Sunday, July 19, 2015

Afghan Development and Aid News

SIGAR and Health Facilities. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Oversight is questioning USAID's database for healthcare facilities. Seems the coordinates provided were many times erroneous - several not even in Afghanistan and with one in the Mediterranean Sea (SIGAR letter June 25, 2015). SIGAR and USAID have also clashed over a U.S.-financed $335 million power plant outside of Kabul which remains ineffective in creating energy stability (GOVEXEC, Jun 2015).

USAID has updated its Civilian-Military Cooperation Policy that was issued in July 2008. This updated policy, as of June 2015, establishes the foundation for interagency cooperation between USAID and the DoD. The policy provides guidance to the 'whole-of-government' approach to contemporary national security challenges such as humanitarian activities, stabilization operations, and counterinsurgency. The Defense in Depth Blog of the Council of Foreign Relations provides an analysis of this updated policy (CFR, Jul 8, 2015). The USAID document is available at the link below.

Delivering Aid and Afghan Corruption. Rick Cohen writes a piece about the corruption at the highest levels of Afghan government (can you say "Karzai"?) in Nonprofit Quarterly, July 8, 2015.

Most Dangerous Country in World for Aid Workers? Afghanistan, of course. Read more in Business Insider, July 16, 2015.

Afghan Schools Success Exaggerated? A National Public Radio report says that USAID reports of success are not verifiable. Read "Afghan Schools: Is the Success Story Exaggerated?", June 18, 2015. See also "How USAID Can Track "Ghost" Schools"Sunny in Kabul, June 29, 2015.

"Ghost Students, Ghost Teachers, Ghost Schools". A hard-hitting investigative report overcomes the information operations machine of ISAF to bring you the real truth on the status of Afghanistan's schools and how effective the U.S. school building effort really was (BuzzFeed News, July 9, 2015).

"Reach the Women". Gary Owen writes about the US military's experiment of female soldiers working with Afghan women. (Afghanistan Analysts Network, June 20, 2015).

Criticism of the National Solidarity Programme. There are some critics that say the NSP's Community Development Councils (CDCs) are lacking proper oversight. Read more in "Afghans Question Reconstruction Scheme"Institute for War & Peace Reporting, June 23, 2015.

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