District development plans play a critical role in improving public perception of government responsiveness
9 FEBRUARY 2012 | KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN
CHALLENGE In 2006, the Arghandab District government prepared the first comprehensive District Development Plan (DDP). This plan allowed government officials at all levels to prioritize and coordinate infrastructure repairs in order to promote economic recovery and stability. Unfortunately, many of the targeted infrastructure improvements were beyond the reach of constrained government budgets. The lack of funding and manpower led to service gaps that compromised local perceptions of government responsiveness.
INITIATIVE To support the Arghandab DDP, USAID and its implementing partner, Central Asia Development Group, collaborated with Kandahar Governor Tooryalai Wesa, the Kandahar Provincial Development Council, and the district governor to identify and fill infrastructure gaps in the plan. From April 2011 to November 2011, USAID implemented a road and drainage rehabilitation project and an erosion protection-wall reconstruction project. Government officials were instrumental in selecting worksites for the two projects, recruiting personnel, and forging agreements with community leaders. Government officials visited the work sites regularly and played an important role in overseeing the work for the community.
RESULTS The projects employed 1,428 residents, repairing more than 16 km of roads, nine km of drainage canals, 1,200 meters of erosion protection walls, and 70 culverts. This work has allowed government officials to make significant progress on the Arghandab DDP. The road and drainage project was mapped closely to infrastructure and natural resource strategies in the plan, while the erosion protection wall project was mapped to DDP agriculture and rural development strategies. Laborers and residents recognize the benefit of this work. Lutfullah, a laborer, sees the work as a sign of economic growth while Malem, another laborer, credits the Arghandab department of labor for his job.
Farmers are also appreciative of the improvements. "Now that the municipality has finished this project, big trucks are able to carry my pomegranates to the market and I can hire more workers for the harvest," said farmer Haji Abdul Qavie.
Last updated: January 12, 2015