Social infrastructure management in villages of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Abstract

Object: research of social infrastructure of villages of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Methods: content analysis, systematization of data, comparative and logical analysis, generalization, statistical analysis, an empirical study using a survey method, economic and statistical groupings, comparative methods, methods of expert assessments, analogies, mathematical statistics, economic and mathematical, etc.

Finding: this article discusses the social infrastructure of the village as a form of management. The concept of managing the social sphere of the village is studied theoretically and the results are summarized. The article defines the features of managing the social infrastructure of rural regions. Comments of scientists from different countries of the world on the social sphere of the village are given. New principles of social policy of Kazakhstan are considered, which include the following: the state undertakes to guarantee citizens a minimum social standard; social policy is to solve problems of social imbalances in the development of regions. A summary of the system of regional standards for settlements of the Republic of Kazakhstan is given.

Conclusion: the article identifies the main problems that hinder the sustainable development of the social infrastructure of the village, and suggests ways to improve it.

Introduction

In modern conditions, the rural social environment is characterized by a low level of equipment with material and technical means, a low amount of services provided, and a lack of funding. The demand for social services and goods in rural areas has remained high and often unsatisfactory over the past decades, while the supply is very narrow and insufficient. As a result, the rural population completely excludes freedom of choice of household premises, high-quality education and high-quality medical care, affordable level of goods and services, which in turn negatively affects the quality of life. In the conditions of modern rural territorial space, life activity has lost stability, stability, and creativity, and rural residents have become the lowest paid category of workers. All of the above increases the relevance of attention to the management of the social environment in rural areas.

The role of social infrastructure is not only to provide decent living conditions for citizens, but also tocre- ate a competitive economic image of the region in the national scale. Social infrastructure affects econom- icsystem's efficiency, since social infrastructure branches become points of human capital development (Nakipova et al., 2017, 76).

The rural social infrastructure (hereinafter referred to as the RSI) is an integral part of the State infrastructure. “Present infrastructure operation is characterised by: governance based on unmanaged growing demand, which is both inefficient and ultimately unsustainable; lack of integration of the end-users, in terms of the variety of their wants, needs and behaviours; separate and parallel delivery of different infrastructure streams prohibiting joint solutions” (Roelich, Knoeri et al., 2015, 40).

The need to develop the basic amenities for rural areas should be considered as a part of an overall development which needs to include the economic growth, the increase in the health services, access to education and the community development itself. The provisions of sufficient and good quality of infrastructure can maintain the balance in the quality of life between rural and urban areas (Bulus & Adefila, 2014).

Research materials and methods. The article was prepared on the basis of systematization and analysis of data from scientific monographs, publications in journals and program documents. Logical judgment, comparison and alignment, embroidery and graphic representation of the material, abstracts, and other methods were used.

Literature Review

Problems of population living quality and standard have always occupied a prominent place in the works of both domestic and foreign researchers. One of the most significant internal factors of the life quality in the rural population is the social infrastructure. The creation of the social infrastructure formation and functioning theory is associated with the names of such scientists as V. Atkociuniene, G. Vaznonicne, R. Ракеİţİепė, I. Kiausiene, E. Frolova, A. Yessengeldina, W. Berry and others.

Issues of social infrastructure development in the agricultural sector are presented in the works of G.N. Nakipova, B.K. Spanova, W.F. Stukach, E.V. Tishin and others.

One of the most common views on the interpretation of the social environment is economic, or rather economic-industrial, which implies a synonym for the concept of “social infrastructure”. E.V. Tishin gives a structural and functional definition of “social sphere” concept and considers it in two cases: through a complex of social infrastructure and its branches, and through a social space that includes many social connections, a system of public relations (Tishin, 2017).

Scientific category “infrastructure” definitions of scientists from different countries of the world regarding the social sphere in rural areas are shown in Table 1.

