KABUL - Key ministers, deputy ministers and heads of government departments attended a workshop on Capacity Building for Results Facility (CBR) on Sunday.
Addressing the workshop, Dr. Najibullah Wardak, in charge of CBR program at the Ministry of Finance, said the program would be implemented by the Ministry of Finance and the independent commission of administrative reforms and civil services.
CBR aims to significantly increase the capacity of government to deliver essential services and implement national priority programs, while helping address the over reliance on external technical assistance.
This 5-year facility, estimated at $300-400 million, will work with ministries fundamental to service delivery and economic growth to provide: (1) financing for hiring top caliber civil servants, including at the sub-National level ;( 2) technical assistance to support ministry restructuring and reforms, including relevant software and hardware; and (3) targeted civil service training. CBR will also support core on-going public administration reforms.
A feature of CBR is the creation of an elite, senior civil service to help a core of ministries deliver their mandates, along with several hundred management interns to become future leaders. Primary technical skills of these ministries will be ensured through new professional civil service cadres paid market competitive rates, as well as track for civil servants in common functions across government (e.g. financial management and procurement). All positions will be on the tashkeel and supported by the underlying normal civil service.
CBR reflects lessons learned from successes and failures in public administration reform in Afghanistan and elsewhere. The main lessons learned are that capacity development is successful if demand driven, focused and tied to clearly agreed results within a well-defined institutional framework, more holistic rather than piece meal, and supported over a longer time frame.
The project, facilitated by the World Bank, is the result of strong support and leadership by the Afghan Government. Line ministries will lead and be responsible for implementing targeted reform plans and achieving measurable results. The Ministry of Finance (MoF) will lead on the management and oversight of the project given the connection to budget and deliverables. The Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC) will have the role of establishing the rules and regulations to enable ministries to recruit and manage skilled national staff ; continuation of on – going public administration reform activities (e.g., implementation of pay and grading) ; and management of senior management group recruitment . A MoF-IARCSC Steering Committee will approve ministry CBR proposals and provide oversight of reform implementation, reporting to the Cabinet on results.
Funded through ARTF, CBR will absorb aspects of several on-going projects (e.g., MCP and CSRP) and reduce separate donor engagements. Donors active in the sector (USAID, DFID, and EU) are being closely consulted during project development. The expectation is that the program will be approved by the ARTF Management Committee in December.
CBR is broadly expected to result in the following: (1) reform of 8 -10 key line ministries fundamental to service delivery and /or economic growth; (2) improved delivery of fundamental services like public health and education ; (3) appropriate regulation of and support for investment in areas such as mining and electricity ; and (4) hiring of up to 1,000 senior – level civil servants who will make up the executive management group of line ministries, including over 100 -200 in provincial offices, thereby reducing reliance on external technical assistance. More limited reforms will be expected of around 4-5 other ministries. (Agencies)