Progress in Governance
Historically, an important cause of the political instability and conflict in Helmand was a lack of trust and confidence in Government. This was driven by political, social and economic exclusion - problems that also inhibit growth. So the PRT is helping the Government of Afghanistan to:
- Build the capabilty of Government Ministries and the Provincial Governor's Office to plan, budget and deliver services
- Implement and strengthen Provincial, district, and municipal councils to make Government decisions respond to the priorities of the people of Helmand. These councils also allow conflicts between the population to be resolved in a non-violent way
- Increase the sustainability of Government by ending direct donations and payments in favour of long-term national programming that works within regular Afghan systems
The impact of this work is being felt on the ground, with Government effectiveness and legitimacy increasing consistently right across Helmand.
Recent improvements include the thirteenth district to enjoy a resident Governor able to interact with locals directly (compared with five in 2009) and the seventh Helmand district to gain its own Council made up of elected locals - bodies that enjoy strong local support.
The quality of public administration has also improved substantially: underway now are the first seventy development projects to be wholly identified and prioritised in plans drawn up by local communities supported by the Provincial Governors' Office (not international advisers), and which are paid for by national-level funding drawn through Afghan budget systems.