Independent Directorate of Local Governance of Afghanistan and University of Central Asia Sign Memorandum to Increase Capacity of Local Governance Staff

Date: 05 August 2014
The Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the University of Central Asia (UCA), which is part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to increase the capacity of civil servants in Afghanistan through UCA’s Local Economic and Community Development (LECD) certificate programme. 
 
The agreement was signed on 5 August 2014 by His Excellency Mr Abdul Khaliq Farahi, Director General of IDLG, and Dr Bohdan Krawchenko, Director General of UCA. The AKDN Diplomatic Representative, Mrs. Nurjehan Mawani, H.E. Sharofiddin Z. Imomov, Ambassador of the Republic of Tajikistan, H.E. Avazbek Abdurazakov, Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic and H.E. Omirtay Bitimov, Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan  were present at the ceremony.
 
"The capacity development of local governance staff is the primary and essential factor of good governance. We hope the University of Central Asia and Independent Directorate of Local Governance’s joint efforts in preparing capacity development materials and curriculum for local governance personnel will bring positive change in strengthening governance and further boost the relationship between IDLG and UCA. We believe that capacity development will impact day-to-day tasks positively and will result in improved effectiveness in the future delivery of governance services, after these excellent programmes are implemented," said His Excellency Farahi.
 
Based on its existing programmes and regional experience, UCA’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE) will develop the structure, curriculum and materials for the LECD programme in Afghanistan and train instructors. SPCE has successfully delivered the programme to 1,150 civil servants in the Kyrgyz Republic. The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Ottawa, Canada is supporting UCA to adapt the LECD programme for Afghanistan and Tajikistan as part of its Research and Public Policy Initiative 
 
IDLG aims to deliver the LECD programme to District Governors of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan through weekly sessions over the course of a year, representing 30 credits in the European Credit Transfer System. Successful participants will receive a professional development certificate and a certificate supplement detailing the programme of studies completed and learners’ achievements in accordance with European norms. 
 
“This partnership reflects UCA’s commitment to working with the Government to build capacity in Afghanistan,” said Dr Krawchenko, “This programme is geared to meeting the training needs of Afghan civil servants and its curriculum will be the product of close collaboration between Afghan and UCA’s experts.”
 
Over the past three years, through partnerships with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Finance, as well as other government agencies, UCA has provided  Afghan civil servants with skills building, networking and research opportunities. UCA’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration conducted training in trade policy and negotiations and hosted a symposium in Kabul on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Regional Trade in Afghanistan and the Heart of Asia Region. This project was delivered under UCA’s Regional Cooperation and Confidence Building in Central Asia and Afghanistan project implemented in partnership with the Government of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs Trade and Development. The project also supported the piloting of a Visiting Fellow Programme, which offers civil servants the opportunity to conduct research and network with peers from countries in Central Asia.
 
The IDRC-supported Research and Public Policy Initiative at UCA has also co-hosted a workshop on policy processes with the Afghan Ministry of Finance which has contributed to the development and delivery in 2014 and 2015 of a policy analysis certificate programme to the staff of several Ministries. UCA’s Mountain Societies Research Institute’s Central Asia and Afghanistan Research Fellowship programme is also supporting research\to inform the development of sound policy and programmes for the region’s mountainous communities.
 
“UCA and the Aga Khan Development Network are committed to working in close collaboration with the Government and other partners to strengthen institutions  and build capacity,” said Mrs. Nurjehan Mawani. “This agreement represents another step in that process during a critical time of transition for the country.”