Kazakhstan Sustainable Development Program

Kazakhstan Sustainable Development Executive Program (KSDP)

The Kazakhstan Sustainable Development and Public Policy Executive Program (KSDP) is an executive training and research program developed and led by Professor André Corrêa d’Almeida from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and School of Social Work (CSSW), Columbia University (CU), for the National School of Public Policy (NSPP), Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The Program will bring master students from Kazakhstan that demonstrate a focus on various sustainable development and public policy sectors to CU to study alongside world-renowned research scientist at CU.

In an effort to set a modernization path for sustainable growth for the Republic of Kazakhstan, President Nursultan Nazarbayev launched, in January 2014, the “Strategy Kazakhstan – 2050”. In 2013, the President had already released a more specific strategic paper about the country’s transition to a “green economy”. The green strategy outlines eight strategic focus areas. These focus areas are at the core of our KSDP to ensure that selected students gain valuable skills and experience to help Kazakhstan thrive as a green economy.  

KZ Green Economy Focus Areas

  1. Sustainable water use;
  2. Achieving sustainable and high-performing agriculture;
  3. Energy saving and energy efficiency improvement;
  4. Power sector development;
  5. Waste management;
  6. Reducing air pollution;
  7. Preservation and efficient management of ecosystems;
  8. Extractive Industries

KSDP has identified the following University Centers to host students with similar interests and research objectives so students can develop their dissertation topic alongside Columbia’s experts through various lenses of sustainable development (see the list of NSPP students’ tentative dissertation topics in Appendix 1):





Connecting students and CU research experts at an early stage in the program ensures both parties will mutually benefit from the experience and help establish a meaningful relationship. Although the program covers 9 weeks we encourage and, where possible, help nurture relationships to ensure a lasting connection between NSPP students and CU faculty and scholars.

Structure and Timeline

All students will conclude the nine-week program – from February 20th to April 22nd, 2017 – with an advanced version of their master dissertation. Additional final outputs may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Students will be given a final exam in two courses. The advanced dissertation draft and a research methods individual project will also be graded.

NSPP will select six students for the KSDP that will be matched with one of the CU partnering Centers based on the focus of their research proposal and experience. Selected students will ideally be notified three months before the start of the program to begin preparing their research placement and dissertation project.   

Each research placement is designed to custom fit the interests of the student. Program agendas will be finalized upon enrollment and may include:

  • One-on-one mentorship from Senior Researchers and independent research;
  • Weekly meetings with Columbia University Field Experts;
  • Center based events and seminars;
  • Attend spotlight events hosted by SIPA and CSSW;
  • Participation in associated working groups, networking and collaboration events, and exposure to an interdisciplinary student body;
  • Two specific courses: Organizational Management and Change Management. (see a detailed description of each course in Appendix 2);
  • English Language support;
  • Campus events: CU Global Leaders events, Earth Institute Practicum, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory’s Earth Science Colloquium, and more;
  • Field trips to the United Nations, New York City Agencies.

The weekly schedule is designed to include theoretical, practical, field work and networking components in the KSDP learning experience. Courses are offered Tuesdays and Thursdays with the theoretical part covered in the morning and the practical hands-on work in the afternoon. Mondays and Wednesdays mornings are dedicated to one-on-one mentorship sessions with senior scholars at each host Columbia research center. In the afternoon students will work on their own projects and do independent research. Fridays are reserved for field trips, life on campus, and events and seminars in New York City.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Morning One-on-one mentorship sessions at CU research centers Organizational Management: theory One-on-one mentorship sessions at CU research centers Change Management: theory Field trips
Afternoon Independent Research Organizational Management: practice Independent Research Change Management: practice Events and seminars


While NSPP will be the sole entity responsible for the selection of students for the KSDP we strongly recommend:

  • Proficient in English Language: IELTS test minimum score of 6.0 is required;
  • Pre-arrival English language training to be offered by NSPP.
  • Graduate level student;
  • Strong, demonstrated interest in public policy and sustainable development;
  • Strong academic performance record.

Contacts: For more information about the KSDP please contact the Program Coordinator, Aizhan Kapysheva, at abk2165@columbia.edu, or Program Director, Professor André Corrêa d’Almeida, at ac3133@columbia.edu.  

Appendix 1: Tentative Dissertation Topics for NSPP Master’s Students


диссертаций магистрантов  НШГП

Name Название темы Research topic
1 Yerzhan Ahmzhanov Гендерное равенство и усиление полномочий женщин на государственной службе в Республике Казахстан Gender equality and women’s empowerment in civil service in the Republic of Kazakhstan
2 Zhanat Zhumabayev   Создание безбарьерного доступа к получению государственных услуг людям с ограниченными возможностями Development of inclusive access to public services for people with disabilities
3 Yerlan Kussaiyn Организационно-технологические особенности развития социального предпринимательства в Республике Казахстан Organizational and technological aspects of the development of social entrepreneurship in the Republic of Kazakhstan
4 Karlygash Omarova Критерии эффективности деятельности кадровых служб государственных органов (на примере ЦГО) Effectiveness criteria of human resources services in government agencies (using the example of Central Government Agencies)
5 Darkhan Suraubayev Государственное управление земельными ресурсами в Республике Казахстан Public management of land resources in the Republic of Kazakhstan
6 Asset Taukenov Управление кредитными рисками в банках второго уровня Республики Казахстан Credit-risk management at second level banks in the Republic of Kazakhstan