On July 27, 2016, NAC-PP members and representatives from the provincial advocacy committees for public policy (PAC-PP) from Herat, Nangarhar and Takhar provinces attended a meeting with held an advocacy meeting with the General Director of Budget at the Ministry of Finance.
The meeting was called to follow up on budgetary challenges met by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) and the Ministry of Education (MoEd) to respond to citizens’ needs in the three target provinces.
The following points were addressed and agreed on during the meeting:
- Ministry of Finance will share approved provincial budgets of MoEd and MAIL for 1395, and to the extent possible, 1396 for the three provinces of Herat, Nangarhar and Takhar;
- In their quality of civil society representatives, members of NAC-PP and PAC-PP expressed their willingness to sign an MoU with the Ministry of Finance to assist in the drafting of provincial budgets;
- NAC-PP and PAC-PP member are ready to assist in coordination between the Ministry of Finance and civil society at the national and provincial levels.
NAC and PAC-PP had held meetings with MAIL and MoED in April and June 2016, respectively, to bring to their attention fundamental concerns of provincial residents and authorities concerning food security and access to education. The aim of these meetings was to attempt to align citizens’ priorities with strategic priorities of the Ministries, assess the extent to which those could be addressed in the existing policy and financial framework of both Ministries, and assist in supporting concrete follow-up on strategic priorities in the provinces.
- It was confirmed action points outlined by Provincial Advocacy Committees of Herat, Nangarhar and Takhar are part of strategic priorities of MAIL and MoEd at the national and provincial levels;
- Both Ministries face fundamental challenges in translating these priorities in practice due to the non-alignment of the budget allocated by the Ministry of Finance with these priorities;
NAC-PP will hold a follow-up meeting with the General Directorate of Budget of the Ministry of Finance to:
- Ensure approved budgets are in line with strategic priorities of the concerned Ministries.
- That the Ministry of Finance takes action on commitments expressed to coordinate with civil society.
- If needs can not be addressed in the current budget, that the ministry takes account demands raised by respective ministries and confirmed by CSOs in the budget for the following year.
NAC-PP will monitor progress and report to Parliament for further actions.