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UNDESA Policy Briefs

 "How to be a Better Policy Advisor in Public Administration Reforms in selected Central Asia countries"

Training course for advisors
Yssyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan, October 5-8, 2005 (Russian language)
written by Bolotbek Orokov, leading trainer


On October 5-8, 2005 NISPAcee in cooperation with the local partner Academy of Management under the President of the Kyrgyz Republic implemented a training course "How to be a better Policy Advisor”. The training was organized with the financial support of SlovakAid within the project "HOW TO BE A BETTER POLICY ADVISOR in Public Administration Reforms in selected Balkan and Central Asia countries”.

The training course took place in Bulan Sogotu village, Yssyk-Kul region, Kyrgyzstan. The name of the region originated from the name of the lake Yssyk-Kul which in Kyrgyz language means "Hot Lake”. Certainly, the lake is not hot, but it never gets frozen even during cold winter season when the temperature is 30 degrees centigrade below zero. Yssyk-Kul is one of the most beautiful lakes, a masterpiece of the world’s nature situated at 1600 meters above the sea level and surrounded by celestial mountains. It seems that the spirit of the local nature had a positive impact on the performance of the trainers and trainees. The training course was implemented in a really nice place that more then ever motivated both trainers and trainees to learn and absorb new knowledge and skills


The training was led by a team of trainers - Bolotbek Orokov, leading trainer from Kyrgyzstan, Saodat Kasimova from Uzbekistan and Aleksandr Balkunov from Kyrgyzstan. In the training participated 12 participants from Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, they were rather active and demonstrated great interest in the training course.

The program of the training course was designed to provide necessary knowledge to and develop necessary skills of the participants. The trainers delivered a mini-lecture on public policy cycle in order to provide the participants with basic knowledge necessary for understanding the cyclical nature of policy making which is the main subject matter for policy advisors. As far as all participants were academicians and their main activity is research or / and teaching, it was needed to think about differences between researches they usually carry out for scientific purposes and policy analysis needed for the policy advising. These two topics were the main part of the program during the first day.

During the second day the participants learned about "The Client” and the environment in which both the client and the advisor work.  What is the advisor; a servant of the government or an agent of the change? That was the question for discussion. Trainers leaded participants’ discussion to the point that the advisor is both the governmental servant and the agent of the change.

The third day of the training was devoted to the product of policy advising and the skills of a good advisor. All topics were delivered to the participants by means of combination of mini-lectures, discussions, case studies, games, energizers, and other interactive methods of the training. Last session during the fourth day of the training was a role game that gave possibility to imitate organization of governmental tender inviting interested parties to take part in competition for consulting the government. Combination of hard and interesting work with interesting part time allowed obtaining good results of the training course both for the participants and the trainers.


Dinara Alymova
We usually divide our life "before” and "after” some particular event. For me participation at NISPAcee training is important, tempting and … there is a kind of intrigue in it. Thou, all what was "before:

1. There is an intrigue in the name of the training - «How to be a better policy advisor». Indeed, how to be an advisor, moreover better advisor, in addition better advisor in issues of public importance? Before I was a person who had devoted the life to education and never tied my activity with political issues.
Paradox: education is a part of public policy and one of the main pledge of the development for any state. It sounds tempting.
3. It is important because it is always important to make first step!

These thoughts I had on the threshold of the training. A former Member of Parliament, who was my interlocutor in a taxi, all way was speaking about his political services. After knowing where and for what purposes I am traveling, he roughly disparage: "All these trainings are useless”! I am keeping silence and do not have anything to object.

But "after”… Our brain is ready to absorb information, but not always process it. Laziness, tiredness, realization of uselessness. All in NISPAcee training was opposite. Everything was simple, accessible, reasonable, easy to remember, and impressible because of parables, own life experience, and of course Triffids!

1. Trainers – each of them is with own presentations, but all of this is so accurate that it is not visible they are three different people.  It seems that only one person perorate organic, harmoniously, interconnectedly. And "after”, rereading my notes from the training with findings, judgments, assumptions I immediately fancy their Prudence, Emotionality, and Ingenuousness. 
2. I learnt a lot: а) advising problems; b) models of advising; c) policy analysis and research projects; d) who is an advisor; e) how and why academicians can be policy advisors. Again paradox: we are accustomed that "Political issues are dirty thing”, but "after” words of Mr. Prudence about ideal advisor who keeps ethical norms and like Shaherezada change the shah (ruler, president) with her fairy tales with good advices, I belief the politics can be positively and qualitatively curable (a doctor and a patient relations, I remember it).
3. I am really deeply impressed.


