After more than 30 years of conflict, Afghanistan faces a complex, interrelated set of political, administrative, economic, and social challenges. In 2002, the Afghan Interim Authority took over a public administration that was highly centralized in terms of its structure, but which had been denuded of infrastructure, human capacity, and financial resources, and had non-existent or very weak ties with its provinces.
As of 2010, the administrative structures of the state are basically sound and working. However, government administration is still far from effective, and suffers from a number of systemic problems including fragmented administrative structures, with many overlapping and unnecessary functions; and difficulty in attracting and retaining skilled professionals with management and administrative experience. Despite some priority restructuring and reforms, administrative systems are slow and cumbersome, with limited delegation of authority to decentralized structures or provincial governments. In that light, the role of regional government officials is crucial for the future and the political leadership demonstrated so far has been strong and strategic.
The programme aims at providing learning opportunities to selected High Level Government Officials from Afghanistan by visiting various government organizations in Japan. It will also provide a unique insight into the post-conflict reconstruction of the city of Hiroshima, from a social policy point of view. Specifically, this Study-Trip will offer an overview of the fundamental framework of the government of Japan, including national ministries and regional government entities. Participants will observe Japanese efforts to advance decentralization, ensure stable sources of local tax, and foster regional economies. In addition, they will also have the opportunity to discuss the interaction between provincial governments and national ministries.
Taking place from 11 - 18 September 2010, the schedule includes visits to:
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA);
- Ministry of Education of Japan
- Board of Audit of Japan
- The Japanese Customs and Tariffs Bureau
- Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA);
- Hiroshima Prefecture and Assembly
Study visits, Interactive lectures, Panel discussions.
High Level Government Officials from Afghanistan will be selected by the Afghan Civil Service Institute and UNITAR to participate in this programme.