Public Authorities as Pillars of Society
Two thirds of the Afghan population live in rural areas, and yet state structures barely have a presence in remote provinces and districts, meaning that residents in these areas have difficulty accessing public services. However, regional development is fundamental to the development of Afghanistan. It is essential in this context that citizens have confidence in the proper functioning of government and administrative structures.
The project aims to empower Afghan provincial and district administrations to carry out administrative tasks on their own in future, thereby meeting the needs of the population. This will improve local people’s quality of life and also boost the confidence of the Afghan population in local administration. The focus is on the six northern provinces.
Measures & Results
The Afghan-German Cooperation’s activities in the area of good governance are highly diverse and comprise:
- strengthening of cooperation and coordination between national, regional and municipal governance structures;
- expansion and provision of needs-based public services at provincial and district level;
- improvement of communication and relations between state and society;
- training staff from administrative bodies in crisis prevention and emergency aid.
By providing policy advice on the ground at national and provincial level, the programme is helping authorities and administrative institutions to develop operational plans and develop capacities. Thanks to needs-based training for civil servants and administrative staff, these individuals are now able to deliver better services to the population. A total of 921 training courses have been delivered to some 47,000 individuals, around 10,500 of them women, since 2011. These courses cover topics such as project planning and the submission of applications, report writing, accountability, monitoring and evaluation, personnel and office management, procurement, information technology, anti-corruption, gender equality, civil rights and civic duties.
Dialogue is being strengthened between the government and the population with the help of public hearings. In this way, the Afghan Government is required to be accountable and, in future, to introduce mechanisms for public feedback.
In addition to the delivery of information measures and training, there is a need for infrastructural expansion and improvement. These two task areas are closely related. For this reason, the project is building on the infrastructure measures of the Regional Capacity Development Fund (RCDF) for Northern Afghanistan which was managed by KfW Development Bank. For example, the construction of a new road improved access to administrative services for citizens in the northern province of Takhar. The project measures are wide-ranging and include the restoration of drinking water systems, the installation of solar cells, initiatives to promote security, and renovation work on administrative buildings, health centres and women’s support centres. Over 90 construction and renovation programmes have been implemented to date.
There is also a need to train administrative bodies and their staff and residents of affected areas in crisis prevention and emergency aid. In response to the severe consequences of natural disasters in 2014, the German Government is assisting the Afghan province of Badakhshan with a crisis prevention programme. Using a risk map highlighting frequently affected communities, actors at provincial level will plan measures for preventing crises before they occur. Staff from a range of institutions and organisations are trained to work closely together in the targeted use of GPS, geo-information systems and Google Earth. Staff from local authorities have also been trained in how to carry out administrative tasks in emergency situations. Thanks to these measures, the local population is far better equipped to deal with crises. Local and national institutions are coordinating their work, are capable of making decisions more swiftly and are also using modern tools and tracking systems. Additional infrastructure and reforestation initiatives are helping with flood protection. The construction of roads, dams and drains is preventing flooding and enabling large volumes of water to be drained away in a targeted manner.