Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Community-led development program instills sense of ownership in Afghan reconstruction efforts

With a relatively small investment of $452 million, the National Solidarity Program (NSP) is successfully reaching Afghans that have been untouched by the efforts of other aid organizations, Mohammad Ehsan Zia, Afghanistan’s minister of rural rehabilitation and development, writes in The Christian Science Monitor on May 16.

Since its inception in 2003, the NSP has reached over 15.4 million Afghans through more than 35,000 projects. According to Zia, by ensuring that development projects are organized by locally elected councils, and built by the people standing to benefit from them, the NSP has made lasting improvements to stretches of rural Afghanistan.

Direct NSP funding for the local councils cuts out corrupt officials, Zia argues, adding that using local manpower instills the community with a sense of ownership in the projects. He also says that listening to the requests of those on the ground as opposed to those in the district capital ensures the money is well spent, accurately addressing local needs. The end result is that more is being built, more is being used, and more of it is being protected by Afghans.

For the full article, click here.


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