First-ever public hearing discusses development projects in Balkh’s Khulm district
More than 250 members of the District Development Assembly (DDA), civil servants, local government officials, civil society activists and other citizens came together last week to discuss the district’s most important challenges.
The public hearing was the first of its kind in Khulm and encouraged a dialogue between the local government and the public. The Afghan-German Cooperation financially supported this activity.
Public hearings offer a platform for the local government to share insights into their work and successes that have already been achieved. The district’s public administration provided an overview of development activities conducted during the last year.
On the other hand, the forum also provided the opportunity for the population to ask questions and to bring forward suggestions on how government services can be improved. Khulm’s local residents pointed out their need for more development projects. They demanded the government to asphalt the city’s roads. The participants also highlighted insecurity, shortage of school buildings and health facilities as the major challenges facing the city.
Government representatives gave immediate feedback on several issues. They took note of challenges and questions they could not reply to straight away and pledged to share with them higher officials.
While speaking at the ceremony, the director of sector services, Zabiullah Akhtari, said: “These public hearings are very important. They help to increase good governance, transparency and accountability”.
He also encouraged the Afghan people to pay their taxes to enable the government to offer good services.
As part of Germany’s cooperation with Afghanistan, the Regional Capacity Development (RCD) program is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. In six provinces in northern Afghanistan, RCD supports its partners’ development priorities in the provinces and districts, while at the same time providing training and coaching programs for civil servants. With its broad range of activities, the program aims at increasing Afghan ownership of the development process, strengthening state institutions and promoting transparency and inclusiveness.
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