  • Weekly meetings with Columbia University Field Experts;
  • Center based events and seminars;
  • Spotlight events hosted by CSSW, SIPA, EI, Teachers College and Columbia Business School;
  • Participation in associated working groups, networking and collaboration events, and exposure to an interdisciplinary student body;
  • Focus on development issues in Central Asia;
  • Business English Language support;
  • Campus events: CU Global Leaders events, participation at case study competitions, seminars on management, finance, decision, risk and operations, and more;
  • Field trips to NYSE, the United Nations Headquarters, New York City Agencies, and other NYC-based relevant organizations.