Analysis of social transfers for children and their families in Kazakhstan

Analysis of social transfers for children and their families in Kazakhstan

Дети играются, Кызылорда
UNICEF/2016/Andrey Kim


This study examines the effectiveness of social transfers to poor and vulnerable children and their families in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan has a mature and broad social protection system that is geared towards the alleviation of poverty and vulnerability. It supports children and their families through (1) cash and in-kind transfers, (2) investments in education and health, and (3) social care services, including residential care, services for children with disabilities, and social work. In the last decade, there has been significant progress in improving the economic and social conditions of the population. Some notable achievements include a nearly ten-fold decrease in poverty and five-fold decrease in maternal mortality between 1998 and 2011 (Republic of Kazakhstan, 2013). Yet poverty remains a prominent problem and many people remain vulnerable to social and economic risks.

The Government of Kazakhstan considers social assistance as a critical policy tool for supporting people who are unable to earn sufficient income to maintain their livelihoods. The long-term Strategic Development Plan ‘Kazakhstan-2050’ (SDP, 2012) asserts the state’s responsibility for guaranteeing ‘minimum social standards’ to enable all citizens to meet their priority needs. It maintains that the state needs to take ‘full responsibility’ for targeted social assistance for vulnerable groups, namely those who are unable to work, individuals with a disability, and sick or old persons.


Babken Babajanian, Jessica Hagen-Zanker and Heiner Salomon

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