Promoting political reform in Afghanistan
Title: Open Policy Advisory Fund
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Afghan Ministry of Finance (MoF); Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission of Afghanistan (IARCSC)
Overall term: 2010 to 2018
After decades of armed conflict, the state and public administration in Afghanistan are unable to fulfil their responsibilities and provide the services that the population needs. This is due to the inability of state institutions to enforce their powers. To make matters worse, the Afghan state and its institutions lack support among the population due to widespread corruption.
Reform measures have contributed to good governance in Afghanistan.
The German Government has been supporting good governance reform efforts in Afghanistan through the Open Policy Advisory Fund since 2009. The focus is on making public administration more efficient and on preventing corruption.
Many Afghan institutions need to introduce reforms but often lack the necessary expertise. The Open Policy Advisory Fund searches for and funds the deployment of experts who can support state actors in setting up efficient processes, drawing up or improving strategies and regulations, and providing staff training. Thanks to improved organisational structures, clear internal procedures and well-trained staff, the work of the public administration can contribute to more transparent government actions.
With its lean structures, the Fund can respond quickly and flexibly to new requests for supporting reform measures. The strategic direction is set by a committee comprising high-ranking representatives of the Afghan and German Governments. Projects and training courses can be implemented quickly. The Fund also serves as a point of intersection, for example with other German-Afghan cooperation programmes and with other international donors.
Prevention of corruption. The Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC) is assisted in the task of conducting risk analyses for the prevention of corruption in Afghan government ministries. Working relations between the Afghan and Indonesian anti-corruption institutions are strengthened in collaboration with the Anti-Corruption and Integrity programme, the German Academy for International Cooperation (AIZ), and the country office of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in Indonesia.
Improved services for refugees and returnees. The Afghan Ministry for Refugees and Repatriation (MoRR) is given support in making internal processes more transparent and efficient and in coordinating the work between the acting government departments to better effect.
Protection against elementary risks. The rural population of Afghanistan has received little input in this respect to date or has been very poorly served at best. Low-income households are granted access to the Afghan insurance market to ensure basic provision of essential necessities in the event of illness, accident or loss of property. The Afghan General Directorate of Insurance Affairs (GDIA) develops a set of rules for micro insurance in Afghanistan and is supported in this process. Micro insurance covers individual risks, such as illness or accident, and is financed by low premiums paid by policyholders.
Economic empowerment of women. Specialists supported the Afghan Ministry of Labour in developing a national action plan aimed at significantly increasing the participation of women in economic life. The plan has now become a key part of the national development strategy.
Restructuring the Office of the President. In 2015, two administrative institutions merged to form the Office of the President. Experts from the Open Policy Advisory Fund helped the Office of the President to identify procedures that had become redundant as a result of the merger and made recommendations for core functions.
Administrative reform 2.0. With the support of the Open Policy Advisory Fund, the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission developed the next administrative reform. It has been implemented on a gradual basis since 2015.