Background and Objectives:
Returning refugees and other vulnerable groups face great difficulty in gaining access to land, shelter, and basic services. In the absence of an organised community, returnees face the constant threat of eviction, have no legal basis to access services and ultimately do not invest in their future.
Improving access to shelter and essential urban services through community upgrading will contribute to the creation of an all-inclusive, liveable, and vibrant city, which will more likely be able to meet the aspirations of returnees. In addition, the strengthening of local governance structures is the building block for higher order urban reconstruction projects.
While the physical needs of Afghanistan’s cities are tremendous, experience has demonstrated that without parallel investments in institutions of urban governance, attempts to realise physical improvements fail for a number of reasons namely: local elites retain benefits for themselves and their networks; women’s needs and priorities are difficult to incorporate into programming; inflexibility in delivery systems through standardised ‘vulnerable packages’ promote inefficiency in resource allocation; insecurity and discrimination persist and discourage people from investing in reconstruction; accountability of appointed officials is oriented upwards, not downwards to the people; the lack of ownership of development projects undermines both their effectiveness and their sustainability and creates a culture of dependency.
In short, weak governance structures act as a major barrier to reintegration, reconstruction, and rehabilitation. Thus, the aim of the project is to improve urban governance and promote sustainable urban development.
The main activities include:
Establishing neighbourhood level District Development Councils (DDCs) and Area Development Councils (ADCs).
Provisioning Neighbourhood Investment Funds (NIF) and District Investment Funds (DIF) for community infrastructure projects.
Capacity-building for project planning and management at the community and district municipal levels.
Provisioning of policy and technical support in critical areas such as security of tenure, planning and cost recovery for urban services.
Fifty Community Development Councils established and registered with Kabul Municipality.
Sixty-nine Neighbourhood Investment Funds projects implemented by the District Technical Committee. The total value for the subcontracts was US$1,487,580.
90km of drains, 57km streets, 3km of water supply networks, and 570 culverts constructed.
Community Development Councils registered and subsequently increased the security of tenure of the households in those areas.