Public Hearing with more than 500 People in Mazar-e Sharif

Yesterday, more than 500 people came together to discuss the provinces’ most critical challenges and achievements of the past six months
Provincial council members, civil servants, provincial government officials, civil society activists, women, youth, elders, journalists and others attended the event. Activities to be discussed occurred mainly in the fields of education, public health, agriculture & rural development as well as security. The Afghan-German Cooperation financially supported the activity.

During the public hearing, many projects and successes were explained and citizens had the opportunity to ask questions and express their needs and challenges relevant to acting organisations. These hearings not only allow provincial bodies to incorporate local requirements in the planning processes if necessary and thus improving them; they legitimise activities when explained thoroughly to citizens, too.  

Head of Balkh’s provincial council, Dr Afzal Adid, commented, “Reporting to the people is one of the government’s most important duties and the citizens’ input is vital to improve our work. We would like to thank the Afghan-German Cooperation for its work in this important field.” Balkh province’s acting and deputy governor, Mr Bashir Tawhidi, added, “Such accountability and reporting sessions lead to more trust between people and government which, in turn, also increases trust between Afghanistan and the international community.”

Government representatives gave direct feedback. They took note of challenges and questions they could not reply to immediately and will share these with further officials to provide feedback at a later date.

In Balkh province, the Afghan-German Cooperation’s programme for regional capacity development (RCD) has organised four public hearings this year. Two additional ones shall take place during the upcoming weeks. Increasing liability and trust, public hearing and accountability sessions ensure that Balkh district’s local government performs transparently. Citizens get the chance to participate in development project selection processes and to influence priorities. Such events also increase public awareness regarding the local government’s projects and activities.

As part of Germany’s cooperation with Afghanistan, the Regional Capacity Development (RCD) programme is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. In six provinces in northern Afghanistan, RCD supports its partners’ development priorities in the provinces and districts, while at the same time providing training and coaching programmes for civil servants. With its broad range of activities, the programme aims at increasing Afghan ownership of the development process, strengthening state institutions and promoting transparency and inclusiveness.