Our support to the Government's peace and recovery efforts have helped improve the Afghan National Police (ANP), in terms of both their professional competence and capacity, and this in turn has resulted in peoples' increased trust and confidence in the police to provide peace and security.
In addition, one thousand women now serve in the ANP and this represents a milestone, which has a particularly positive contribution in areas of family disputes and domestic violence.
Partnering with the Government, has also led to improvements in democratic governance, such as through the High Office of Oversight (HOO), a key institution mandated to fight corruption and which has adopted a Strategic Plan covering the period 2011 to 2013- that provides a coherent anticorruption framework and strategies.
Further in the area of democratic governance, Afghanistan's Ministry of Finance has institutionalised a mechanism to receive and investigate complaints. A total of 163 were received last year, all of which were investigated, a clear sign of the Government's commitment to control corruption.
Public participation in all levels of society has also increased following the Government's decision to put in place a wide-ranging sub-national governance policy. With support from UNDP, the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG), has drafted six critical new laws, while provinces have started preparing provincial development plans. As a result of such initiatives, thirteen municipalities have increased their revenues by up to 247%.
During the Afghan-led Parliamentary elections, in which UNDP played a supporting role, witnessed a marked improvement in female participation (40%) and resulted in women winning 27% of seats in parliament.
Women's issues have also benefited from the Government's establishment of a Gender Responsive Budgeting Cell within the Ministry of Finance that has helped to mainstream gender within the budgeting process and thereby make the budget more responsive to gender issues.
UNDP has assisted the Government in tackling this both at the macro and micro levels. The National budget is now aligned with the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS). Twenty two National Priority Programmes have been developed and subsequently endorsed by the Kabul process and nearly 483,000 people have benefited from employment opportunities as a result of implementation of community development and infrastructure projects.
While capacity development is an integral part of all projects and programmes, select government institutions have received focused support from UNDP to develop their institutional and individual capacity through placement of capacity development advisors and twinning arrangements.
Security remains one of the key challenges to development. Afghans are, however, more optimistic about their future than in the past. As indicated in a recent survey , nearly half of all Afghans (47%) say that Afghanistan is moving in the right direction, compared with just 38% in 2008.
All UNDP activities are undertaken in close collaboration with the Government of Afghanistan, sister UN agencies and other development stakeholders. Partnerships with UNAMA, the US, the EU, Japan, CIDA, UK, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Norway and Spain have been critical to achieve results.