Migration Governance Issues Paper
Discussion Platform for Good Governance: Govern4Afghanistan
15 years on from the fall of the Taliban regime, Afghanistan is a long way from achieving minimum standards in the area of good governance. The most pressing challenges facing the country include inefficient administrative institutions, insufficient rule of law, corruption, human rights abuses, a lack of opportunities for civil society to engage in political decision-making processes, and restricted access to public services. During the Transformation Decade, which runs from 2015 to 2024, the international community has committed to assisting the Afghan Government with building state structures and training staff.
To this end, Afghan and German partners have launched the Governance Forum Afghanistan – Govern4Afghanistan, a two-year initiative designed to promote dialogue on good governance topics and challenges in an Afghan context. The initiative brings together experts primarily from the fields of research and academia, and government representatives.
The intensive dialogue initiated by Govern4Afghanistan between reform-focused actors and government representatives seeks to give all actors a better understanding of good governance issues.
Measures & Results
In the first year of the initiative, Afghan and German partners defined six key topics for policy dialogue. The focus was on
- a budget management process in municipalities, provincial governments and the national government which takes account of gender equality,
- governance in the provinces and districts,
- the future role of the mining sector,
- the relevance of Afghan civil society to good governance,
- planning and budget setting in the provinces, and
- the reform of the civil service in Afghanistan.
Six expert teams initiated dialogue forums on these different aspects. The insights gained were then addressed in thematic papers. Published between June and September 2016, these papers reflect the current state of research and contain specific recommendations for action. They are designed to enrich active dialogue between policy-makers and researchers.
Govern4Afghanistan encourages debate about these issues by means of a series of events: dialogue forums, workshops and presentations have been held in Kabul, Mazar-e Sharif and even Berlin, enabling Afghan and German actors to discuss and revisit the findings and recommendations for action. Policy briefs provided the relevant political decision-makers with a compact overview of the key findings.
There are plans for another six thematic papers and corresponding dialogue forums in 2016/2017 on the following topics:
- good governance in the mining sector,
- further development of a strategy for local and municipal governance,
- the refugee crisis and the new Afghan middle class,
- urbanisation and governance,
- governance challenges in the agricultural sector, and
- assessment of the functioning of Afghan Government authorities.
The expert team is expected to publish its findings on these topics in mid-2017.