LoGo Annual Progress Report 2016
The Local Governance Project – Afghanistan (LoGo), is a five-year project initiated in October 2015 and funded by the European Union, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy and UNDP. The current reporting period (January – December 2016) was funded by European Union, Switzerland and UNDP. The project aims to improve service delivery by enhancing the accountability and transparency of the local government. LoGo provides support to the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG), 13 Provincial Governors Offices (PGOs) and Provincial Councils (PCs), 22 Provincial and District Municipalities and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in 17 provinces. The 2016 achievements for the four output areas are summarized below.
Output 1: LoGo supports national and provincial levels to promote sub-national governance. At subnational level this makes the local government more accountable to citizens, improve inclusive governance and participation in provincial planning and budgeting processes. In 2016, the project supported provincial planning processes, budgeting and participatory monitoring of services. Technical assistance from LoGo strengthened provincial planning processes particularly the development and implementation of annual Provincial Development Plans. Review of previous year PDP implementation in 10 provinces resulted in an improved understanding of the challenges faced, particularly on the need to better align provincial planning with national/provincial budgeting.
The project supported PCs led district monitoring visits in five provinces and monitored 115 local service projects. LoGo supported six district level outreach events to communicate roles and responsibilities of PCs to citizens, which 2,016 individuals (253 females) attended. LoGo supported six PCs in public accountability weeks where local government met with citizens in which 990 persons (114 females) participated, where it became clearer how citizens should make government entities accountable to them. LoGo also provided Internet connection to all 13 supported provinces, this enhanced work efficiency and increased communication with the public. The project supported development of draft guidelines for Citizen Service Centres (CSCs); the establishment of four CSCs is in progress. They will serve as one-stop shops for citizens, resulting in greater access to services and interaction between the public and government.
Output 2: LoGo supports 22 municipalities to improve revenue generation capacity and to enable them to deliver services in a transparent and accountable manner. LoGo also promotes inclusive and effective governance at municipal level. In 2016, LoGo employed a variety of strategies to strengthen revenue generation by municipalities. LoGo developed indicators for an improved revenue generation system; these are being implemented in six municipalities. LoGo developed financial profiles to enable expenditure analysis in 10 municipalities and developed a property registration model to register businesses and properties. LoGo developed Revenue Enhancement Action Plans (REAPs) to improve municipal capacity to plan for future revenue potential in six municipalities. Capacity Development Plans (CDPs) and Outreach plans were finalized in three provincial and three district municipalities. LoGo facilitated citizen consultations in three districts and outreach activities in nine municipalities, 150 individuals attended. LoGo also supported establishment of six School Municipal Committees (SMCs) in Guzara and Injil districts of Herat province. In addition, LoGo funded implementation of one service delivery project in Bamyan. LoGo provided technical expertise in the revision of guidelines for the Municipal Customer Service Centres, completed CSC assessments in eight municipalities and started construction of CSCs in two municipalities. The project supported establishment of nine municipal networks resulting in increased knowledge sharing and inter-municipal cooperation. LoGo also supported the establishment of Municipal Advisory Boards (MABs) in four municipalities to advocate on behalf of citizens, monitor service delivery and provide recommendations to municipal authorities.
Output 3: LoGo is working with the civil society in oversight of local service delivery; this will further increase accountability of local government to citizens. This is in recognition that in the past civil society has been unable to effectively engage with the government or influence decision-making. LoGo trained 35 CSOs (13 represented women’s interests) in monitoring, advocacy and public planning and public budgeting, including gender responsive budgeting. The trainings resulted in a greater understanding of subnational governance among these CSOs. The 35 CSOs, organized into seven working groups across seven provinces focused on advocacy issues such as influencing policy makers and increasing citizen awareness. Further, information sessions held in the provincial level brought together the government and civil society together with the aim of sensitizing government about the oversight role of CSOs. In addition, the role of CSOs was highlighted in the Subnational Governance Policy (SNGP).
Output 4: LoGo works closely with IDLG to develop comprehensive and inclusive policies and guidelines for effective sub-national planning, budgeting, monitoring and the delivery of services. To ensure inclusive policy discussion and development, the project coordinates and collaborates with stakeholders that include Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economy. In 2016, LoGo worked with IDLG to develop policies and guidelines. The SNGP, endorsed by IDLG has been submitted to the President’s Office, the Provincial Budgeting Policy was approved by cabinet and the Provincial Planning Guideline has been endorsed by IDLG. LoGo developed terms of reference and concept note to guide the established a subnational policy committee; this strengthened coordination and collaboration among the stakeholders. The project provided logistical support to the SNGP consultations; 1,919 citizens (281 females)
participated. LoGo in collaboration with IDLG trained 83 IDLG staff (35 female) on the implementation of the Anti-Harassment Policy. IDLG prepared an annual Capacity Development Plan and draft five-year Capacity Development Strategy with support from LoGo.
Key issues and risks were delays in NTA recruitment, deteriorating security situation in some project locations, political will to work with civil society organizations and delayed fund disbursements; this reduced project delivery. Key lessons were coordination among local governance projects which reduced duplication of efforts and enhanced cost effectiveness of project implementation. Further, the participatory approach used in the development of the SNGP fostered engagement at subnational and national levels and ownership of the revised SNGP.
The total expenditure of the project for the year 2016 is $ 6,259,479 and for details of the expenditures please check annex 1,2 and 3 of this report.