Afghanistan’s agricultural sector faces enormous challenges, from abandoned orchards to broken irrigation and transportation infrastructure to lack of training and personnel. And yet, about 80 percent of the country’s population depends on it, either directly or indirectly. Strengthening Afghanistan’s agriculture sector is important for food security and income generation and is a key factor in building the confidence of the Afghan people in their government.
The Capacity Building and Change Management Program II program will strengthen the human and institutional capacity of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL). The program also helps the provincial Directorates of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (DAILs) effectively deliver agricultural public services to farmers and herders. This assistance includes strengthening the linkages between MAIL and DAILs. The program will focus on key directorates within MAIL, 20 DAILs, and 50 district offices in Afghanistan’s agricultural region.
This three-year program commenced on July 9, 2014 and is funded by USAID and implemented under the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance Leader with Associate Award by the International Executive Service Corps and the International City/County Management Association. The program builds on a previous United States Department of Agriculture-funded activity.
The program employs the change management model of technical assistance, embedding change management specialists within MAIL and DAILs to provide on-the-job training to civil service counterparts.
The Capacity Building and Change Management Program II has five objectives:
- Objective I: Prioritize and strengthen support functions in MAIL’s Directorates of Finance and Accounting, Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), Procurement and Contracts, Administration and Human Resources that are most important to MAIL performing its core mandate and effectively supporting research and extension services. Develop and execute a plan for sustaining these capacity-building gains.
- Objective II: Strengthen provincial DAILs’ capacity to prioritize, plan, program, budget, and secure approval and resources to support extension services rendered by provincial DAILS and district agriculture offices. This objective includes compliance capacity support with program and financial reporting requirements for MAIL.
- Objective III: Prioritize and deepen capacity building of directorates essential to MAIL’s capacity to carry out extension, research and irrigation services and compliment the work being done by the USAID-funded Afghanistan Agricultural Extension Project on developing clear guidelines for cooperation and collaboration.
- Objective IV: Assist MAIL to transition its long-term capacity-building program to the World Bank-funded Capacity Building for Results Program.
- Objective V: Strengthen MAIL’s capacity to coordinate activities of USAID-funded programs like the Regional Agriculture Development Programs to improve agricultural production and productivity and to regenerate Afghan agriculture businesses.
Expected High-level Results
- MAIL, DAIL, and District Office personnel trained and mentored in new technologies and processes that improve institutional and individual effectiveness.
- Recommendations based on outside financial audits and reviews are fully established and operationalized within MAIL.
- Increased utilization rate of developmental budget by relevant MAIL directorates.
- Increased disbursement of MAIL’s development assistance budget to sub-national levels.
- Increased and more regular monitoring of extension workers in the extension directorate.
- Capacity Building for Results program positions recruited and filled by MAIL and trained in four-pillar methodology.
- Procedures aligned with MAIL and donors priorities for national planning and programs coordination developed and implemented.
The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for more than 50 years.