Table 1. The evolution of rural social infrastructure term

Atkociuniene,

Vaznoniene, Pa- keltiene, 2015

“rural social infrastructure as it is a territorial and spatial system of interrelated types of economic and social activity and relations creating conditions for functioning of ecosystems, creation of physical and social capitals used by the individuals and communities to satisfy individual and social needs”

Vaznoniene,

Kiausiene,2018

“rural social infrastructure as social economic system it forms the living environment features, promotes or reduces the attractiveness of a living space; social infrastructure services enhance or decrease local community wellbeing depending on its development level, supply and accessibility of services”

Frolova et al., 2016

“social infrastructure is one of the dominant factors, ensuring the satisfaction of basic human needs, as well as the development of the state and its territory. Transportation facilities, housing services, the systems of social protection, health and education are the key positions in the practice of state and municipal administration, which is determined by a number of factors”

Yessengeldina, Sitenko, Seitali- nova, 2014

“social infrastructure is characterized by features of settlement, production and labor, the economic mechanism, its formation and operation, and other properties as a social and territorial subsystem of society”

Berry, 2011

“processes, programs, events, services, networks, and actions that support individuals and families to meet their social and personal needs in a particular place through personal growth, social interaction, support for social services, and development (rural-ed.) communities”

Stukach, 2017

“a complex of interrelated and complementary material elements that are as accessible as possible and are spatially and temporally close to the spheres of human activity, aimed at meeting a wide range of needs of the entire rural population and creating conditions for the development of human capital”

Omarov, 2015

“a set of social objects located on the territory of a rural settlement that implement social and economic objectives, the solution of which is aimed at ensuring the life of the population …”

Note — the table is made by the authors on the basis of data of a source (Atkociuniene, et al., 2015, Vaznoniew, Kiausiene, 2018, Frolova et al., 2016, Yessengeldina et al., 2014, Berry, 2011, Stukach, 2017, Omarov, 2015)

Thus, the above definitions, and an extended analysis of studies of the social sphere of the village — further (SSV) allow us to conclude that today there will be no unambiguous definition of this economic category, and there is no consensus on its structure.

Sustainable development of rural areas is characterized by a variety of problems. First of all, it is necessary to satisfy the needs of the present and future generations. In turn, sustainable development involves the provision of rural areas: food, agricultural raw materials, employment, preservation of the culture of rural production and life, the implementation of social development, the preservation of historically developed landscapes and environmental safety, etc. (Allahverdiyeva L.M. et al. 2019, 14)

Methods

In this article is used the well-known research methods: content analysis of existing modern sources for SSV development, systematization of data, comparative and logical analysis, generalization, statistical analysis of the dynamics of social indicators, an empirical study using a survey method.

Private methods of economic cognition were also used: questionnaires and the method of focus groups, economic and statistical groupings, comparative methods, methods of expert assessments, analogies, mathematical statistics, economic and mathematical, etc.

Results

In the message of the President “Strategy “Kazakhstan-2050”: Anew Political Course of An Established State” (December 2012), it was noted that: “in our society, there is a growing demand for an updated and more effective social policy that can cope with the challenges of the time”.

The new principles of social policy in Kazakhstan, among others, include the following. First, the state undertakes to guarantee citizens a minimum social standard. The main task is to prevent the growth of poverty. Poverty is defined as lack of sufficient income or meet their basic needs for food, clothing, housing, health and education, but also needs a healthy and long life, a sufficient level of education, opportunities to participate in public life, to have sufficient income to meet other socio-cultural needs. Poverty should not become a social prospect for any citizen of Kazakhstan.

Secondly, an important principle of social policy is to solve the problems of social imbalances in the regions development.

N.A. Nazarbayev noted that, first, it is necessary to strengthen the coordination of state agencies in the field of regional development. The task is to synchronize the implementation of all state and industry programs with the solution of priority tasks of regional development. In 2013 the President of Kazakhstan approved the Concept on transition Kazakhstan to “green economy”, one of whose tasks also supports the reduction of “regional imbalances” as “Kazakhstan's economic development is concentrated around cities and major extractive industries”.

The government of Kazakhstan has developed and approved the program “Regions Development”, which solves current socio-economic problems of the regions. The implementation of the program to be carried out in 2 stages: — 1st stage — 2015 and 2017; — 2nd stage — 2017–2020 years.

At the first stage, systemic problems and factors limiting the socio-economic development of the regions was identified, a mechanism of action was developed by the regional akimats to eliminate them, and financial support was provided.

At the initial stage of the Program implementation, a method for determining the potential of rural locality (hereinafter — RL) was developed. The draft action plans and lists of investment projects have been approved by the Central government agencies and national companies of Samruk-Kazyna and KazAgro. A distinctive feature of this event is that decisions on the selection of certain projects are made by the meeting of the local community, based on the priority and relevance of solving problems. Of course, one of the key tasks of local Executive bodies that affect the business and investment climate in the region is the development and maintenance of infrastructure. In the future, in order to dynamically develop the regions of Kazakhstan, the main focus of the Program was supposed to be on the development of small cities, as well as on solving priority tasks in the centers of economic growth (regional centers, cities of regional significance, support RL).

