Developments in Local Government: A View from the Ground

Status: Completed
AREU’s local governance research was undertaken throughout 2010 in the provinces of Sar-i-Pul, Jawzjan, Samangan, Laghman, Wardak, Day Kundi and Helmand. The project addresses the country’s diverse array of local government structures, examining formal and informal structures, administrative and elected bodies, and the interactions between them. Through exploring the interplay between representation, resources, development and security, it aims to provide a qualitative assessment of local governance in Afghanistan.
The research found that insufficient attention has been given to local governance in Afghanistan, despite the fact that most Afghan citizens encounter the state in provinces and districts. This neglect is inhibiting the significant efforts made in Kabul from having much impact on the ground. Key findings include that:
* Money available for services and infrastructure is not being spent
* Planning takes place centrally and local needs are overlooked
* State authority is not significantly devolved, meaning local representative bodies are unable to hold local government to account
* Policies are confused and complex, creating overlapping structures
* Separation of powers between the executive, legislature and judiciary is unclear
* Donor policies remain uncoordinated and contribute to misaligned government structures

Publications from the project are being released during 2011.

 

Publications from this research project:

District Councils: The Missing Middle of Local Governance

This roundtable emerged from AREU’s wider study of local governance and focuses specifically on issues encountered at the district level. Participants highlighted the weakness of district structures compared to those at the provincial and village level; the confusion and complexity

Local Governance for Local Needs: Key Findings and Policy Options for Afghanistan

This policy note presents key findings and policy options emerging from AREU’s local governance research. While many shortcomings were identified, the silver lining is that focus on local governance in Afghanistan is increasing. There is a growing recognition among national

Podcast: Local Government is Failing to Meet Local Needs

The recording of an AREU press conference on local governance, which took place on 22 June 2011. The presentation gives a clear summary of some key findings and recommendations from the research, and the Q&A with journalists raises some important

Local Governances in Afghanistan: A View from the Ground

Read the report’s Executive Summary.

Local Governances in Afghanistan: A View from the Ground

This report finds that insufficient attention has been given to local governance in Afghanistan, despite the fact that most Afghan citizens encounter the state in provinces and districts. This neglect is inhibiting the significant efforts made in Kabul from having

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