Afghanistan Parliamentary Assistance Project (APAP)

Overview

The Afghanistan Parliamentary Assistance Project (APAP), which is funded by USAID but implemented by the State University of New York’s Center for International Development, is working to establish an Afghan parliament that operates as a strong, effective, and independent deliberative body.  The project’s primary objectives are to: design a legislative strengthening strategy; help establish and develop a strong, independent, and effective parliament; provide technical assistance to parliamentary committees; strengthen Parliament’s public outreach capacity; and, establish and support a parliamentary budget office and educational institute.

Activities

  • Legislative Strengthening: Improving the capacity of parliamentarians and Secretariat staff to directly support parliamentary committees with drafting legislation, research, rules of procedure, and conducting public hearings.
  • Budget Analysis and Oversight: Helping budget and economic committees, perform budget and oversight analysis, including tracking economic indicators and provincial budget analysis.
  • Institutional Development: Providing training to parliamentarians and Secretariat staff in legislative, representative, and oversight functions.
  • Constituent Outreach: Facilitating civil society input into Parliament’s legislative and oversight functions by bolstering linkages between parliamentarians and constituents, provincial representative bodies, the executive branch, and the media. 

Accomplishments

  • Legislative: Improved the quality of the legislative process by creating Committee Support Teams for eight targeted committees, eventually expanding support to all committees in both houses.  Developed a publicly-available “Online Bill Tracker,” which is operated by Parliament, to improve legislative research capacity for parliamentarians, staff, and the general public.
  • Budget and Oversight: Developed mechanisms to improve provincial input into the budget review process and supported seven pre-budget workshops between parliamentarians, provincial council representatives, and other ministry officials.  Improved the capacity of the commissions to review and analyze the national budget and the consolidated Expenditure and Revenue Report of the Government (Qatia report).  Supported the Wolesi Jirga in creating a budget sub-committee focused on public accounts review.  Introduced investigatory oversight visits to provinces to monitor budget execution as well as executive performance.
  • Institutional Development: Launched the Afghanistan Parliamentary Institute (API), which is now nationally accredited as a higher learning institute.  Conducted training on: the legislative process, committee procedures, legislative research, budget process, oversight, representation, report writing, English and Information Technology.  APAP trained more than 3500 parliamentarians, staff members, civil society members, and journalists.  Built the capacity of commission assistants in developing work plans, drafting meeting agendas, drafting bill summaries and analyzing the budget.
  • Constituent Outreach: Worked with Parliament to negotiate and sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with civil society organizations (CSOs) allowing for CSO support and participation in parliamentary processes.  Designed, produced, and broadcast over 200 national interactive radio roundtables, informational spots, radio newsletters, and radio documentaries to promote public knowledge of Parliament.  Helped Parliament organize key discussion forums on women’s issues, the national budget, and the appointment of women’s representatives to the Supreme Court. 

Last updated: October 01, 2013

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