Integrity Watch’s Advocacy Unit hopes to see an Afghanistan where the state is responsive and accountable to citizens and seek citizens’ opinions on key matters and decisions, a country where citizens and communities are well aware of the affairs of the state and have active engagement to ensure transparency.
The current focus of our advocacy work is on the education and health sectors as well as aid effectiveness.
According to the Ministry of Education, there are around fifteen thousand public schools in Afghanistan that provides education for more than eight million children. The quality of education is very low in Afghanistan because of greatly insufficient physical resources such as school buildings, desk and chairs, textbooks and also the education sector faces shortages of professional educational administrators and teachers. The role of communities is vital to help the government improve the quality of education by monitoring the functioning of schools and by contributing financial assistance to provide physical resources.
The role of our advocacy is to lobby for the findings of the community monitoring work with the government, donors and the international community. The community monitoring of schools was initiated in July 2014 in order to bring more coordination between communities and government departments, increase transparency and accountability, enhance the quality of education services through community monitoring, collaborative information sharing and problem solving.
According to the Ministry of Public Health, there are more than three thousand public health facilities and thousands of private health centers. On one hand, the public health sector is constrained by infrastructure and financial factors, and on the other hand, people are becoming more reliant on it because of poverty and economic issues. Therefore, helping the Afghan public sector use its resources to efficiently provide services to Afghan people is duty of every Afghan.
The role of our advocacy is to lobby in regard to the findings of the community-based monitoring of health centers with the government, donors and international community. The program provides the opportunity for Afghans to engage in the public health sector, contribute material and non-material resources, and help public officials to provide health services to the people and when needed hold the public officials accountable for their failures.
The United Nations and its affiliated organizations as well as hundreds of non-government organizations spend millions of dollars to help the Afghan health and education sectors to provide the necessary services to the poor, and the Afghan economy continues to function. The role of our advocacy department is to monitor all the aid that is committed to Afghanistan and ensure global standards such as Publish What You Fund, International Aid Transparency Initiative, etc. are taken into consideration.