Press conference: Launch of Integrity Watch Afghanistan research report on the state prisons in Afghanistan
Integrity Watch Afghanistan: Despite, millions of dollars spent, the state of prisons in Afghanistan remains inhuman
Saturday, September 16, 2017: Integrity Watch called on the leadership of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and the National Unity Government (NUG) to address the shortcomings that were identified by the “Life Matters: Caring for the Country’s Most Precious Resource” report launched by Integrity Watch last month.
This public health care research study and report, based on a survey by Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA), provides support to the oversight activities of donors investing in the health sector in Afghanistan. IWA’s work assists donors and the Afghan government to assess the quality of health care services, provided by public health clinics and hospitals, the main channels of health care delivery in Afghanistan.
By Sayed Ikram Afzali
Executive Director, Integrity Watch Afghanistan
It has been over a month since the deadline set in the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan to produce an anti-corruption strategy has passed. There is no indication that a comprehensive strategy, that would have the buy-in from all the stakeholders, would be in place soon.
Integrity watch: Afghans pay close to $3b in bribes annually
Corruption remains one of the three biggest problems Afghans face
Integrity Watch Afghanistan and Global Witness welcome the inclusion of a commitment on extractive sector governance in the outcomes of the Brussels conference on Afghanistan taking place today, but are deeply concerned at the lack of specific commitments on corruption.
Major independent global report finds that Afghanistan continues to make only limited information available to the public and reveals that overall country budget accountability systems are deficient Kabul, Afghanistan, September 30, 2015 – Afghanistan failed to increase the amount of national budget information it provides to citizens enough to be considered sufficiently transparent, according to the International Budget Partnership’s Open Budget Survey 2015.
Ahead of the NATO Chicago Summit this month, Global Witness, Integrity Watch Afghanistan, and the Revenue Watch Institute have sent a joint civil society letter to Secretary General Rasmussen urging all NATO member countries to address the role Afghanistan’s extractives sector will play in stabilising the country over the next decade.
At Chicago, we are calling on NATO to:
In 2011, local community of Sajadia village in Balkh province played a leading role to improve construction quality of their local school. Mohammad Ishaq, a community member said, “if we had let the work continue as it was, 170,000 US$ from the budget would have been wasted”. Low quality of infrastructure projects has been a key challenge to effective delivery of aid to the local communities in Afghanistan.
• Hajigak Briefing Paper
• Communities’ First Trial Monitoring
• Budget Tracking in Heart • Land Distribution and Expropriation Reform
• Training Civil Society in EITI
• New Website!
• Theatre Campaign in Balkh and Herat
The Afghanistan Human Development Report 2011 is appearing at a critical moment. The world’s attention is focused on this impoverished landlocked country on the threshold of the 10-year countdown to the 2020 target of the Millennium Development Goals. There are worrying signs that scarcity is looming. During the past nine years, Afghanistan has achieved gains in health, education and the standard of living. Yet, the number and magnitude of the remaining difficulties are significant. Access to safe water is one of the chief challenges.
• Merchant Licensing Process further reformed
• IWA to expand public service monitoring to the health services sector
• Provincial Monitoring Boards introduced to CBM
• Community members in Bamiyan affected by judicial corruption speak out
17 civil society actors, representing more than 200 civil society organisations, and several media organisations, unite before the approaching Kabul Conference to ask the Afghan Government to pass the draft Act of Access to Information prepared by Civil Society and Human Rights Network to grant Afghan citizens their constitutional right following Art 50 to access information. According to a recent survey in 2010, bribery has doubled in the last three years and amounts close to one billion dollars.
Corruption is rampant and has become more entrenched in all areas of life in Afghanistan, and the Afghan government is under increased pressure to address the issue. Demands for action from within Afghan society, as well as from the international community, have reached and unprecedented level. The concerns expressed by voices within Afghanistan may slightly differ from those of the international community. However, both are based on the assumption that corruption derails the fundamental gains of Afghanistan achieved since the end of 2001.
The question posed to President Hamid Karzai at a Spiegel interview in June 2008 reflects most of what is documented in this report. Although democratic institutions are currently well under construction and sound governance is a priority for the administration, in contrast to the Taliban period, should these benchmarks and others be systematically compared with the years of Taliban rule? Many of the problems Afghanistan today faces have their roots in the legacy of past shortcomings in the international community's response to Afghanistan.
Although there is no doubt today that corruption in Afghanistan poses a serious risk to current efforts to rebuild state institutions and ensure stability and security, little is known about what the Afghan population actually considers as corrupt practice. What is acceptable and what is unacceptable behaviour in the local context? Do Western definitions of corruption and the associated behavioural standards apply to Afghanistan?
This report sets out to examine the risks of corruption faced by those delivering and receiving humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan. It is drawn from a limited amount of fieldwork and interviews, and so should be seen very much as a preliminary effort to understand the issues and dimensions of the problem. However, the picture it paints is a devastating one, suggesting a clear need for more concerted action on the part of the government, aid agencies and donor to address corruption risks.
Road reconstruction is the second absorber of aid money after security expenditures. This can be explained due to the high priority that was given to the construction of roads as a catalyst for economic growth, security improvements and, more specifically, integration of isolated parts of the country.
Due to the insecurity, high political pressure was exerted for road construction, as illustrates Lt. Gen.
2. Executive Summary
More then five years have passed since the beginning of the internationally led reconstruction of the Afghan state. The reconstruction of working democratic institutions and an efficient administration in order to extend the influence of the state over the whole territory was the initial objective of the intervention. This study of the Reconstruction National Integrity System (RNIS) analyses the interactions between a selected group of Afghan institutions that enable an environment in which corruption might be contained.