Local Governance in Afghanistan: A View from the Ground

Dr. Douglas Saltmarshe and Abhilash Medhi presented on a major study of AREU on local governance in Afghanistan, which has identified weaknesses as well as a number of promising ways forward. The research was conducted in the provinces of Sar-i- pul, Jawzjan, Samangan, Laghman, Wardak, Day Kundi and Helmand. The goal was to better understand changes on the ground, particularly since the establishment of the Independent Directorate of Local Governance and programmes such as the National Solidarity Progaramme. The study covers four areas of governance local administration, security and justice, service delivery, and representation and examines local government structures and the ways they interact with informal governance mechanisms. The findings provide the basis for a wide-ranging discussion of policy on the centralized state, responsibility for local government, planning, the voting system, donor policy, service delivery and capacity-building.