The pervasiveness of bribery has emerged as a serious social problem in post-independence Kazakhstan. During the Soviet era, it was common to circumvent official procedures through unofficial channels of personal relations. After market reforms, the use of cash payments, rather than reciprocal exchange of favors, has become more conspicuous. This study examines the use of money and connections by ordinary citizens in various sectors of present day Kazakhstan: why and how do they resort to informal means in order to get things done in everyday life or at work? This project also aims to elucidate the reasons why informal payments have become established as a norm, and what impact the prevalence of such practices has on society.