Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, May 30th, 2020

Accountability is the Foundation of Trust in Afghanistan

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Accountability is the Foundation of Trust in Afghanistan

Any government in the world does some series of actions like agenda setting, policy formulation, implementation, budgeting and evaluation. In practice, some governments are very successful and some are not as it is expected.  
People are very interested to know the cause of success or failure of the governments. The answer is Management. Management is a key factor in this debate. Some governments have effective management systems and some have ineffective managemet systems. poor management is harmful for a family, a company, an organization and government as well. Poor management will face a country to many risks and challenges. Besides, it would waste the resources/ or public money of a country. On the other hand, using of public money efficienciently would cause sustainability for economic progress of a country. By the way, Afghanistan has not been very successful in the governance sector compared to the neighboring countries.  Poor management is one of the issue, which is blamed more in recent Afghanistan failures. Management acts like an engine in public administration. Human resource is the backbone of successful management in transparent governments. Therefore, to understand how the  management system functions in a country, the expert suggest an international criteria which is called accountability. The approach of accountability has been initiated to evaluate the ministers and high ranking officials performance. Accountability says that the government  must openly communicate important information with the residents and voters. In accountability, the public look at three key concepts:  First is transparency; it means citizens want to have access to information about the commitments that the government has made and whether it has met their objectives or not.  Second part is responsiveness; it means citizens can demand from the government to justify its actions and decision making any time. Third part is, enforceability, the citizens have the right to disapprove the government if it fails to meet certain standards.  Accountability cannot exist without proper accounting practices; in other words, an absence of accounting means an absence of accountability.
Thus, accountability is very vital and it is the touchstone of successful development in Afghanistan. Thorough accountability Afghanistan can overcome its main challenges, reduce poverty and advance progress.  In an accountable government, public administrators and high officials feel responsible for the policies they implement; and they must give information to the community and voters about their decisions. For instance, they have to listen to civil society and citizens when they have plan to do something regarding public interest. Through accountability, people can evaluate the ongoing effectiveness of public officials. Would make sure that they are performing their job to their full potential, they have value for money in the delivery of public services.  By accountability people are aware of actions and decisions taken by the government officials.
However, Afghanistan has not been  very successful in ensuring accountability. One of the reasons  is the poor implementation of the Performance Management System (PMS). One of the portions of (PMS) is Human Resource management (HR). Since recruitment does not happen based on the job, vacancy needed skills; competency and qualification as the consequence the staff do not match well with their departments’ goals and expectations. 
Another reason that accountability is not very successful in Afghanistan is the world community focused on the best experience rather than initiates; persuaded Afghans to follow the strategies, which are based on “best practice.” They have concentrated on strengthening the capacity of accountability actors, rather than providing support, which builds on local realities to substantially improve accountability. Through this approach the problem, the weaknesses and the gaps were not been addressed.  As a consequence, accountability and governance support strategies were based on “best practice” not on “best fit”; in other words, the world community duplicated the strategies that have already been implemented in western countries, with the same framework in Afghanistan. They did not realize the environment and some other Afghanistan special internal factors. It is the reason that many problems have remained after two decades of efforts and fund investment in Afghanistan.

Dawlat Bakhtiari is the newly emerging writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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