During the last ten years, Afghanistan has made an outstanding progress towards rebuilding its political system and institutions. And that transformation has had very important positive effects.
Political participation, especially among women, has grown. Afghanistan’s 2014 elections showed a historic turnout leading to the first democratic transfer of power. Since 2001, Afghanistan has adopted a new constitution and held presidential, parliamentary and provincial council elections. Additionally, it established Ministries to bring high quality services to the Afghan people and developed an independent media and committed civil society.
To improve governance, the national authorities, with strong international support, are focusing on connecting citizens to the government, strengthening government legitimacy and effectiveness, giving support to remote areas in activities such as construction of potable water pumps and building local schools and clinics. These projects have enabled local governments to deliver essential services, while involving communities in decision-making and reconstruction.
On the other hand, international partners have provided technical assistance and training to the Afghan Parliament and to civil stakeholders in the national and local governments. This important support improved the capacity of judges and court officials, thus strengthening the judicial branch. The Project includes work with elders and religious leaders to link the formal and traditional justice systems, increase access to justice, and bolster stability through conflict resolution.
The development of strong electoral institutions such as the Independent Election Commission, the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission and the Media Commission have led to better elections.
Afghan civil society organizations have also emerged as vocal, persistent, and influential stakeholders and an independent media, critical to a healthy democracy, is currently growing.