Anti Corruption

November 23, 2017 : Second Meeting of the Anti-Corruption Sub-Committee

The second meeting of the Anti-Corruption Subcommittee of the National Advocacy Committee for Public Policy (NAC-PP) was held on Nov 23, 2017 at APPRO’s Head Office in Kabul.

A presentation was made on the following interrelated issues:

  1. Key elements of the government’s anti-corruption strategy
  2. Synthesis of inputs from last anti-corruption sub-committee meeting
  3. Developing a strategy for anti-corruption strategy

During the discussion, participants agreed on terms for developing the strategy of the Anti-Corruption Subcommittee. These terms included having a realistic aspiration (vision and mission), appreciating the current collective capacity of the Subcommittee, availability of non-monetary resources, and selection of corruption related issues as targets for the Subcommittee’s activities based on a risk assessment of various options as targets.

The organizations present at this meeting were Afghan Coordination Against Corruption (AFCAC), Afghanistan Justice Organization (AJO), Shuhadda Organization, Afghanistan Youth New Era Organization (AYNEO), Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA), Fair Law Organization for Women (FLOW), Afghanistan Cultural Community (ACC), and CORDAID.

The Chair and Deputy Chair of NAC-PP were also present.

During the presentation, the priorities of the government’s recent Anti-corruption Strategy were summarized as the following:

  1. Provide Political leadership and empower reformers.
  2. End security sector corruption, with a focus on the Ministry of Interior.
  3. Replace patronage with merit in the civil service.
  4. Prosecute the corrupt.
  5. Follow the money to make funding flows transparent, traceable, and subject to audit under a national charter of accounts.

All priorities, including actors, factors and mechanisms for the implementation of the strategy were discussed in detail during the discussion period. There was general agreement that while the strategy had been developed with insufficient input from civil society and lacked clarity on a number of issues, the fact that there was a formal anti-corruption strategy would legitimize the work and efforts of the Anti-corruption Subcommittee. It was also agreed that if the Subcommittee is successful in its activities, it could make a significant contribution to the review process of the Anti-corruption Strategy which is set to take place every six months.

The second part of the presentation provided a synthesis of inputs for the development of the Subcommittee’s strategy at the last Anti-Corruption Subcommittee meeting. This part of the presentation was used as the introduction to the final part of the meeting, to assess the risks in fighting corruption in Afghanistan and how the evaluation of the risks should be a major consideration in identifying and targeting corruption related issues to be addressed by the Anti-Corruption Subcommittee.

At the end of the meeting, due to time limitation, it was collectively agreed that all participants would provide answers to the remaining questions on the development of the Subcommittee strategy by email following internal consultation with their respective organizations.

The deadline for submission of responses to the Secretariat was set for Tuesday November 28, 2017. The draft strategy will be developed by the Secretariat once all responses have been received.

November 2, 2017 : Anti-Corruption Sub-Committee – Round-Table Discussion

On November 02, 2017, the National Advocacy Committee for Public Policy (NAC-PP) held its first Anti-Corruption Sub-Committee meeting to discuss objectives and strategy for this specific sub-committee, and identify possible collaboration and coordination between different civil society organizations which work in anti-corruption area in Afghanistan. The event was organized by Afghanistan Public Policy Research Organization (APPRO), the Secretariat of NAC-PP, following the NAC-PP Stakeholders Conference on October 12, 2017 in Continental Hotel.

14 participants attended this roundtable discussion, including representatives from Afghan civil society organizations (CSOs), Private Sector, International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs), and chair and deputy of NAC-PP.

The participant organizations include: Quest Financial Services, Rebuild Consultant, Shuhada Organization (SO), Afghanistan Justice Organization (AJO), Afghans Coordination against Corruption (AFCAC), Afghan Youth New Era Organization (AYNEO), Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA), Cordaid, Flow, Afghan Cultural Community (ACC), Afghanistan Youth Social and Educational Organization (AYSEO).

Introduction and Presentation of Anti-Corruption Sub-Committee (APPRO)

APPRO’s Research Director, Mr. Saeed Parto, opened the meeting with a presentation which included a brief introduction to NAC-PP, its background, structure, objectives and scope of work. Following explaining the advantage of NAC-PP members. Those advantages include:

  • Critical Mass and collective voice
  • Effective advocacy based on evidence
  • Protection due to critical mass
  • Shared platform or better outreach
  • Collective learning or professionalization
  • More equal state-civil society relations and dialogue
  • More access to state authorities
  • More likely to influence policy process

The presentation continued with an introduction to Anti-Corruption Sub-Committee mandate which is to facilitate evidence-based constructive advocacy by civil society organizations to initiative an inclusive, ongoing dialogue between state and non-state actors to collaborate and explore possibilities for fighting corruption as shared, systematic problem.

