- Rural development (including water management and agriculture)
Afghanistan has made progress over the past ten years in terms of its institution building, delivering better services to its citizens, and social economic development. However, it still faces challenges in achieving the goals and priorities set out in the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) and its National Priority Program (NPP). This is partly because of weak governmental institutions, which are responsible for the realization of the NPP and implementation of specific development programs. The Afghan National Unity Government has outlined 10 national priorities. One of these is the comprehensive reform of the civil service and capacity building of government institutions. The President of Afghanistan has also appointed a special envoy in reforms and good-governance affairs to prioritize this policy reform area and support its realization.
Afghanistan was included in TRQN since the first phase in April 2006. Since 2006, 216 assignments have taken place. These assignments have taken place in Afghanistan’s priority sectors: health, education and infrastructure (urban and rural development).
Qualified Afghans from the Netherlands contributed to the development of health, education and infrastructure sectors in Afghanistan by focusing on strengthening the capacity of strategic institutions through training of the local staff, exchange of knowledge, skills and institutional links.
There is a substantial Afghan qualified diaspora community in the Netherlands, including mainly young professionals, who are willing to contribute to the reconstruction and development of the country through short assignments in Afghanistan.
Sectors and objectives for the next phase
Although Afghanistan’s healthcare and urban and rural development sectors made significant improvement in the last 10 years, further development of these sectors remain top priority of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy. The next phase will further contribute to the realization of Afghanistan’s National Strategic Health Plan and Afghanistan National Strategic plan with regard to urban and rural development through further engagement of qualified Afghan diaspora with expertise in these sectors in the Netherlands. The new project phase will focus on strengthening the capacity of a limited number of strategic institutions in these two sectors in Afghanistan.
The possibility to add (higher)education as a third sector next to health and urban and rural development will be explored during the inception phase of the project. This will depend on the identification of certain key institutions in the educational sector, which show commitment, and for which a Theory of Change can be developed.
It is estimated that there are more than 1000 Afghan medical specialists, including doctors and nurses in the Netherlands and 1500 Afghan engineers in different areas, including civil engineers, urban planners, architects, water management. The Afghan diaspora, including the second generation in the Netherlands, is highly motivated to contribute to further development of Afghanistan.
Based on good experience with exchanges from Afghanistan to the Leiden University Medical Centre and the Technical University of TU Delft, IOM will further build on exchanges of Afghan professionals to The Netherlands as well as establishing sustainable links between institutions in Afghanistan and the Netherlands.
IOM will work closely with the Ministries of Health, Rural Rehabilitation and Development, Urban Development, Water and Energy, Higher Education and Public Works. Also cooperation with municipalities will be strengthened.
IOM will assist key institutions in developing the Theories of Change. These will include: Kabul Medical University, the Institute of Public Health, the Institute of Training of Nurses, Sardar Daud Khan Public Training Hospital and Kabul Polytechnic University.
Also IOM will closely work with the Ministry of Refugees Repatriation and Resettlement of Afghanistan to further engage the diaspora for the development of Afghanistan.