UNDP Afghanistan assists government institutions to become more effective and accountable to the public. We work with ministries, parliament, electoral management bodies, civil society and other partners to help ensure institutions at all levels have clearer roles and responsibilities, are better at budgeting and planning, are inclusive, and can deliver a greater range and quality of services to communities across the country.
We undertake capacity-building efforts to strengthen the primary civil service. We also help support representative and electoral management bodies, such as the parliamentary secretariats of both upper and lower houses and the Independent Election Commission and the Electoral Complaints Commission).
Enhancing Gender Equality and Mainstreaming in Afghanistan
UNDP is working with national and international partners on gender-sensitive policy and lawmaking, women’s economic empowerment, mobilizing religious leaders and volunteers for women’s rights advocacy. Specifically (in cooperation with Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the Korean government and working with other parts of the UN system) we respond to the political, economic and social inequalities between Afghan men and women. This is achieved by enhancing government capacity to ensure women’s empowerment priorities are included in the formulation of budgets and multi-year sectoral plans at both national and subnational levels. Currently, projects operate in the capital Kabul, and other parts of Kabul province, as well as the provinces of Herat, Daikundi, Balkh and, more recently, Kandahar. Included in the project has been the creation of first-ever Masters programme on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality at the University of Kabul, resulting in graduation of 22 students in 2017 and 29 more students accepted for 2018.
UN Electoral Support
UNESP is the international community’s programming vehicle to support the next elections in Afghanistan, including parliamentary and district council elections announced by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) for 2018. The project has two objectives: 1) build the capacity of Afghan electoral institutions (i.e., the Independent Election Commission and the Electoral Complaints Commission) to implement elections in line with the national electoral legal framework and Afghanistan’s international commitments; 2) to allow a programming mechanism for the international community to partially finance the elections per the request of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
The UNESP project follows previous UN projects in support of the Afghan electoral process, most notably the Enhancing Legal and Electoral Capacity for Tomorrow (ELECT) project: from 2006-2011 (ELECT I) and 2012-2015 (ELECT II), and the UNDP Project Initiation Plan, which was in place from July 2015 to October 2017.
Support to the Local Governance in Afghanistan
UNDP Afghanistan is helping improve service delivery by enhancing the accountability and transparency of local government through the Local Governance Project – Afghanistan (LoGo). A four-year project initiated in October 2015, LoGo provides support to the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG), 13 Provincial Governors Offices and Provincial Councils, 22 Provincial and District Municipalities, and Civil Society Organizations in 17 provinces.
High Peace Council
The key development challenge facing Afghanistan’s peace process is to achieve consensus so that the Afghan state has the desired credibility required to lead a process resulting in a negotiating cessation of violence. UNDP Afghanistan is helping build consensus by supporting an effective, inclusive, transparent, and whole-of-society approach to peace under a reinvigorated High Peace Council (HPC). The objectives of UNDP’s support to the HPC are to help promote a national consensus for peace, build peace networks, strengthen the capacities of local actors to mediate conflict in Afghanistan, and identify the drivers of localized conflict and peace and reconciliation programming through research and data collection.
Institutional and Capacity Support to the Parliament of Afghanistan
We support the secretariats and parliamentary leadership of the Meshrano Jirga and Wolesi Jirga to identify and implement reforms towards meeting international parliamentary standards for transparency, effectiveness, and efficiency. The project supports parliament staff rather than performing key functions on their behalf. Accordingly, project support is designed and implemented to ensure the parliament’s sustainable institutional development.
Sustainable Development Goals
Since May 2016, UNDP has supported the Ministry of the Economy (the lead government entity) in setting up national level coordination structures to nationalize the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda based on Afghanistan’s priorities. This process will eventually lead to the issuance of nationalized SDGs’ targets and indicators (the “A-SDGs”). The project has also assisted in aligning the A-SDGs with national development strategies and national planning and budgeting processes to ensure that development progress is aligned with achieving the SDGs.