Now, remembering the remark of the former Member of Parliament, I think even "after” I could break the silence as each of us has own understanding of "before and after”. I would just say (also in my heart) the words that can suit for NISPAcee training: "Let rulers do not shun inviting the most capable people to their advisors. Let distinguished academicians find honorable place in the premises of rules. Let them have a single deserving prize that is change the life of people to better life using their wisdom. Only in this case will it be visible what virtue, science and power animated with generous competition and friendly working can do for the sake of human being…” (Jan Jack Russo, "Thoughts about science and art”)

Клиент, что ребус, разгадай его
В чем цель, потребности, когда и от кого
О важном не забудь – «балансе интересов…»
Затем иди вперед не бойся ничего!

Изменчива среда, системы, люди, взгляды
Но вечный нам урок – пример Шахерезады:
Идеи в сказках тех пошли на благо всех
Советник - из числа «достойнейших плеяды»


Asan ulu Kubatbek
The training was organized on a high level and has passed in a warm and business atmosphere. Up to this training I knew about the adviser that I read under books and what I had experience and skills. After participation in a training I began to work as the skilled adviser, all my actions became thought more over, I already know as well as where to find the necessary information. On training I have learned about consultation as process creative and interesting. I have learned about stages of preparation of the good political document, it was pleasant to learn about distinctions between the political document and scientific research. A lot of useful I have learned about type of clients.

During all exercises in training I got good skills of drawing up of the analytical document. These skills very much were useful to me now in practice when I am involved in two projects of NGO of  Naryn oblast as the expert - analyst. 


Gulnara Suleymanova
The knowledge and experiences I gained during the workshop, I actively implemented in my courses, "Economics” and "Research in Economic Operations”, in Kyrgyz National University. In the upcoming Spring semester, I am planning to include material from one of our Yssyk-Kul workshops "How to be a better advisor” in another course that I teach, "Business Management”.

In conclusion, I would like to say that because of the training I found for myself a new perspective – to assist in making reforms in Kyrgyzstan’s public administration.


Damira Omuralieva
The training  „How to be policy advisor" has enabled us to develop our knowledge and to improve the skills in granting consulting services to the state bodies. We also plan, and further to render the services and consultations to state bodies during political planning and management at a regional level.

Now we participate in development of the Concept of rural consulting services in Kyrgyzstan and, certainly, received by us during a seminar of knowledge, skills and an exchange of personal experience of participants of a seminar in the field of consultation and a spelling of similar documents very much help us. We want to note the following knowledge, which will be necessarily used and are used at present by us during practical activities: Problems of consultation; The Political cycle: requirements and stages of consultation; Distinction between the analysis of a policy and scientific researches; Methods and receptions of gathering of the information; The Adviser is an agent for realization of transformations or simply the servant of the government? Skills of the good adviser; Skills of hearing; Types of clients. An estimation of requirements of different clients; Types of the political document. 


Oleg Gerasimov
… New knowledge received will be definitely applied in my future activity as policy advisor. Knowledge received in the training will be a basis to broaden my interests’ range. The manual "How to be a better policy advisor” is a good addition to the content of the training as it clearly describes the role of a policy advisor. I hope for future cooperation with NISPAcee.


Alexandra Sergeyeva
Trifids cases are very good especially for working with students. We can use part of your program in combined projects of course with your agreement. I think that the major feed back from our seminar is how I can use getting knowledge in new project for students in our republic.

I hope for our collaboration in future, thank you for all.

Nurakishev Adil, Kazakhstan
Dolzhikova Oxana, Kazakhstan
Alimova Ulpan, Kazakhstan
Asan ulu Kubatbek, Kyrgyzstan
Omuralieva Damira, Kyrgyzstan
Abdykerimov Almaz, Kyrgyzstan
Nogoybaeva Elmira, Kyrgyzstan
Alymbaeva Aida, Kyrgyzstan
Sergeyeva Alexandra, Kyrgyzstan
Suleymanova Gulnara, Kyrgyzstan
Oleg Gerasimov, Kyrgyzstan
Dinara Alymova, Kyrgyzstan

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