On March 6, 2021 Joint Civil Society and Government Oversight Committee on Implementation of Anti-corruption Strategy in Health Sector held its first meeting with participation of committee members from different departments of Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), civil society and UNDP.
The aim for establishing this Joint Oversight Committee is to ensure transparency and improving health service delivery to Afghan citizens through monitoring the implementation of the anticorruption strategy in health sector.
The establishment of this committee was proposed by National Advocacy Committee for Public Poicy (NAC-PP) in one of the advocacy meetings facilitated by APPRO and UNDP on August 20, 2020 with MoPH. UNDP/ACTION provided the funding for COVID-19 Budget Monitoring in Nangarhar, Laghman and Kunar provinces which led to establishment of this Joint Oversight Committee. This committee consists of delegates from different departments of MoPH and civil society organizations and will be chaired by the General Director of the Policy and Planning Directorate of the MoPH, Dr. Abdul Qadir Qadir.
Dr. Bashir Noormal, Deputy Minister of Policy and Planning, opened the meeting and stated that “MoPH is one of the leading ministries in the fight against corruption through its adoption of the Ministry-wide Anti-corruption Strategy 2017-2020. This strategy is based on four principles of regulation, prevention, prosecution and strengthening public participation”.
Dr. Bashir Noormal added, “we are pleased that this joint oversight committee has enabled MoPH to engage civil society in the development of future anti-corruption strategy in the health sector”. He also stated that “corruption is tangible in the health sector, our goal is to minimize corruption in this sector and we are pleased that civil society is part of this effort through this committee.”
Mr. Ahmad Shaheer Anil, Executive Director of APPRO, stated that “we are committed to work with MoPH to strengthen transparency and accountability in the health sector as members of civil society and as recipients of public health services.” The establishment of this Joint Oversight Committee is an opportunity for civil society and government to enhance state-civil society relations and partner in developing and implementing policies.
Dr. Abdul Qadir Qadir, Director General of Policy and Planning and Chairperson of Joint Oversight Committee stated that, “first of all the terms of reference will be discussed and and will incorporate inputs from the committee members.” Dr. Qadir Qadir has directed Health Officials in MoPH to start working on an implementation and monitoring plan for the implementation of multiple strategies and policies developed in MoPH including the Ministry-wide Anti-corruption Strategy, Anti-corruption Strategy Action Plans developed jointly by MoPH and Special Anti-corruption Secretariat, and Conflict of Interest Policy.
Dr. Qadir Qadir concluded the meeting by stating that “responsibilities of this Joint Oversight Committee are not easy work to get done, we need commitment, dedication and above all mutual cooperation among committee members to reduce corruption in Afghanistan’s Health Sector.”