An Analysis of Recent Planning and Budgeting Reforms in Afghanistan: Implications for further Reform
(University of Washington)
In 2015, Afghanistan adopted a "Provincial Budgeting Policy" (PBP) and "Provincial Development Planning Guideline" (PDPG) in order to encourage fiscal deconcentration to facilitate improved participatory provincial planning and budgeting linked to priorities of provincial service delivery and create transparent, equitable, and predictable budgeting process. After three years of implementation, the practice has resulted in the following: (1) the formation of provincial public finance management committee; (2) the allocation of unconditional funds (1$million) to 34 local administrations; (3) the expansion of PBP application to ten line ministries; (4) the formation of fiscal deconcentration working group within the structure of Ministry of Finance; and (5) technical and capacity building support to local planning and budgeting entities of 34 provinces. However, these results have not been enough to produce the very two outcomes mentioned above. This failure effectively impacts the manner of public service delivery throughout Afghanistan. As such, this article firstly identifies the major challenges in the planning and budgeting process, including fiscal constraints, political games, still complex planning and budgeting process, and insufficient or lack of administrative capacity. Finally, it provides recommendations for further reforms in the coming years.
Autonomy, Civil Society, Participation