As of January 1st, 2019, there are 6454 RL in the Republic with a total number of 7697.0 thousand people. The data in figure 9 clearly shows the picture of the annual decrease in the number of villages in Kazakhstan since 2014. Over the past five years, the number of RL in the country has decreased by 5.5 % (374 units).

The reduction of the RL and, consequently, the rural population is associated with both increased productivity in agriculture and unequal living conditions in urban and rural areas.

Thus, according to the results of 2018: the salary of workers in rural areas was 72.5 % of the urban (117.7 thousand and 162.3 thousand tenge, respectively); the poverty level (the share of people with incomes below the subsistence minimum) in rural areas-6.7 %, in the city-2.5 %; the number of doctors (per 10 thousand population) in rural areas — 14.3, in the city — 43.7; the provision of centralized water supply in rural areas — 84.4 %, in the city — 94.5 %; wastewater treatment in rural areas — 8.6 %, in the city — 68.7 %. It should also be noted that according to the international PISA rating in 2015, the quality of education among 15-year-olds in rural schools lags behind their urban peers from 0.5 to 4 years (depending on the region, language of instruction and subject). According to the results of monitoring for 2017, out of the total number of RL, 1309 corresponds to a high, 4775 — to an average, and 477 — to a low development potential. 3509 RL are small (500 people or less) and only 8.9 % of rural residents live in them. At the same time, there are 278 villages with a population of 5 thousand people or more in each.

In accordance with current state regulations, RL are generally provided with education and health facilities. Thus, according to the results of 2016–2018, 73 % of villages have educational facilities (in 2015 — 74 %, in 2014–74 %) and 80 % of villages are provided with health facilities (in 2015 — 81 %, in 2014–81 %).

The district centers are 122 RL. 311 RL were identified as reference RL, but since the implementation of the “Auyl — El besigi” Project, their number is being specified. Currently (2018, 2019), the social infrastructure of the ST does not remain without the attention Of Kazakhstan government and regional leaders, although a special Program in this direction has not been adopted.

In 2018 in the framework of the program “Rouhani Year” the Ministry of agriculture initiated the project “Auyl Ate Besigi” (“Village cradle of the nation”).

The main goal of the Project is to improve the life quality in rural areas, modernize the social environment in rural areas, and bring them up to the parameters of the system of regional standards. The Project aims to develop the social and engineering infrastructure in rural areas, ensure that rural residents have access to social benefits and public services, and generally create a more comfortable living environment.

In 2019, the following algorithm of actions was developed and implemented for the effective implementation of the Project.

First. Based on the analysis of development potentials and the current economic situation, the selection of reference rural localities where projects are planned to be implemented was carried out. At the same time, a roadmap for achieving the goals was developed for each project and locality.

Second. In 2019, together with international experts, the methodology and models for calculating indicators for prioritizing the SNP as a reference have been improved.

A reference rural locality (hereinafter — RRL) is a well-developed RL that creates an infrastructure to provide public and social services to the population living in it and to the residents of the surrounding rural localities that make up the rural cluster.

Key changes in the new methodology for determining the prospects of the RL are considered within rural clusters, rather than separately for a promising (reference) village. This allows us to form a more complete picture of the coverage of the population, especially public infrastructure.

Population estimates are based on the dynamics of the past 10 years, and not exclusively in a static state at the reporting date. According to the results of the static analysis, “population” is considered as the most significant parameter for assessing the priority of the RL, instead of the previously used indicators of agriculture.

Taking into account the geographical position of the RL using geospatial analysis in determining the priority, including proximity to tourist sites, the state border. When implementing the Project, a comprehensive approach was applied to the development of reference villages with the provision of a "Budget Filter" (priority financing of reference villages included in the Project). 90.0 billion tenge was allocated from the national budget for 2019–2021 for the Project, including 30.0 billion tenge in 2019. The distribution of funds from the Republican budget by region was carried out based on the number of rural population living in rural localities with high development potential. As a result of the project, more than 7 thousand km of inner-village streets will be built and repaired in seven years, all villagers will be provided with high-quality drinking water, and social facilities will be modernized.

Discussions

Currently, 3,477 villages with potential for development have been selected, of which 1,150 are reference and 2,327 are satellite villages, including 200 border villages. These villages are home to 6.6 million people, or 85 % of the rural population, whose development will be a priority. By region, the most villages will be covered by the project in the Turkestan region — 38 villages, in Almaty-33, East Kazakhstan region-26, least of all-in the Mangistau region-five villages.

