In February 2017, a group of civil society met with the Administrative Office of the President (AOP) to discuss the roadmap to implement the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in Afghanistan. The Deputy for Monitoring, Evaluation, and Audit at the AOP, Mr. Subhan Raouf, Afghan Government’s focal point for the OGP process, appreciated the work of the civil society in particular Integrity Watch that advocated for Afghanistan to join the OGP. He requested the civil society organizations to assist the government in the implementation of the OGP.
Executive Director of Integrity Watch, Sayed Ikram Afzali, thanked the AOP, in particular, Mr. Yama Yari, the head of the National Procurement Authority for championing the Afghan Government’s efforts to join the OGP. He stated, “The OGP has the potential to become a platform for reformists within the government to join hands with the civil society to push for meaningful reforms.” In addition, Mr. Shaheer Anil, Head of Afghanistan Public Policy Research Organization, also present at the meeting, stated that “Both the government and civil society should prepare internally, raise awareness among the stakeholders, and design robust monitoring and evaluation indicators to measure progress in the implementation of the OGP.” Executive Director of Equality for Peace & Democracy, Mr. Edrees Omarzad, expressed his happiness for Afghanistan joining the OGP and stated that a clear mechanism for implementation of the OGP should be designed and agreed upon by all stakeholders. He also warned the group that OGP should
not be let down by either the Government or the civil society as it happened with certain other initiatives.
Mr. Subhan Raouf, Deputy AOP, emphasized the Afghan Government’s commitment to transparency and accountability through the OGP process. He stated that AOP will soon establish a secretariat within itself to lead the implementation of the OGP. The civil society agreed that the secretariat should be within the structure of the AOP but requested that it should remain independent and receive its direction and guidance from the OGP Multi-Stakeholder Group (to-be-established). The group agreed to mobilize resources, raise awareness among stakeholders within the civil society and government and hold a grand national conference to launch the OGP national action plan.