Reforms for an Effective and Trustworthy State
Decades of armed conflict have shattered the Afghan society, along with its state structures. State and administrative functions are complex and partly inefficiently organised, and the benefits delivered by the public administration are not always noticeable to the population. Besides identifying deficiencies and the need for reform in specific areas, public administration staff need further professional training to carry out their duties correctly. Additionally, the state’s institutions at national level in Kabul and in the provinces and districts sometimes lack political power to enforce their policies. Afghan citizens do not always trust the state thoroughly. One of the reasons: corruption.
The programme aims to support government bodies and public institutions in increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of their work, curbing corruption and thus fulfilling their political and administrative duties.
Measures & Results
In order to make public administrative processes more effective, the Open Policy Advisory Fund makes experts available for deployment. For example, support is being provided to the Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC) to help it conduct risk analyses of individual ministries to determine their vulnerability to corruption. The findings are published and regular monitoring is carried out to determine how the issued recommendations are being implemented.
The construction sector is also being affected by corruption. In order to combat corruption in this and other sectors, Afghanistan joined the international Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST) in 2015. The initiative’s work is based on a comprehensive study of the construction sector which identifies problems as well as facts and figures in detail. This study was produced with the support of sector experts.
The project also assists the Office of the President of Afghanistan with organisational restructuring and with identifying its core functions. This should help to prevent inefficiency and avoid duplication of work. The project provided the relevant independent commission with German advisors to assist with the implementation of the forthcoming administrative reform 2.0. The organisation and procedures of directorates have also been restructured at provincial level. In this way, provincial and municipal administrations will be able to offer services themselves in future, thereby assuming greater responsibility. These measures are helping to make public administration more effective in the long term.
The general legal conditions in Afghanistan for the participation of women in economic life are set to be reformed in order to remove obstacles and promote the economic integration of women. OPAF supported the development of a National Priority Programme on Women’s Economic Empowerment, which is now part of Afghanistan’s development strategy.