KABUL – Community Development Councils (CDCs) will be given more responsibilities to ensure greater development in rural areas, based on their success in bringing prosperity to their communities.
“We do recognize your tireless efforts at the village level and, therefore, the Afghan government has decided to delegate further responsibilities to you [CDCs],” Naseer Ahmad Durrani, Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, told the more than 500 delegates from 34 provinces attending the Fifth National Consultative Jirga (conference) of Community Development Councils in Kabul.
“This means that the government is serious and recognizes your important role and brilliant performance in the past in giving you even more responsibilities,” he said.
The Jirga, held from October 31 to November 2, 2015, was organized by the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), which is responsible for implementing the National Solidarity Program (NSP), the Government of Afghanistan’s flagship program for development. The purpose of the Jirga was to raise the awareness of CDC members on future government programs to be implemented through NSP.
The large gathering in Afghanistan’s biggest hall, the Loya Jirga hall, reflected NSP’s success in bringing development to rural and isolated communities across the country. “Looking at various reports and media analysis, both locally and internationally, I can proudly say that NSP has received wide recognition as one of the most successful programs in the country,” said Ghulam Rasoul Rasouli, NSP Acting Executive Director. “Though many factors have contributed to the success of this program, among the most important factors are;- the participation of communities, consultation with villagers, and due supervision of projects, which has made the program a true success.”
Some 35,000 CDCs, established under NSP, have been instrumental in implementing over 80,000 MRRD development projects in their communities, leading to economic prosperity in entire Afghan villages. CDCs are found in about 85 percent of Afghan communities.
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani addressed the Jirga on its second day. He told delegates that the government will maintain the momentum of development work and introduce a follow-on program - the ‘Citizen’s Charter’, after NSP comes to an end next year. “The upcoming Citizen’s Charter Program will sustain the work of CDCs by adding to their responsibilities as the sole competent government bodies in villages,” said President Ghani.
President Ghani lauded the effectiveness of the CDCs, and urged them to undertake more responsibility in the implementation of community-level development projects currently under other ministries and government institutions. “Now that our people are able to analyze their problems, all future programs of government ministries will be implemented through and by the CDCs in their respective communities,” he said.