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Survey reveals steep decline in public services, governance

AT News

KABUL: Public services delivery and governance in Afghanistan’s cities have sharply declined, despite government claims of growing investment and improvements.

A survey of 11 municipalities across Afghanistan by Transparency Watch shows that delivery of public services in cities has declined.

Public services of Kabul Municipality have shown a slump since 2015, reducing from 2.2 points to 2.1. The survey findings have been prepared in comparison with the input of citizens from previous years.

Seyed Akram Afzali, chief executive of Transparency Watch, told a news conference on Monday that the government has reneged on its promises made in 2015 to use survey information to improve public services and governance. “It is very sad that the government has not been able to improve urban governance through municipalities in recent years,” he said.

Afzali said seven municipalities have lagged behind their previous performances between 2017 and 2019. He blamed the decline on the fall on the volume of government activity.

“One of the reasons why municipalities are failing to meet the minimum expectations of the people is that the government, the Independent Directorate of Local Governance and the Independent Administrative Reform Commission, constantly delay essential municipal affairs including budgeting and structure,” he said.

Afzali opined that municipalities should facilitate a sphere of interaction and cooperation between citizens and the government to solve the problem of low turnout of citizens in municipal affairs.

He called on the president to undertake real reforms, including delegating authority to local governments, to mobilize cities to provide better public services.

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