Through the Initiative to Strengthen Local Administrations (ISLA), Tetra Tech is working to improve sub-national government planning, operations, communication, representation, and citizen engagement to enhance public service delivery in 16 provinces in Afghanistan.

Over the last decade, Afghanistan has struggled with communicating and addressing community needs between government sectors at the national and provincial levels and across gender and ethnic barriers. The ISLA project, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), seeks to improve Afghan provincial governance in the areas of fiscal and development planning, citizen representation, and enhanced public service delivery, while integrating provincial priorities in the national government’s planning and budget. Tetra Tech is working throughout the region to provide technical advisory and training support for ISLA.

Thanks to USAID ISLA to conduct such kind of program for the first time to share all villagers/citizens in the mentioned program. If we conduct a meeting only a few people can participate physically, but through Facebook Live and radio program, all villagers/citizens can get information and share their issues without any financial expenses and security threats with PGO. So after this we will try to conduct such kind of programs.

Eng. Zundi Gul Zamani, Maidan Wardak, provincial governor

We are working with sub-national governments in 16 Afghan provinces to develop clear legal frameworks that prioritize service delivery for citizens. By coordinating top-down and bottom-up interventions, we are supporting the creation of fiscal plans that prioritize both community service delivery and national development.

To support provincial planning, Tetra Tech is training local officials on current legal systems and how to advocate to central-level government officials to include provincial priorities in national budgets and plans. We are building local capacity to better plan and coordinate the allocation of resources to meet citizen needs. Tetra Tech also engaged with the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Finance to revise planning guidelines to incorporate provincial engagement and coordination. We also have trained 460 ministry staff in 34 provinces to implement the improved provincial budgeting policy.

To further increase public administration capacity in Afghanistan, ISLA sponsored more than 150 university graduate internships to build students’ skills in public sector governance for future professional opportunities in government across 21 Afghan provinces.

Tetra Tech also is focusing on improved public engagement and community advocacy to ensure citizens’ voices are being heard and their needs are being addressed. We are leading youth and women’s forums and are leveraging Facebook Live as a communication platform to reach citizens across Afghanistan. Tetra Tech has stimulated public engagement through town hall meetings in 16 provinces that have led to the identification of community needs including recreational parks, health facilities, road infrastructure, and power plants. These efforts have reached more than 4,000 individuals, including nearly 500 women.

Tetra Tech has completed a rapid provincial needs assessment in 16 provinces to date and is using the findings to design future programming. Tetra Tech coordinates the findings with the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) to develop the IDLG Capacity Development Strategy and Communication Strategy–key pillars that influence the design of ongoing and future ISLA project activities.