Integrity Watch Advocacy Unit hopes to see an Afghanistan where the state is responsive and accountable to citizens and seek citizens’ opinion in 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 and rule of law; A country where every citizen could easily travel to any part of the country without any kind of threat or danger.
In order to realize its vision, Integrity Watch Afghanistan Advocacy Unit advocates for the development and implementation of certain legal frameworks that contribute to promoting accountability and transparency and Rule of law. Advocacy Unit will also build coalitions and develop advocacy campaigns to raise CSOs and communities awareness on corruption and counter corruption topics so that active public participation is ensured and the public officials are brought into account.
Integrity Watch Afghanistan Advocacy Unit aims to advocate for transparency, accountability, and integrity in Afghanistan through the following objectives:
1. Advocate for a stronger access to information legal framework.
Access to Information law in the current format has some weaknesses that needs to be improved. Therefore the Advocacy Unit in collaboration with the Oversight Commission on Access to Information (OCAI) will put efforts for the amendment of the ATI Law by proposing specific recommendations. In addition, AU will advocate to ensure that the related commission is established, is operational and the law is implemented.
2. Advocate for a strong whistleblowers protection law (WBPL).
With the help of Access to Information Law, journalists, activists and citizens will have access to a large amount of information (which were not accessible before having the Law passed). In some cases theses information will help them expose cases of corruption. In order to protect such whistle blowers, a legal framework in the form of ‘Whistleblowers Protection Law’ needs to be developed. Integrity Watch Advocacy Unit will continue advocating for such strong laws.
3. Advocate for Public Grievance Rederessal legal framework.
In order to promote transparent public service delivery, there must be a legal framework in the form of ‘Public Grievance Rederessal Law’ to reach out to public complains. The aim of this framework is to facilitate delivery of public services and bring into account those who violate the law. This is also a priority for Integrity Watch Afghanistan Advocacy Unit in year 2016 and 2017.
4. Advocate for budget transparency/oversight and role of CSOs in budget process.
A centralized budget system is more prone to corruption, therefore, for promoting budget transparency, there needs to be decentralized budget system; and two important elements of a decentralized budget system are a stronger provincial/sub-national budgeting policy, and active role of CSOs in the budget process. Integrity Watch Afghanistan Advocacy Unit will advocate for both.
5. Advocate for integrity in public finance management including curbing illicit financial flows and preventing corruption in revenues.
Public Finance are looted in many ways such as the rampant corruption in the revenue generation and collection system. Having illicit financial flows in mind, current Hawala system has no oversight mechanism. Therefore, Advocacy Unit will advocate to prevent the misuse of public finances and promote proper management of public finances.
6. Advocate for general anti-corruption strategy and appropriate institutional arrangements to fight corruption.
Some Anti-Corruption Structures already exist in Afghanistan. However the existing structures have not been so effective so far. Therefore, Integrity Watch advocate for such structure for countering corruption that are truly independent in its structure and functions, have a public support and trust, and do not come under any kind of political or otherwise pressures.