Promoting political reform
Project descriptionTitle: Open Policy Advisory Fund (OPAF)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Afghan Ministry of Finance
Overall term: 2010 to 2016
In Afghanistan, twelve years on from the Taliban’s fall from power, 2014 saw the peaceful transfer of power to the National Unity Government. Despite the international intervention since 2001, Afghanistan is still a long way from having a fully functioning democracy and political stability. Government and administration do not yet possess adequate capacities for all areas of their work. Afghanistan’s state institutions have only have limited ability to shape and implement key reform processes in line with good governance.
Partner institutions are implementing reform measures that contribute to good governance.
Through the Open Policy Advisory Fund, the German Government provides financing for the flexible deployment of expertise that will enable the Afghan institutions to carry out important reforms. In order to promote more efficient, effective and transparent governance, national and international experts support the staff of institutions and at government level in designing or improving processes, strategies and regulations, and in the provision of training.
The Fund responds quickly and flexibly to new reform approaches. This is made possible by the project’s streamlined implementing structure. The strategic direction is set by a high-level committee comprising representatives of the Afghan and German governments. Thus it is possible to put project ideas and training courses rapidly into effect. The Fund also serves as a point of intersection with other programmes of German-Afghan cooperation, or those of other international donors.
Since mid 2014, experts have been advising the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission in Afghanistan. They assisted with the drafting of the Next Generation Public Administration Reform Strategy, which provides a basis for the future reorientation of institutions and administrations. This document is also intended to underpin a new administrative reform programme that will provide orientation for programmes and projects introduced by donors involved in this sector. The aims of the reforms include optimising the organisation of the civil service, developing the central government, and decentralisation.
Experts provided advice to the Ministry of Economy on the final evaluation of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy. The evaluation is a key contribution to future development planning in Afghanistan and can build the basis for an updated poverty reduction strategy paper.
The Fund has supported the anticorruption authority in building up a training department. This provides courses in corruption prevention for both central and regional ministries and authorities. Some 15 employees have so far completed such courses. They now work within authorities as trainers themselves. Afghanistan has passed a new law on provincial councils, which are one of the few public representative bodies in Afghanistan that are directly elected. An expert financed through the Fund provided support for the drawing up of procedural rules for the new law.