UNDP to join forces with the Civil Society in Afghanistan

20 Nov 2013

imageUNDP Afghanistan’s Country Director, Alvaro Rodriguez.

Kabul: A vibrant civil society is instrumental to the expansion of human development. To maximize the impact of the work of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the lives of the Afghan people, UNDP Afghanistan has taken a first step to establish a Civil Society Advisory Committee (CSAC) as a forum for policy advice and participation.
More than 35 civil society representatives participated in the first workshop on the Civil Society Advisory Committee (CSAC) to UNDP Afghanistan in Kabul which took place on November 20th.

“Engagement with civil society is critical to national ownership of development processes, democratic governance, and the quality and relevance of official development programmes”, said the United Nations Resident Representative, Mark Bowden.

The Civil Society Advisory Committee will help provide strategic, policy, and substantive guidance to UNDP Afghanistan on civil society-related matters; act as a fora to support and monitor UNDP Afghanistan advocacy and communication efforts; and enhance joint UNDP Afghanistan-civil society initiatives.

“UNDP believes that an investment in building links between Afghan women and men and state institutions will not only benefit societal relations but reduce vulnerability and contribute to sustainable livelihoods by crafting better policies and services based on people’s real needs”, said UNDP’s Country Director, Alvaro Rodriguez.

Fifteen members will be nominated and engage in a regular dialogue with UNDP on the following areas: inclusive and legitimate governance; sub-national governance and development; justice, human rights, and rule of law; gender and women’s empowerment; capacity development; and poverty and the environment.

“The objective of establishing this platform is to give a stronger voice to civil society”, said UNDP’s Partnership Advisor, Stefano Cordella. “This is a two way relationship: CSAC provides UNDP with feedback on policies and programmes to improve human development effectiveness while UNDP provides CSAC with a space in which civil society can engage in dialogue with the United Nations system”.

A strong and capable civil society can play a collaborative role in public policy and development, be an interlocutor with government and other partners and serve as watchdog in the development process. Civic engagement is especially crucial to the work of UNDP in strengthening responsive governing institutions and promoting more inclusive political processes.