Sunday, August 23, 2015

Governance News

Afghans Celebrate Independence Day. On Wednesday, August 19th Afghanistan celebrated its 96th anniversary of independence from Britain. Our Secretary of State, John Kerry, provides us with a statement - Afghan Independence DayAugust 19, 2015.

Kabul Revenue Failings. In a country as cash-poor as Afghanistan the raising of revenue is critical. Especially in a time where international aid is being cut dramatically along with the reduction of foreign forces (and the significant decrease of money that brings). So it is troubling to learn that Afghanistan's capital city is having difficulty collecting funds owed. Read more in "Kabul Municipality Fails to Collect City Revenue", Tolo News, August 19, 2015.

Report: Countering Corruption & Revenue Loss. A recent report containing transparency recommendations is entitled Policy Recommendations to Counter Corruption and Revenue Loss in Afghanistan, available on the SOLLIMS website, dated June 18, 2015.

NIC Update. The Afghan government has been slow to roll out their National Identity Card. The international community is threatening funding cuts because of the delays. Read more in "e-NIC Chief Urges Govt to Act on Roll Out", Tolo News, August 20, 2015.

Human Freedom Index. The Human Freedom Index (HFI) measures a broad range of human freedom, understood as the absence of coercive constraint. It uses 76 distinct indicators of personal and economic freedom in the following areas: Rule of law, security and safety, movement, religion, civil society, expression, relationships, size of government, legal system and property rights, access to sound money, freedom to trade internationally, and regulation of credit, labor, and business. The index ranked 152 countries. The top 10 freest countries were (in order): Hong Kong, Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Ireland, United Kingdom, and Sweden. The United States is ranked 20th. The ten countries with the lowest score were Chad, Venezuela, Ethiopia, Algeria, Central African Republic, Yemen, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Iran. The word "Afghanistan" is no where to be found in the document. You can read the index online at The Human Freedom Index, Fraser Institute (CATO Institute, IED, Visio, and others), 2015.

UN Radio Series for Young Afghans. A United Nations radio series on youth in politics is expected to reach an audience of 800,000 Afghans across four northeastern provinces in the coming weeks. The series will encourage young people to participate in politics. Read more in a news update from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), August 16, 2015.

IDLG Assessing Provincial Councils. The Independent Directorate of Local Governance announced that the organization will be assessing the working procedures, performance, and authority of the provincial councils. See a news report by Tolo News, August 16, 2015.

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