UNDP Afghanistan provided a 3-day virtual training from 19 to 21 July 2020 for judges and prosecutors of the Afghanistan Anti-Corruption Justice Centre (ACJC) to strengthen their capacity to address corruption cases.
Taking in to account the COVID-19 challenges including government restrictions and social distancing measures, the virtual training was successfully delivered on the topic of “Expert Witness and Expert Evidence” for twelve participants including three women, who were highly satisfied with the content and delivery modality of the training.
The participants gathered by maintaining physical distance, while the trainer and UNDP team joined the training through a video conference to deliver the virtual training sessions. A simultaneous translation was provided to ensure mutual understanding and active participation from all participants.
“All the topics explained during this virtual training were understandable and the simultaneous translation helped us to raise our questions and clarify the missing points,” said Mr. Abdul Rashed Hashmat, a prosecutor with ACJC.
This capacity building programme was designed to enhance knowledge and skill of ACJC staff to improve service delivery and to fight corruption in Afghanistan. It includes ten trainings with twenty-eight modules such as expert witness and expert evidence, senior leadership development, intelligence-led investigation and judicial training to name a few. These trainings were identified based on a comprehensive Training Needs Assessment (TNA) conducted by UNDP for ACJC in 2019.
This first of its kind virtual training is part of a series of Government-led capacity development initiative organized by UNDP Afghanistan’s Anti-Corruption, Transparency, Integrity and Openness (ACTION) with financial support of Royal Danish Embassy. The ACTION project supports both institutional (supply) and civilian engagement (demand) sides to increase public trust in transparency of Afghan Security and Justice institutions (including ACJC) through efficient management of large-scale corruption cases.
The ACJC is the flagship anti-corruption institution of Afghanistan that was established in 2016 to address high level corruption cases. It works independently and impartially to detect, investigate, prosecute and adjudicate corruption cases. The training on expert witness and expert evidence was the first training focused on improving knowledge and skill of ACJC to enhance technical capacity to tackle corruption and increase public trust and engagement with Afghan justice institutions.
Upon successful completion of the first virtual training, Ms. Siriluck Chiengwong, a Programme Management Specialist with UNDP Afghanistan said “we thank and appreciate the ACJC senior management, judges and prosecutors for agreeing to proceed with this virtual training in a ‘new-normal’ circumstances under COVID-19.”
“We look forward to continuing our support to the Afghan government in delivering the next virtual course in collaboration with the ACJC team” she added.
The successful delivery of the first virtual training proved to be an efficient alternative training delivery option. It gives ACJC and the ACTION project confidence to use the same mechanism to deliver more trainings until COVID-19 subsides before switching to face to face training.