Provincial Council Training Program

Members of the Laghman Provincial Council attend CIPE’s seminar on combating corruption.

The Provincial Councils in Afghanistan play an important role as a democratically elected body with whom citizens can have their voices heard. In 2010, CIPE began conducting seminars for the Provincial Councils on issues of democratic governance and market economics. CIPE conducted seminars for the Provincial Councils of 30 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. Following these seminars, CIPE selected 15 Provincial Councils to continue to provide additional assistance in understanding issues of corruption and the informal economy. In addition, CIPE supported the Provincial Councils in creating working groups comprised of Provincial Council members, local government officials, and business leaders. CIPE conducts seminars for the working groups on policy advocacy and democratic governance.

Reform Success Highlights

After participating in CIPE’s seminars, the Provincial Council members have taken action on local issues.

  • The Takhar Provincial Council Council was able to address a local issue where trucks transporting goods entering and exiting Taloqan (the Takhar capital) were charged illegal fees. The provincial council members met with the Takhar governor to discuss the issue and had follow-up meetings with municipal authorities. The extortion of the truck drivers stopped, which has lowered prices locally.
  • The Laghman Provincial Council also took up local corruption issues after participating in CIPE’s training seminar on the topic. They identified the issue of truck drivers bribing officials to allow them to travel on the highway between Jalalabad and Kabul with trucks exceeding the weight limit. Trucks travelling with excess weight damages the road. The Provincial Council raised the issue with the weigh stations and urged them to end enforce the rules.
  • Provincial Council members from Kunduz Province were inspired to take action following CIPE’s training seminar. The Provincial Council worked with the provincial administration to move forward with a stalled plan to establish a commercial township in Sherkhan Bandar (at the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border). The Provincial Council is also working to establish an industrial park to encourage economic growth. The administrative and technical plans have been completed and the land has been allocated for the industrial park.
  • The Ghanzni Provincial Council, who participated in the CIPE training program, was adequately sensitized to fighting rampant corruption at the provincial level, according to Mr. Abdul Jami Jami, chief of the Provincial Council and Chairman of the Provincial Working Group of the Ghazni province. The council, based on the people’s complaints, introduced the names of almost 20 corrupt government officials to the attorney office and those officials have been detained on corruption charges. Mr. Jami also informed CIPE that the provincial council was able to restore around 15,000 Jerib (3,000 hectares) of government land which had been illegally appropriated by some powerful people in the province.