Strong Hubs for Afghan Hope and Resilience (SHAHAR)

  • Duration: 
    Nov 2014 – Nov 2019
  • Value: $72 Million

OVERVIEW

SHAHAR is supporting the Afghan government-led initiative to create well-governed and fiscally-sustainable municipalities meeting the needs of the rapidly growing urban population.

The primary objective is to strengthen the capacity of Afghan municipalities to meet citizen-identified service priorities and service delivery needs. There are three components to SHAHAR: (1) assisting the Deputy Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Kabul Municipality to strengthen municipal governance and build their human and institutional capacity; (2) helping municipal institutions to become more resilient, transparent, self-sustaining, and able to effectively meet the needs of citizens; and (3) supporting Municipal Advisory Boards to function as forums for citizens to collectively advocate for their priorities.

ACTIVITIES

  • Strengthen the capacity of the Afghan government to undertake systematic reviews of municipal performance, to generate and disseminate regulations and standard operating procedures, and to implement mechanisms for feedback and budget approvals to municipalities.
  • Training and technical assistance to improve revenue forecasting and generation, budget formulation and execution, implementation and updating of economic development plans, development and implementation of standard operating procedures, and to strengthen outreach and citizen consultation.
  • Development and implementation of a municipal smartphone application to connect municipalities and citizens.
  • Implementation of street addresses and house numbering in the four regional hub municipalities such as Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad, Kandahar, and Herat.
  • Support Municipal Advisory Boards in systematic monitoring of municipal development projects and formal mechanisms for both citizen consultation and delivering feedback to municipal governments.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Implemented 67 public-private partnerships, outsourcing government services to private businesses, and generating an estimated $1.4 million in additional municipal revenue.
  • Established 14 Citizen Service Centers, aimed at improving the two-way communication between citizens and municipal officials, which registered 11,000 inquiries from citizens.
  • Increased the revenue in SHAHAR municipalities by 40%, with fixed revenue (consistent revenue based on long-term contracts) twice as large as non-fixed revenue.
  • Held two Annual National Mayors’ Conferences, resulting in the establishment of the National Municipalities Network and the commitment on the part of the Afghan government and all 33 provincial mayors to move forward with the establishment of the Afghanistan Municipal Union. The Afghanistan Municipal Union will serve as a platform for Afghan mayors to advocate for resources and will provide opportunities for mayors to exchange ideas and share best practices.
  • Established the Integrated Financial Management System in 17 partner municipalities, automating many of the functions related to business licensing, land parcel registration and Safayi (municipal service charges) billing and collection.
  • Placed a total of 152 youth interns (85% female) in partner municipalities, Afghan government offices, and SHAHAR’s regional and central offices.
  • All 20 original partner municipalities developed and are implementing economic development plans and solid waste management plans.

Last updated: May 07, 2019

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