UNDP is the UN’s global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with national counterparts on their own solutions to global and national development challenges.
UNDP Afghanistan is supporting the Government to find innovative solutions to its development challenges based on the on-going Country Programme Document approved by the Executive Board for the period 2006 – 2009. A new Country Programme Document was approved by the Executive Board during September 2009 for the period 2010-2013. Key priority areas for UNDP assistance are in strengthening democratic governance, crisis prevention and recovery, and reducing poverty. UNDP is strengthening the institutional capacities of key national government and sub-national authorities which aim to enhance human security, human development, peace and stability in Afghanistan.
UNDP Afghanistan is supporting the Government to find innovative solutions to its development challenges based on the Country Programme Document approved by the Executive Board for the period 2010 – 2013, where the gender was identified as an important cross practice priority. Among the key UNDP priorities is to assist the Government of Afghanistan (GoA) to set coherent, and well-grounded interventions in achieving the goals (strengthening of democratic processes and institutions, and Promoting gender equality and empowering women) in line with Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS).
Making Budgets Aid Work (MBAW) project provides the essential support to the Budget Department of the Ministry of Finance to strengthen budget planning, implementation and monitoring processes. In addition, the project promotes the effective use of the national budget as a tool for coordination of international development assistance to the government of Afghanistan through implementing various activities that build on the outputs and outcomes of the project in line with the ANDS and UNDAF.
MBAW regards the National Budget as an agent through which a number of universal development principles can be promulgated, such as: fiscal discipline and sustainability, national security, provincial and social equity, poverty reduction, increased productivity and growth of the private sector, gender equality, poppy eradication and the effective delivery of public services.
The Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) which serves as the Government Strategy for Security, Good Governance, Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction underlines the need to strengthen the crucial role of developing a national budget as the government policy making instrument essential for achieving planned national development priorities.
The project aims to strengthen the National Budget processes as a comprehensive policy and decision making mechanism for the Government of Afghanistan to follow good macroeconomic management and to promote efficient allocation of domestic resources as well as International Development Assistance.
In order to better link MBAW’s work with ANDS objectives, principles of ownership have become integrated into MBAW’s work plan. To this end, the new MBAW Project Plan emphasizes the need to increase capacity to eventually prepare for an exit strategy by 2015. This involves continuous capacity development and retention, with the gradual cessation of reliance upon technical assistance, especially foreign technical assistance. To execute this plan, regular assessments of technical assistance are forecasted, and priority will be placed on Afghan staff to fill roles, while limited foreign technical assistance to mentoring only, and for six-month duration only. Placing the future of Afghanistan’s development and, more specifically, fiscal responsibility in the hands of Afghans is paramount to achieving real ownership of Afghanistan’s development agenda.
The new MBAW Project Plan involves a renewed focus on budget planning and management, to further enhance and develop the Public Financial Management Roadmap, which was endorsed at the Kabul Conference. As such, program budgeting has been implemented, and provincial budgeting norms have been developed and applied to achieve greater fiscal sustainability at the sub-national level. Policy and Strategic Development have been part and parcel of this new project plan, and involves considerable emphasis on aid coordination, effectiveness and reporting. In the near future, a symposium on aid effectiveness will explore the state of aid effectiveness in Afghanistan among experts and the public alike. National Priority Programs (NPP) are now under the purview of MBAW. Developing the 22 NPPs is fundamental to the prioritization and success of the Afghan National Development Strategy. At present, MBAW is implementing oversight and monitoring mechanisms to support the NPPs that have already been implemented, and those that are in the process of development. Coordinated support translates into effective action; MBAW is maximizing on the skills and abilities of its staff to build upon past successes, and to work towards results and impact at a national level.
The focus of this engagement is to support officials of the Government of Afghanistan (GIRoA) as they continue to adopt efficient, effective and responsive budget decision-making and policy implementation at the sub-national level. A large number of assets have been and continue to be built outside of the GIRoA budget process and the core budget has limited funding to address the operating and maintenance needs of these and other GIRoA assets. Given the importance of this issue, this engagement will specifically address the inclusion of OM in the GIRoA budget process. Assistance will be provided by an on-site resource with general expertise in public financial management and specific expertise in planning and budgeting (PFM Expert). The main responsibilities of the PFM Expert shall be the following:
– Developing a provincial budgeting manual, reviewing, analyzing and mapping all the processes,
as part of the manual development, simplifying the existing procedures particularly on budget execution, and incorporating best practices on sub-national budgeting/financing.
– Developing a consolidated curriculum for provincial budgeting and financing, we currently have three practices i.e. 1) Capacity Building, 2) Consultation and Coordination, 3) Provincial Budgeting Pilot (500k/province for 4pilot departments), the introduction and implementation of the Operation Maintenance for 2pilot ministries and
– Looking into the fiscal imbalance and advice government on possible addressing the provincial equity.
Strengthen Sub-National Planning:
- Assess current planning capacities of Provinces; identify procedural weaknesses.
- Assist in linking the Provincial Development Plan, PDP, to the annual budget by developing capacity in budget planning and formulation at the provincial level.
- Develop a strategy for incorporating Operating and Maintenance, OM, planning into the 1392 budget process.
- Determine availability of asset data for each province and develop a plan for accumulating and evaluating this data.
- Develop standards for developing operations and maintenance plans including on-going monitoring of these plans.
- Assist GIRoA in developing an asset maintenance policy and implementation guidelines for provincial departments.
- Develop a training program to acquaint provincial officials with Afghan financial management procedures specifically for OM budgeting.
- Develop a process that can be used at the provincial and district levels for prioritizing operating and maintenance needs based on an approved maintenance plan.
- Develop guidelines for Provincial Departments and Governors for distributing OM funding between districts.
- Develop a communications plan to assure the provinces and districts are aware of the amount of OM funding included in the budget.
- Establish a methodology for estimating OM requirements for assets of provincial department/s.
- Develop a process for including OM requirements in the national budget process: including appropriate forms and timelines.
- Develop capacity building materials for local officials.