The next part of the meeting was a discussion on what the next steps for this sub-committee should be based on the mandates and activities of the participating organizations. It was acknowledged by participants that sharing knowledge, experience and information among civil society organizations which work in anti-corruption would help to have a better coordination mechanism and help in prioritization of advocacy programs.  In addition, different expertise of civil society organizations can be used as a capacity building and awareness source on anti-corruption activities.

At the end of the meeting all participant agreed on the following action points in order to develop a strategy for anti-corruption sub-committee:

Action 1: NAC-PP secretariat to compile a draft strategy for the Anti-corruption Sub-committee based on answers of the member organizations to the following questions and share with members before the next meeting:

  1. Why are you interested in anti-corruption? Explain.
  2. Are you currently working on anti-corruption? Describe.
  3. Who are the main actors that sustain corruption? List.
  4. What factors allow corruption to thrive? List.
  5. What mechanisms are there for fighting corruption at the moment? List.
  6. What is not being done to fight corruption in Afghanistan?
  7. All things being equal, what can be done by civil society, through NAC-PP’s Anti-corruption Sub-committee, to fight corruption? List and Describe

Action 2: Identify collaboration opportunities among sub-committee members to start joint activities immediately.

Some members of the sub-committee already have projects on anti-corruption. For example, APPRO, IWA, AFCAC and AJO have anti-corruption projects. Other member organizations may also have anti-corruption projects. It is needed to compile a full list of the anti-corruption projects of member organizations. The secretariat needs all members to do two things:

  1. List all the anti-corruption projects and initiatives of your organization.
  2. Suggest ways in which other members could assist them in advocacy.

Action 3: Training on shared anti-corruption vocabulary to be used by sub-committee member organizations in their own work and in joint activities with other members.

The secretariat will provide this training at the next meeting of the Anti-corruption Sub-committee, to be held on Thursday November 16, 2017 from 10:00 to 12:00.

Presentation on Administrative Corruption – Administrative Office of the President

One June 18, 2017, APPRO presented findings of its research on administrative corruption to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff (DEPCS) of the Administrative Office of the President, in Kabul.

The presentation drew on findings from a baseline assessment conducted as part of the Citizens’ Forum Against Corruption (CFAC) project.
The presentation highlighted the highly systemic and institutionalized nature of corruption in tax assessment, payment, and collection processes and the impact on the interactions between service users and providers.
One of the key conclusions from this presentation was the government needed to go beyond periodic consultations with civil society and initiate an inclusive, ongoing dialogue between state and non-state actors to collaborate and explore possibilities fighting corruption as a shared, systemic problem.

Report Corruption Now! An Online Initiative Towards Better Governance in Afghanistan

As part of its efforts to combat corruption and increase the accountability of service providers in Afghanistan, APPRO has launched an interactive online platform to collect and share Afghan citizens’ experiences on multiple forms of corruption among service providers.

This initiative allows citizens to:
– Report bribes they were forced to pay;
– Report honest practices and innovative initiatives successful in resisting corruption; and
– Rate government departments.
Citizens’ involvement is crucial to curb corruption. By reporting your experience of corruption and bringing to attention effective techniques to combat corruptive practices, you can contribute to hold service providers accountable and develop new ways of resisting corrupt demands.
All submissions are anonymous and the details of those who use the website to report cases of corruption will not be shared with any person or organization.
You can share your experiences in Dari here, and in English here. A Pashto version will soon be available.

1st Civil Society Consultation Workshop on Open Government Partnership (OGP) in Afghanistan

On April 12, 2017,  a Civil Society Consultation Workshop on Open Government Partnership was organized for the first time in Afghanistan. Facilitated by Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) in close coordination with APPROEPDACBAR and AWN, the workshop sought to 1) to raise the awareness of civil society actors about the OGP initiative and process; and 2) to facilitate discussion and proactive participation of civil society in the development of commitments as part of OGP. The ultimate objective is to ensure the OGP initiative and process are inclusive of, and owned by, both Government and Civil Society. Read more

Policy Brief: Administrative Corruption in Tax Collection

By all accounts, corruption has become part of the daily life in Afghanistan, with administrative corruption in taxation and business licensing becoming a major concern for the government and its international donors in Afghanistan. There is broad consensus that administrative corruption undermines development and government legitimacy and effectiveness. Read more