EQUALITY for Peace and Development (EPD) conducted a research to assess the influence of the national budget planning and execution process on service delivery in seven provinces (Balkh, Bamyan, Herat, Kandahar, Kunduz, Nangarhar, Urzgan, and Kabul). The research was focused on the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Education, and the interviewees included teachers, doctors, students, and government officials.
The research findings showed that the development and execution of the annual national budget has a centralized nature. While justified for a variety of reasons, the strong centralization of budgeting processes was criticized because local populations felt that the centralized government had no insight in the needs of local communities.
Secondly, public services were judged to be of low quality in many cases, often delayed for unreasonable amounts of time, and fraught with corruption. The research recommended that at a fundamental level, renewed creativity was urgently needed in dealing with corruption across all levels of government authority and social segments.
Thirdly, respondents reported that they were excluded from budget development processes, and that they were not aware of effective avenues through which to monitor budget execution or to advocate for improved services.
Lastly, the report found that the central government is advised to explore ways to increase internal revenues in order to better address the lingering poverty experienced by many Afghan citizens.