Balkh 2009

Project title: Strengthening of the institutions of local governance in Balkh province
Duration: 1 March – 30 November, 2009
Total budget: 500,000 EUR
Donor: European Commission


Both state actors and UN agencies expressed their emphasized request towards HIA to assist local governance in rural areas of Balkh province as well, thus this project is an integral part and a continuation of HIA’s development activities started in Baghlan province. A survey was carried out in the field in order to elaborate the program that was implemented in partnership with the competent Swedish PRT and Swedish Development Agency (SIDA). 
Civil servants use the remaining, outdated equipment inherited from Soviet times. Problems include lack of safe archives; only a minor part of official records and documents are being kept locally. One computer is available in 4 of the districts, similarly to the wired phones – they serve only as decoration due to lack of electricity and trained staff to use them. 
Main objectives

Enhancing the administrative institutions of Afghanistan, promoting the process of democratic changes in sub national level: promoting the realization of the Public Administration Reform and the Provincial Development Strategy, strengthening the provincial and district administrations/local governance in Balkh Province.
The result of surveys and numerous coordination meetings with the stakeholders showed that main requirements of the local administration sector and thus main objectives of current project were (1) creation of basic infrastructure and (2) enabling employees of local administration to use this infrastructure through adequate training. 
Main activities

1) construction of two district governance offices in Balkh province
Two district governance centers with 200m2 floor space and 6 premises each were constructed in Kaldar and Marmul district centers, two strategically important points of Balkh province. 
2) reconstruction of the Provincial Shura building in Mazar-I-Sharif
The existing Provincial Shura building was reconstructed in Mazar-I-Sharif from May to September, 2009.  
3) construction of a 15 kW mini-hydropower station in Kishindih
In order to supply the existing District Governor’s Office building with secure and steady electricity a 15kW mini hydro power station was established in Kishindih.   
4) provision of equipment in district governance buildings
Four district governance buildings were donated office equipment (computers with accessories, furniture, and stationary) and alternative energy sources (solar and wind blocks).
5) training for civil servants
Main aim of organizing the training courses was to empower 10-10 civil servants of three district administrations through standard (Management, IT and English language courses) and optional training to efficiently use the donated infrastructure and equipment. 
A total of 44 individuals attended the training and received diplomas. Technical upgrade training was also held for individuals who are in charge of maintenance of the technical equipment donated by HIA. 
Main results, impacts

With a view of the circumstances of the state of administrative sector with regard to shortcomings of infrastructure and unqualified workforce at district level in Balkh province, overall goals have been accomplished by the project within its operation area. As a consequence of composition of building constructions, office equipment, capacity building and devices using renewable energy resources, it has contributed to overwhelming achievement of the project. From beneficiaries’ side, unanimous reflections have transmitted utmost importance and significance of project elements which formed a rounded coherent in terms of implementation.