Local Governance Project – Afghanistan (LoGo)

 Afghanistan’s first female Provincial Council Chair, Tayeba Khawary, in her office. Ms Khawary was elected rollowing democratic elections supported by UNDP. Provincial Councils are the voice of the people. They promote democratic and accountable governance, monitor and oversee public services, such as health and education, and resolve disputes. Photo © UNDP Afghanistan / Sayed Omer / 2015


State building and development efforts in Afghanistan are threatened by insecurity, which limits government access and provision of public services in many districts. In addition, the deconcentrated nature of sub-national governance in Afghanistan, combined with a lack of consultative planning and local-level elections, means that services are often implemented without considering the priorities of local people and with limited oversight. 

For peacebuilding and state building, it is vital are to consider not just what services are delivered but also how they are delivered.  Citizens must feel that their voices are being heard. 

UNDP and the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) have been working together on subnational governance since the IDLG’s inception. From 2006, our Afghanistan Sub-national Governance Programme (ASGP) focused on supporting the establishment of IDLG, which is the central government entity responsible for monitoring and administering local government structures. These structures came to include 34 provinces incorporating over 300 districts, an elected Provincial Council for each province and some 150 municipalities.  

ASGP also provided capacity development support to the IDLG in developing policy, laws and regulations, and developed the capacity of Provincial Governor’s Offices, Provincial Councils, and municipalities to improve sub-national governance for effective and efficient public service delivery and coordination with local citizens and civil society.

The LoGo programme builds on the lessons learned from ASGP.

Response

 This UNDP-supported Customer Service Center in Mazar-e-Sharif brings citizens more efficient and transparent services. Photo © UNDP Afghanistan / 2013


LoGo aims to make local-level planning and service delivery more accountable; enhance local government outreach, planning, budgeting and monitoring processes; increase service delivery through piloting the provincial budgeting policy; and enhance municipal revenue generation.

The project will work with the executive and representative bodies of subnational government institutions, including Provincial Development Committees, sectoral departments of Provincial and District Governors’ offices, Provincial Councils, municipalities and Municipal Advisory Boards, Provincial Departments of Economy, Moustifiats, and relevant institutions at the central level. LoGo will also improve civil society participation in decision making and monitoring. 

  • Improved accountable and transparent service delivery

LoGo will offer support to improve local planning by developing planning guidelines; implement plans through line ministries at the provincial level as part of the Provincial Budgeting Policy; increase participation in planning and monitoring, with a special focus on the involvement of women; and improve the monitoring of services by representative and executive bodies. 

  • Municipal Services with improved revenue generation

LoGo will support municipalities to increase participation in planning, including the participation of women; improve service delivery though the provision of matched grants; boost revenue collection; and increase the ability of the population to access municipal services through the provision of one-stop customer service centres. 

  • Civil Society oversight

LoGo will develop the monitoring and evaluation capacity of local people by strengthening networks and interest groups (including women’s groups); raising awareness of how local people can get involved in governance; providing resources/grants to allow interested groups to research and monitor service delivery and feedback into planning and budgeting; and institutionalizing connections between local people and subnational government units.

  • Support to policy guidelines and legal framework 

LoGo will assist the IDLG in developing policy guidelines and a legal framework for sub-national governance, including participatory planning and service delivery. The project will also support implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies, and the development of guidelines for roll out of the Provincial Budgeting Policy at the provincial and central level with the Ministry of Finance.



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