Weak governance mechanisms and lack of transparency in government institutions are some of the major problems that Afghanistan is facing today. Lack of capacity in the government institutions is compounded by rampant corruption, which sours the relationship between the government and its citizens. As numerous sources from Transparency International to Integrity watch Afghanistan have documented, corruption remains a major problem that is getting steadily worse.
In reference to International support laid out at the Brussels’ conference, local government should be held accountable for delivering the basic services to the public. Local government department heads, and appointed officials should be made responsible for their areas of governance and local populations should be educated and trained to monitor their government’s activities to make them accountable. This could be made possible through a robust social monitoring program that will enable local committees to identify problems, work with local government to find solutions, and ensure that proposed measures are undertaken in a responsible and conscientious manner.
The first step for strengthening local governance would be fostering communication and trust between the government, CSO’s and the local communities, which could be achieved through conferences and workshops. Through two social monitoring networks established by EPD — ACTA and PWN — it will enlist the help of relevant CSOs, training them in the theory and techniques of social monitoring. It will also help these CSOs to form thematic networks that can address specific problems within the communities.
These goals would be accomplished in following steps:
During the first phase of the project (Sept 2017-December 2018), the target provinces were Panjhsheer, Kapisa, Balkh, Bamyan, Daikundi, Herat, Kandahar, Nagarhar, Paktia, Khost. In these provinces, Government and Civil society Coordination Forums (GCCF) were established whose members receive training and were coached to conduct advocacies and social audits for the aim of enhancing governmental service delivery. In 2019, the coverage area for this project was expanded and reached to 17 provinces. Similar activities were designed for the seven new provinces of Kabul, Kunduz, Sare-Pul, Paktika, Uruzgan, Helmand and Nimruz. The project is being financed by United Nation Development Program (UNDP).