In a historic move to prepare future generations for emerging economic realities, Kazakhstan has launched a national Child Development Account (CDA) policy informed by research from the Center for Social Development (CSD). Under the new policy, every child in the Central Asian nation is receiving an account with assets from natural-resource wealth.

The seed for consideration of a CDA policy in Kazakhstan grew from research by CSD Postdoctoral Fellow Aytakin Huseynli. In 2019 and 2020, as a doctoral student, she interviewed Kazakh officials, policymakers, academics, social workers, and other social-service professionals about the potential of a CDA policy using natural resource wealth for the well-being of children. She also shared findings from CSD’s SEED for Oklahoma Kids experiment and the center’s research on CDA policy.

Our research has shown that such policies can profoundly shape the trajectories of child beneficiaries.

Aytakin Huseynli

With the launch of the National Fund for Children policy, Kazakhstan’s 7 million children join more than 15 million global counterparts who have assets in CDAs. Through emerging national policies and new birth cohorts, the total number of CDAs will continue to grow.

The development opens the door on a policy structure for channeling natural-resource wealth to invest in children and build human capital.