Summer School: “Incubating new policy ideas and networks”

Publised: Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The International Centre for Policy Advocacy, Soros Foundation Kazakhstan and the partners invite applications to attend our summer school entitled: “Incubating new policy ideas and networks”, which will take place in Almaty, August 1-5, 2017. This is an opportunity for young researchers and activists from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, & Ukraine to bring new ideas to the table, advance policy analysis and advocacy skills, engage with peers and understand better what a policy career might look like.

Eligibility Criteria

Soros Foundation Kazakhstan is looking for applicants who are:

  • young researchers or activists (aged approx. 25-35) from Kazakhstan
  • interested in pursuing a policy and/or activist career
  • holding a degree or post graduate degree in social sciences or a policy related field
  • And/or have experience working in an NGO, research institute/think tank

Aim, focus & approach

The idea behind the “Policy Incubator” summer school is to harness the creativity and passion of selected participants and support them in bridging fresh ideas into the policy realm by building up policy-relevant projects. To achieve this broader aim, the specific objectives of the summer school are to:

  • generate new policy ideas that have the potential for achieving impact;
  • foster the policy thinking and practical skill development of young professionals;
  • build new networks of policy professionals on the national and regional levels who are interested in evidence-informed policy engagement;
  • promote a policy career as a viable option among participants of the school.

The course will support participants to develop their policy skills and policy-relevant projects through a combination of the following methods:

  • practical policy skill building workshops conducted by an experienced international team from ICPA;
  • practical application of the skills through development of a ‘pitch presentation’ and actual presentation before an audience/jury;
  • peer learning through group work supported by mentors from the region; and
  • insights/learning exchanges from policy practitioners from the region and beyond.

Application process

We are looking for policy ideas in 2 specific areas:


Policy Theme 1 – Economic Policy for Social Justice

Specific Policy lines

We are seeking new ideas on how to:

  1. Improve the process of managing the pension assets to ensure the standard of living for future pensioners
  2. Assess women’s informal contribution in economy – how much staying at home costs?
  3. Decrease the skills mismatch through identifying needs of the economy in labor by professions and skills


Policy Theme 2 – Secondary and Vocational Education

Specific Policy lines

We are seeking new ideas on how to:

  1. Increase access to quality education for children from vulnerable groups (Children in school but out of schooling)
  2. Transform education through teacher leadership
  3. Increase inclusiveness of NEET youth (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) into education and labor market



Applicants should submit their applications by email by Tuesday July 11th to Each submission should include the following:

  1. Policy idea - 250 words outlining the problem theme and line you will address and your idea for solving the issue.
  2. Statement of motivation – Maximum 200 words on why you would like to participate on the summer school and how it contributes to your career plans.
  3. A current CV

The most promisingapplications from Kazakhstan will be selected and notified by Thursday, July 15th.

For further information please contact Bota Ayazbayeva, SFK Public Policy Initiative director at,  

The summer school is a partnership between:

  • The International Centre for Policy Advocacy
  • Soros Foundation Kazakhstan
  • Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation–Tajikistan
  • The International Renaissance Foundation
  • KIMEP University

Participants' travel, accommodation and per diems will be covered by the organizers.