Afghanistan Subnational Governance Programme (ASGP)

UNDP Afghanistan: UNDP’s Afghanistan Sub-National Governance Programme and the Herat provincial governor’s office has organized a series of public accountability forums in partnership with the provincial council and line ministries.

While Afghanistan has been a unitary state since the 18th century, it had a limited central control over the population outside the capital. The regions had mostly relied on local governance based on tribal traditions to manage their lives.

Afghanistan’s 2004 Constitution established a centralised state as well as provincial and district government, to promote effective, inclusive governance and service delivery.

The Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) was also created, with responsibility for leading and coordinating Afghanistan’s new subnational governance. IDLG appoints Provincial and District Governors and Mayors, coordinates democratically-elected Provincial Councils, and administers their offices and staff. 

This new system of local government requires support to promote effective and inclusive governance and service delivery, including capacity development and an established policy and legal framework.


Strengthening effective subnational governance through the promotion of public participation gives citizens a real voice in decision-making and fosters trust and confidence. Effective subnational governance is fundamental in building peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan Subnational Governance Programme (ASGP) supports governance reforms in the country’s 34 provinces. 

It works with provincial, district and municipal bodies, as well as IDLG.

It focuses on the following objectives:

Policy support to IDLG. ASGP has supported the development of the Afghanistan Subnational Governance Policy, Provincial Council and municipal legislation and regulations, and the introduction of merit-based recruitment of district governors. It has also pioneered gender initiatives, such as the anti-harassment guideline for all provincial, district and municipal governance offices. ASGP has also supported IDLG to develop the District Coordination Council policy, which establishes a single representative body for governance and development at the district level.

Capacity development for local government.   ASGP supports technical and capacity development of staff, including local civil servants, in all 34 Provincial Governors Offices, all Provincial Councils, and some District Governors Offices. This training includes governance, monitoring and evaluation, public outreach and financial management.  As provincial and district bodies increase their capacity, governance becomes more effective and inclusive, services improve and institutions are more accountable.

Support to municipal administrations.   ASGP supports 19 Provincial and District municipalities. This technical and financial support includes capacity development, service delivery in areas such as property and business registration, waste management, public accountability mechanisms and public outreach. Capacity development activities cover administrative and management practices, the development of local municipal plans and strategies, and the promotion of best practices. 

What we have accomplished so far?

  • The Sub-National Governance Policy and the National Priority Programme for Local Governance are approved and being implemented, with contribution from ASGP. The policy clarifies the roles and responsibilities of sub-national entities so they can provide better services at the provincial, district and municipal levels.
  • Thirty-three Provincial Governors’ Offices have formulated Annual Provincial Development Plans (PDP) with ASGP support. The PDP is the key provincial development strategy, identifying needs and solutions in areas such as social services, governance, and security.
  • Every Provincial Council (PC) member has been oriented on her or his roles under the Sub-national Governance Policy, together with basic training. PC members are now able to monitor service delivery, oversee local governance and resolve disputes.  25 percent of PC members are women.
  • ASGP introduced Revenue Improvement Action Planning and tax mapping in 40 municipalities. ASGP supports the unique mandate of municipalities to raise revenue independent of the government, and to support financial and political deconcentration, so that government can become more responsive to local needs. Revenue increase ranges from 19 to 400 percent.

Who Finances it?

Donor name Amount contributed per year in US$
Government of Korea  8,000,000
SDC  4,232,993
DFID  600,000
Estonia  454,000
Denmark  320,000
France  388,297
Japan  2,000,000
Finland  654,780
UNDP (CCF & Core)  1,867,286
Sub-total  18,517,356
SIDA (Sweeden)   17,277,644
Japan  4,989,196
UNDP  5,113,920
Sub-total  27,380,760
European Union  16,026,169
AusAID  1,000,000
Sub-total  17,026,169
Italy  2,565,924
DFID (signed in Dec 2009 for phase II of ASGP)  9,600,000
SDC (signed in Nov. 2009 for phase II of ASGP)  3,835,636
Sub-total  16,001,560
Total donor contribution  78,925,844

Delivery in previous fiscal year in US$

2013 20,828,255
2012 17,058,106
2011 12,760,921
2010 1,410,211
At a Glance
Start Date:
January 2010
End Date:
December 2014
Geographic coverage:
All 34 provinces of Afghanistan
Focus Area:
Subnational Governance and Development
Project Contact
Chief Technical Advisor, Christopher Carter, or UNDP Programme unit,
Implementing Partners:
Independent Directorate of Local Governance
Other Key Partners:
Offices of Provincial and District Governor; Provincial and District Councils, Municipalities
Implementation Modality:
Direct Implementation
Total Budget:
US$ 139,000,000
UNDP Afghanistan Budget Contribution:
US$ 7,000,518
Donor Budget Contribution:
US$ 57,937,975
AusAid, DFID, European Union, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, ROK, Estonia and Denmark
Open Data

Detailed information on ASGP and 6,000+ UNDP development projects in 177 countries and territories worldwide.

ASGP Project Summary

The Project Summary of Afghanistan Subnational Governance Programme (ASGP) covers in a two-page PDF document the issues, responses and achievements of this UNDP project in Afghanistan.

Mazar-e-Sharif: Bringing local administration closer to the citizens


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