NABDP 2012 project board meeting
On 4 December, the final 2012 National Area-Based Development Programme (NABDP) Board meeting was held at the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD).
The meeting was co-chaired by MRRD’s Deputy Minister Mohammad Tariq Ismati and the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Senior Deputy Country Director (SDCD) of Programmes, Mr. Renaud Meyer. Representatives from the following donor communities participated: European Union, Spain, Germany, AusAID, the Netherlands, Norway, Japan, Italy and UNDP, as did local and regional NABDP staff.
Mr. Daud Rahimi, Programme Manager for NABDP, was warmly welcomed and introduced to the Board as a very welcome addition and asset to NABDP. Mr. Rahimi has extensive experience in the Ministry and was appointed to his new role in early September 2012. Deputy Minister Ismati indicated that he viewed Mr. Rahimi as being able to add significant value to both NABDP and rural development within Afghanistan.
In their opening remarks, both co-chairs agreed that MRRD, UNDP, the greater Afghan government and its citizens, as well as the donor community all have an agreed upon agenda: to help build a safer, more secure and economically stable country. NABDP’s success in working with rural communities to implement requested projects from the local District Development Assemblies (DDAs) was highlighted as contributing to the success of rural Afghanistan development.
To build upon the success of the DDAs, and working with the Independent Directorate for Local Governance (IDLG), the Senior Minister’s Office, Ministry of Finance (MoF) and others, it was announced at the meeting that NABDP played a significant role in developing a policy for the development of a unified and coherent district-level entity. Referred to as the District Coordination Councils (DCCs), these entities will be responsible for coordinating development and governance at the district-level; they are the only governance body at the district-level.
The policy was developed in response to Presidential Decree Number 45 (Article 28, Item 3) and is soon expected to be presented to the Council of Ministers for final endorsement.
SDCD Meyer and H.E. Deputy Minister Ismati both discussed the UNDP new sub-national governance strategy which will be aligned with the Afghan government priorities. Both stressed the importance of creating synergies with existing local, national and international programmes to strengthen the impact of Afghanistan’s rural development. SDCD Meyer emphasized that with the adoption of this strategy, UNDP does not foresee any fundamental changes in the already successful NABDP. He did note, however, that with any change comes some programmatic evolution.
Deputy Minister Ismati also indicated that rural Afghan communities still have an exorbitant number of needs that have not been met, with thousands of proposals in the queue. He expressed that by working with other successful programmes, NABDP will be able to fulfill more of these proposals – resulting in many benefits to rural Afghan community development. NABDP has previously successfully evolved to address the community needs at district-level and he reassured the Board that this new programme evolution would be no different.
Mr. Rahimi provided an update on NABDP and the progress, as well as difficulties, NABDP has experienced in 2012. He spoke about: (a) the Programme’s focus on completing the on-going projects in 2012; (b) the success of the DDAs and the 100 percent completion of District Development Plans (DDPs); (c) NABDP’s pivotal role in shaping the DCCs; (d) the on-going Functional Review; (e) Financial and On-Budget delivery; as well as, (e) future funding.
The meeting was closed with Deputy Minister Ismati indicating that the road to success in Afghanistan will be a long journey, but it will be one built on trust between the people of Afghanistan, the government, international donors and partners.