As the first country in Central Asia to develop an e-government initiative, Kazakhstan has been a regional leader promoting open government and open data for the past several years. Today there are more than 3.7 million users registered on the āelectronic governmentā portal ( and on average Kazakhstani people receive nearly 40 million different electronic services a year. Open data is an integral part of the countryās open government policies around accessibility to citizens, transparency of public administration, and corruption control. The development of an open data platform was reflected in the āInformation Kazakhstan ā 2020ā³ State Program. With 200+ datasets published on their data portal in XML and JSON formats, the Kazakhstani Government is now looking to rapidly encourage and expand the use of their growing open data portal.
In April 2015, National Information Technologies JSC (NITEC), the national operator of information, held its inaugural āOpen Data for Business Roundtableā which brought together over 60 representatives from the private sector to discuss their potential use of open data. This Roundtable was planned in response to an initial open data workshop with government officials, convened by the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs in February, where the officials requested a way to engage the private sector in identifying government data priorities. āKazakhstan is on the verge of implementing a robust open data platform taking into account the views of the citizens and businesses throughout the country, ā said Richard Kerby, Inter-Regional Adviser at UNDESA.
The Open Data for Business Roundtable, hosted by NITEC in collaboration with the Center for Open Data Enterprise, convened a wide variety of companies, from large and established state owned companies to small and medium sized businesses. These companies came from a dozen sectors including healthcare, education, real estate and construction, agriculture, telecommunication, oil and gas, publishing, finance, and IT. The Roundtable was a critical first step in creating ongoing government engagement with Kazakhstani companies to get feedback how open data can be made as useful and usable as possible for the private sector. Discussion topics included private sector priorities, barriers to data use, and opportunities and next steps.