According to the project, together with the regional akimats, in 2019, 454 infrastructure projects are being implemented in 53 villages, where almost 700 thousand people live, and the national budget provides 30 billion tenge for these purposes. Of the selected projects, 247 are aimed at the development of transport infrastructure, 135-social infrastructure and 72-housing and communal services.

The emphasis is placed on large localities — district centers with the largest number of population, where urgent infrastructure problems need to be resolved as soon as possible. The implementation of the Project in 2019 has improved the quality of life of almost 700 thousand people, or 9 % of the rural population.

The amount of funding for 1 district center averaged about 670 million tenge. Akimats of regions are recommended to allocate at least 10 % for co-financing of projects. Akimats of the regions have developed and adopted appropriate “roadmaps” for each project with deadlines for implementation with the assignment of responsible officials.

The authors of the project have developed a special standard for the quality of life of the rural population — “Auyl 4.0”. It includes six items: economic, engineering, and social blocks, productive employment, residential security, and energy and ecology. According to the project, within two years, the villagers' satisfaction with living conditions should be at least 64 percent. It should be noted that during the consolidation of villages, their number will inevitably decrease. Such measures are designed to work on the effectiveness of infrastructure development, because in small and hard-to-reach villages, it is quite doubtful, and the maintenance of such villages is unprofitable.

According to the order of Elbasa, announced at the XVIII regular Congress of the “Nur Otan” party on February 27, 2019, a Draft Program “development of regions” until 2025 has already been developed on the implementation of regional policy.

In April 2019, a joint order was adopted by the Central state bodies (the Ministry of national economy, culture and sports, industry and infrastructure development of education and science, digital development, defense and aerospace industries, and health care) to approve the system of regional standards (hereinafter referred to as SRS) for localities. The SRS provides for a minimum mandatory level of accessibility of objects and services (goods) to the population, depending on the type (city, village) and size (population) of settlements (table 2).

Table 2. Summary of the SRS for localities in the Republic of Kazakhstan

Fundamentals

Human settlement

Region, city

Village

1

Purpose of use

when planning the socio-economic and regional development of a country, region, or city

In order to solve regional problems and improve the quality of life in specific localities.

2

Principles

provision of all cities with facilities and services (goods) on the principle of “20-minute walking distance” of the population to them.

Due to the small size of the SNP, this principle is observed if there are social sphere objects (hereinafter referred to as SS) in each settlement

3

Conditions

The residential area of the city is divided into planning sectors (PS) with a population of about 10 thousand people in each and place a mandatory list of infrastructure facilities and services on the territory of each PS.

Provision of villages with objects and services (goods) based on their prospects for development (district centers, centers of rural districts, other villages with a small population).

4

List of objects and services (goods)

For the planning sector in the city — 51 names

for district centers — 32 names, centers of rural districts — 23, other villages — 11

Note — compiled by the author from the source (Postanovlenie Pravitelstva Respubliki Kazakhstan ot 28 iiunia 2014 goda № 728 “Ob utverzhdenii Proghrammy razvitiia regionov do 2020 goda” [Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan of June 28, 2014 No. 728 “On the approval of the Program for the Development of Regions until 2020”]. adilet.zan.kz. Retrieved from http://adilet.zan.kz)

Conclusion

Summing up, we conclude that:

  • one of the main problems of the social sphere is the discrepancy of social guarantees of the state and the financing of the social sphere aimed at fulfilling state guarantees; therefore, the participation of state bodies is required to solve large-scale social problems. Issues of development of health care, education, housing and utilities should be addressed at the level of state authorities of the Republic of Kazakhstan and local authorities. (Spanova 2018, p.73);
  • the management of the economy in Kazakhstan has a certain specificity, due to the action of production, financial and economic, managerial, socio-psychological and spatial-territorial factors. The latter include a significant dispersion of management facilities and the presence of legislative acts regulating territorial development.

The analysis revealed a rather ambiguous picture of the implementation of rural social reform in Kazakhstan. The village has become the object of multidirectional transformations, on the one hand, positive, but largely unsystematic actions of the state through national projects and programs for rural development and agriculture, and on the other — weak attempts to implement the foundations of local self-government, not supported by the necessary resource base.

 

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Year: 2020
City: Karaganda
Category: Economy