Survey: Urban governance and service delivery has regressed in spite of big success claims by the government

October 22, 2020, Kabul—A survey of eleven municipalities by Integrity Watch shows that in spite of government’s claim of more investment and success, the level of satisfaction by citizens with municipal services in the country is backtracking. In particular, Kabul Municipality not only failed to improve since 2015 but has reduced further from its low performance of 2.2 to 2.1 in this most recent survey.

This report presents this year’s results with a comparative perspective with the past Community Report Card (CRC), a survey of people’s views on the public services. Overall, the 2019 results show that service provision has slightly worsened since 2017, despite the fact that all indicators remain between the “Fair” and “Bad” assessment categories. The assessment includes provision of urban services, transparency and public participation, as well as construction of physical infrastructure.

Sayed Ikram Afzali, Executive Director of Integrity Watch, who spoke at the launch of this survey stated, “Our role as civil society has been to collect public views on municipal services and the government committed in 2015 to use the survey data to make essential improvements.” He added that “It is sad to see the government has failed to improve urban governance through the municipalities over the years.”

Ezatullah Adib, Head of Research at Integrity Watch, stated, “Seven cities backtracked from their previous performance between 2017 to 2019. Charikar’s overall score dropped from 3.4 to 2.8, Mazar-e Sharif from 3.2 to 2.7, Herat from 3.2 to 2.5, Bamyan from 2.7 to 2.1, Jalalabad from 2.9 to 2.1, Kabul from 2.2 to 2.1 and Gardez from 2 to 1.4.”

According to this year’s survey, Kandahar, Mahmood Raqi and Kunduz are placed first, second and third while Jalalabad, Kabul and Gardez scored the lowest respectively. Charikar, Mazar-e Sharif, Mehtarlam, Herat and Bamyan were ranked fourth to eighth respectively.

Kandahar and Mehterlam were covered in the survey for the first time and scored 3 out of 5 and 2.7 respectively in 2019.

Two cities show some improvements: Mahmood Raqi scored 2.7 in 2017 and improved to 2.8 in 2019 and Kunduz improved from 2.5 in 2017 to 2.8 in 2019.

Mr. Afzali explained that one of the reasons the municipalities were not able to meet public expectations is centralization and long delays of essential decisions such as annual budget and tashkeel by the President, Independent Director of Local Governance and Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Services Commission among others.

Mr. Afzali concluded that the municipalities should invest in measures to address the low levels of citizen satisfaction and facilitate interactions with citizens. He added that all cities and all districts in Kabul need to do much better in terms of delivering services across all of the 16 indicators covered by the CRC exercise. He called on the President to bring meaningful reform at the municipalities and delegate key decisions making authorities to the mayors to bring momentum and deliver basic services to the public.


About the survey

The survey started in 2015 and but was restricted to only Kabul Municipality. It was repeated in 2016 and again was restricted to Kabul. In 2017, eight new cities were added to the survey: Mahmood Raqi, Charikar, Mazar-e Sharif, Herat, Bamyan, Kunduz, Jalalabad and Gardez. In 2019, an additional two cities, namely, Kandarhar and Mehterlam were added to the survey to bring the total to 11.

The methodology is intended to collect people’s views on the public services provided by the government. The CRC included these sixteen indicators: pubic cooperation for clean cities, document registration and licensing process, construction of roads, streets and sidewalks, transparency and accountability of tax collection, sanitation, maintenance of infrastructure, solid waste management, public participation in decision-making; public parks, planting and green spaces; drainage, accountability to public, standardization of private construction, public access to information, effectiveness of complaints mechanisms, car parking, bus stand provisions.

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For more information, please contact:
Erfan Erzaz, Advocacy Officer, Integrity Watch
Mobile: 0797790700/