Civil society representatives discuss Afghan Government’s anti-corruption commitments under OGP

By: Obaidullah Abdi, Advocacy Assistant

On 21st September 2017, Integrity Watch Afghanistan hosted an online consultation workshop in collaboration with Transparency International and Open Government Partnership Support Unit. This online meeting was held to raise awareness of Open Government Partnership-Afghanistan Multi-Stake Forum (MFS) members. Ten delegates from civil society and government attended and three possible commitments were discussed in the meeting.

Jose Maria Marin from Transparency International Head Quarter presented successful examples of anti-corruption commitments made in several OGP countries including beneficial ownership in Nigeria, implementation of newly adopted right to information act in Sri Lanka and participatory budgeting in the Philippines. He proposed potential priority areas of anti-corruption commitment. He suggested that Afghanistan’s anti-corruption commitments in London Anti-Corruption Summit 2016 and pledges under Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF) should be an important source of inspiration.

Shreya Basu from OGP Support Unit presented an overview of Open Government Partnership and the initiative’s evolution. She stressed the collaborative role of civil society and government in the OGP process in several countries. She commented that Afghanistan has not been successful in implementing most of its earlier commitments largely due to commitments not being implementable or not being adequately specific. Therefore, she emphasized that both government and civil society should come up with realistic and specific commitments under OGP National Action Plan.

The civil society and government participants worked on a tentative set of anti-corruption commitments. To address government’s previous unfulfilled commitments, representatives of the civil society proposed the development of a mechanism for tracking and reporting the implementation of Afghanistan’s commitments in major international platforms.

Integrity Watch held the first consultation conference on Open Government Partnership in April 2017 followed by a workshop for Provincial Integrity Networks in seven provinces including Kapisa, Nangarhar, Paktia, Bamyan, Balkh, Kunduz and Herat. In addition, other civil society organizations held awareness and consultation events on OGP including ACBAR, AWN and AYESO. Civil society organizations have been actively participating in the OGP process since Afghanistan joined the initiative in December 2016.