The Mobile Citizens Services Center in Kunduz. © UNDP Afghanistan / 2019

 


In Kunduz, like in many other cities in Afghanistan, obtaining a business license was a complicated and time-consuming process. It is one of the most important responsibilities of a municipality. Lack of transparency and inefficiencies made the business community reluctant to obtain business licenses and created frustration among the business owners towards the municipality.

The situation led to a municipal revenue deficit in Kunduz, weakening municipality’s ability to provide quality services to the people. Combination of these above factors gradually increased people’s dissatisfaction towards the municipality and widened the gap between municipality and citizens. It was clear that more people centric approach was needed to meet the needs of citizens and business owners in Kunduz.

To put an end to this issue, Kunduz municipality, in collaboration with the UNDP’s LoGo project, identified the existing business licensing system as one key problem and conducted a thorough analysis of the current situation. Lack of knowledge on the processes among the citizens, unavailability of shopkeeper data, lack of efficient and accessible services – including issuance of business license, and overall complexity of the existing systems were identified as the key bottlenecks.  

To this end, the project supported the Kunduz municipality in:

  • Conducting a business survey and reviewing business licensing processes
  • Establishing an efficient business licensing processes through LoGo supported municipal Citizen Service Centre in Kunduz and expanding the service through mobile Citizen Service Centre
  • Providing office equipment and necessary hardware and software for establishing a Business Database

With the inauguration of Kunduz mobile Citizen Service Centre in March 2019, business licenses issuance increased significantly. The Mobile Service Centre operates following the established guidelines and annual plans. In addition to business licenses, it serves as a platform to raise awareness and provide information about filing complaints and records grievances of citizens.

By the fourth month of its operation in July 2019, the Center issued 264 business licenses and the corresponding amount of tariffs were collected, resulting in 663,200 AFN (8,347 US$) direct revenue to the municipality.

The revenue collected during just one month was 25% more than the total revenue collected during the first 6 months in the previous year.

 "Before establishment of Mobile Citizen Service Centre, we visited municipality many times to obtain a business license. Now that the mobile service center is operating, we can get a business license within an hour.” Farid Ahmad Masomi, a small business owner in Kunduz said. “This is an excellent initiative and we are happy with improvements in Kunduz municipal service delivery."

With the realization that the municipality needs people and people need the municipality, Kunduz has transformed its approach to provide easy-access services to the business owners. This has enabled the municipality to obtain additional revenue which is utilized provide better services for the citizens. The LoGo supported database management system enables transparent management of the licenses and related municipal revenue sources.  

UNDP is supporting the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, ensuring no one is left behind. Innovations to improve government services is part of UNDP’s efforts to strengthen governance across the country for the benefit of the entire population.

The Kunduz Municipality received technical and financial support from the United Nations Development Programme through the Local Governance Project Afghanistan, which is generously funded by the European Union, Italy's Development Cooperation, and Sweden.

LoGo provides support to the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG), 13 Provincial Governors’ Offices and Provincial Councils, 22 Municipalities (8 provincial and 14 district), and Civil Society Organizations in 17 provinces.

 


Read more: http://www.af.undp.org/content/afghanistan/en/home/stories/Mun-Services-ResponsivetoCitizenNeeds.html

 

© UNDP Afghanistan / 2019
© UNDP Afghanistan / 2019
© UNDP Afghanistan / 2019

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