MEHMOOD RAQI (PAN): Residents of central Kapisa province have accused members of regional councils of using development projects to promote their personal interests.
The government initiated development schemes in some troubled districts of the province, but residents say they are unhappy with the National Solidarity Programme (NSP) — a rural development initiative.
Some residents said NSP officials have been unable to maintain their performance with time, ignoring the deserving lot.
Unfortunately, this is not too surprising. In her now well-known assessment of NSP programs from a couple of years ago, Jennifer Brick (pdf) noted that NSP councils can be used counterproductively if they’re not structured and monitored properly. This is because the mere existence of a local development council doesn’t guarantee it will work. What’s needed is a political and social framework that guides and constrains its decisions.
There’s been very little development of political and social frameworks in Afghanistan, only new inventions of the wheel meant to solve the political and social problems that are undermining Afghanistan’s prospects for long-term stability. Without addressing those problems, I don’t see much hope for even a mostly-functional system like the NSP having any long term effect.