Kabul City Initiative, Afghanistan
Tetra Tech, in partnership with the Kabul Municipality, worked to improve the quality of life for Kabul’s citizens by enhancing and expanding essential public services.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) designed and funded the Kabul City Initiative (KCI) to address the insecurity and extreme fragility that Afghan citizens feel. KCI aimed to establish effective, responsive, and democratic municipal governance in Kabul City. Under the KCI project, Tetra Tech provided technical assistance and capacity building to increase the transparency and accountability of the Kabul Government to satisfy the needs of citizens in regard to available public services.
Tetra Tech’s activities aimed to achieve three critical objectives:
- Increase capacity of city officials to manage the city’s human and material resources to enable citizens to participate in determining the services the city will provide, and to communicate information about improvements to citizens
- Assist city staff to improve the level and quality of services provided through infrastructure development and increased capacity
- Increase municipal capacity to generate and account for revenue
Under KCI, Tetra Tech assisted in creating and reforming public services policies, specifically focusing on gender. We drafted 51 municipal policies, 48 Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), and 42 Department Terms of Reference for municipal reforms, to address areas of concern including sexual harassment, anti-discrimination, gender, workplace violence, nepotism, recruitment, human resources, public participation, and health and safety. To sustain these policies and maintain momentum for continued gender-sensitive reform, we helped establish the first-ever Women’s Council for female employees at the Kabul Municipality to promote gender mainstreaming in municipal policies and employment.
In addition, Tetra Tech placed a particular focus on youth in its KCI activities. We introduced public education campaigns that linked city services to revenue collection to increase youth’s understanding of key municipal government functions and how public services should be delivered. We also featured cartoon characters at Kabul schools, on the TV and radio, and in coloring books to encourage children to help keep the city clean and green.
To improve citizens’ experience of government service delivery, Tetra Tech worked with the municipality to manage the design, construction and renovation, and establishment of a citizen information center, 14 neighborhood parks with playgrounds, 35 kilometers of city streets, and 18 municipal district offices. In addition, we helped draft a five-year Capital Improvement Plan for Kabul, focused on actions needed to continue growing the municipality’s economy.
Under KCI, we completed a variety of improvements and innovations to the City’s Information Technology (IT) systems. We installed a fiber optic internet and cabling at Kabul Municipality headquarters to link the building fully to an internal network and the internet, and trained staff in the operations and maintenance of the IT network. We also introduced E-governance solutions to ensure the City’s financial and property tax documents were no longer solely paper-based. Through KCI, we introduced modern municipal revenue raising, budgeting, accounting, and financial management practices. We also installed the City’s first computerized Financial Management Information System (FMIS) and trained the budget staff to produce budgets and manage expenditures.
In addition, our team led the production of a three-year Revenue Improvement Plan, based on our thorough analysis of all current and potential legal sources of revenue, and assisted the City in instituting a Revenue Improvement Action Plan (RIAP). We developed 23 White Papers on potential, new revenue sources for the Kabul Municipality (e.g., bottle recycling, municipality fund, and impact fees). One of the major achievements by the municipality was enacting 8 revenue sources from the 23 new and improved revenue sources proposed by KCI, all 8 of which were sent to the Ministry of Justice for review and approval. We also produced a three-year Financial Improvement Plan that contained a three-year baseline analysis of historic revenues and expenditures and budget-to-actual variances. We supported the preparation of a three-year Property Tax Registration Improvement Plan, and digitization of the City’s property tax register.
The City continues to maintain accurate and legitimate records and implement effective financial practices.