Duke’s involvement with Kazakhstan goes back to 2003, when Center Director Gary Gereffi participated in a World Bank mission on economic diversification, with special emphasis on the oil and gas value chain. The Duke GVC Center engaged in a three-year (2015-2017) collaboration with the National Analytical Center (NAC), an affiliate of Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan. NAC established a Regional Competitiveness and Growth Center (RCGC) in November 2015 to serve as an analytical platform to inform decision-making for both public and private sectors in Kazakhstan.
The Duke GVC Center supported this new center in three key areas:
1) Capacity Building: researcher recruitment, training of research staff, mentoring and supervision of projects, among other roles.
2) Research Agenda Support: The Duke GVC Center and RCGC are developing proposals and projects.
3) Visibility and Relationship Development: The Duke GVC Center and NAC will work together on issues related to research priorities, publicity and the RCGC’s relationship development with universities and development organizations.
Researchers from the Duke GVC Center:
– Consulted on the creation and structure for the RCGC (launched in November 2015).
– Advised on the recruitment of research staff for the RCGC.
– Developed an annual project plan.
– Provided rigorous training for a staff of eight RCGC researchers. This training is not merely assisting the RCGC team in developing their research skills. The GVC Center is fully participating with them in final reports (co-branded as Duke GVC Center and RCGC research).
– Hosted the RCGC team in Durham, North Carolina once per year for week-long workshops and meetings.
– Took part in field research in Kazakhstan on multiple occasions.
– Presented findings with the RCGC team during annual conferences in Kazakhstan for internal and external stakeholders.