What are reforms?
In 2014, when the National Unity Government (NUG) took office, President Ashraf Ghani embarked on implementing a rigorous reform agenda over a ten year period called the Decade of Transformation. The ultimate goal is cutting corruption, improving service-delivery, and thus laying the foundation for peace and improving the lives of the Afghan people.
Reforms are, simply, amendments or changes that are designed to bring improvements, efficiency, transparency and accountability to the way the
government serves its people. Reforms include legislative changes, policy and regulatory amendments, new and improved national
programs, more efficient and transparent use of public funds, changes in leadership, and changes to government procedures and structures.
The Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework & National Priority Programs
The Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF) , presented to the international community and the Afghan people at the Brussels Conference in 2016, is the NUG’s whole-of-government 5-year development and reform plan. It addresses realigning development partnerships with national priorities, cutting corruption, growing the economy, achieving self-reliance and improving service-delivery.
New government programs are articulated in the 10 National Priority Programs (NPPs) , which are designed to be inclusive and pro-poor. The goal is to address the direct needs of those living in poverty, while leveling economic growth across all sectors of society, ultimately reducing poverty and improving the welfare of the Afghan people. The government is not only targeting marginalized groups with specific programs, but also mainstreaming pro-poor approaches across all activities.
The National Strategy for Combatting Corruption is the government’s plan for cutting corruption from the public sector. It’s deliverables are also incorporated into this tracker. Since 2016, the NUG has made significant process in implementing the ANPDF, which is captured in this tracker.
A New Process for Coordinated Development
To implement a reform agenda as ambitious as the ANPDF, the Office of the President instituted a new process of coordinated development to
Political leaders set national goals, the President, Chief Executive, and Cabinet set
the country’s overall development objectives through a consultative Cabinet process.
Inter-ministerial Councils set development priorities, oversee policymaking, eliminate fragmentation of mandates, monitor progress and facilitate measures for development in their respective sectors. They are responsible for overseeing national priority programs.
1- The High Council on Poverty Reduction, Service Delivery and Citizen Engagement
2- High Council on Education, Culture and Human Capital
3- High Council on Land and Water and Environment
4- High Council on Rule of Law and Anti-corruption
5-High Economic Council
6- High Council on Reform (not active yet)
7- High Council on Urban development
8- Executive Committee for Displaced and Returnees (DIREC)
National Priority Programs (NPPs) are government programs that address the needs of the Afghan people across sectors. Most involve more than one ministry.
The national budget process allocates resources to NPPs and reviews their performance annually.
Ministries execute activities. Each minister is responsible for implementing policies, programs, and projects related to his/her ministry. When necessary, a minister will coordinate with other ministries and organization to implement programs. increase communication and collaboration amongst implementing government bodies, which also allows for input from civil society and the private sector. This was set into motion with Councils meeting regularly to design and implement government programs. ministry.
INFOGRAPHIC TEXT IN BOX:
Results and Risks
As the government implements the ANPDF, it does so with a long-term strategic outlook and full realization that sustainable, balanced and inclusive development will take 10 to 15 years to show substantial results. There are no quick fixes that will trigger rapid growth and foster self sustaining development in the short term. Growth rates are projected to increase gradually. GDP per capita is expected to increase by about 30-40 USD per year over the next 2 years, with economic growth projected at a steady increase of 3% for 2018, and inflation maintained in the single digits. GDP is driven mainly by agricultural production, which will take 10 years to fully develop at a rate that will substantially reduce poverty rates. However, the World Bank estimates that even in a high growth scenario, it will be enormously challenging to sustain current levels of employment generation over the next 10 years. This is due to the relative low job-intensity of some of Afghanistan’s potential growth drivers such as mining, energy, and long distance trade, which are capital rather than labor intensive. There are a number of risks that could considerably destabilize the process further, including conflict and violence, fluctuations in the global economy, political uncertainty and climate change and natural disaster. For this reason, the ANDPF focuses on investing in growth with other programs, such as agriculture, construction and education, that also contribute to the country’s development but also create more jobs.