To improve local governance in Afghanistan, CIPE conducts training seminars for the Provincial Councils in Afghanistan on democratic governance and market economics, including topics like advocacy, corruption, and the informal economy. Using the knowledge gained from the seminars, many of the Provincial Councils have taken on issues affecting their communities.
CIPE recently discussed the efforts of the Kunar Provincial Council with Chairperson Haji Mia Hassan. After discussing corruption issues with local government officials, the Kunar Provincial Council filed corruption cases against several officials with the prosecutor’s office, including the director of the Customs Department and the Director of Haj and Endowments.
The Kunar Provincial Council organized a public demonstration to raise awareness of the poor quality of work on public utility projects in Asadabad, the provincial capital. Following the demonstration, the mayor of Asadabad agreed to meet with the Provincial Council and promised to improve the quality of work.
Following up on reports of corruption in the distribution of aid material by the Ministry of Rural Development, the Kunar Provincial Council members initiated an investigation. The Provincial Council had several corrupt ministry employees removed and personally supervised the distribution process to ensure the aid reached the designated people.
Finally, the Kunar Province Working Group (comprised of the Provincial Council, local government officials, and business leaders) met with local traders to discuss challenges to their business. The working group relayed their concerns to the governor and will follow up to ensure the issues are addressed.
Mia Hassan expressed his thanks for CIPE’s assistance. “We have repeatedly asked national and international organizations to work in Asadabad but, due to various reasons most do not come and instead a small select number to Kabul or Jalalabad to participate in programs. We are hopeful that CIPE’s organizing the seminar here will remove the doubts of other organizations and encourage them to work in Asadabad as well.”
Tim Wallace is an Assistant Program Officer for South Asia at CIPE.