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Ayrapetyants -- Bridging the gap : increasing civil society participation... -- 2010

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Author Ayrapetyants, Anika.
Idrees Zaman.
Title Bridging the gap : increasing civil society participation in law and policy formulations in Afghanistan / team study leader Anika Ayrapetyants ; lead researcher Idrees Zaman.
Imprint [Kabul?] : Counterpart International, 2010.
Physical Description 32 p. ; 28 cm.
Notes Cover title.
"February 2010."
Includes bibliography (p. 32).
"Counterpart International"--at foot of title-page.
"Initiative to Promote Afghan Civil Society (I-PACS)"-at foot of title.
Also published in Dari:
پر کردن خَلاءها : افزایش مشارکت جامعه ی مدنی در تدوین قانون و پالیسی در افغانستان
Also published in Pushto:
د خلاوو ډکول : په افغانستان کې د قانون او پالیسی جوړونې په بهیرونو کې د مدنی ټولنې د ګډون ونډې زیاتول
Summary: “In recent Afghan history, relations between the government, elected officials and civil society actors have been complex and plagued by misunderstanding. This study was designed to better understand the ways in which elected officials, government and civil society actors are currently working together to help shape laws and policies in Afghanistan, as well as identify ways to improve their engagement. Two laws – the Media Law and the Election Law – and two policies – The Afghanistan National Development Strategy and the Basic Pack of Health Services – form the center of this study. Interviews and focus group discussions were held with elected officials, government and representatives of civil society (largely Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)) at the national, provincial and district levels to better understand the ways in which they have engaged in the formulation of these laws and policies. The study found that there had been strikingly little engagement to date amongst these various parties in law and policy-making processes. Moreover, neither the law- nor policy-making processes have clearly defined guidelines for including consultations with CSOs. A number of factors appeared to be at play here. At the root of the situation was a poor understanding of what is meant by civil society, as well as of the law- and policy-making processes and the roles that each sector might have in these. Distrust between CSOs and government was another significant factor, although despite this, CSOs appeared to remain interested in engaging with government on these issues. The CSOs, however, generally did not have the necessary strategies and capacities to fully engage in law- and policy-making processes. Moreover, while there had been some attempts to influence laws and policies, the CSOs in Kabul had not been able to build systematic approaches to be effective at this. The study revealed that, while there are well-articulated law-making processes, no such processes exist for policies. Neither the law- or policy-making processes have clearly defined guidelines for including consultations with CSOs. When CSOs have been consulted, it has generally been personal connections that have driven the choice of whom to consult. This has led to a less than inclusive process of consultation, during which the CSOs often appeared to have been inhibited from providing recommendations that might be perceived as negative. Moreover, it appeared that policy formulation and legislation processes were highly centralized and barely reached the provinces. In some cases, attempts had been made to involve the participation of women, but this participation was seen to be largely symbolic.” (p. 5).
Subject Headings Civil society – Afghanistan.
Non-governmental organisations – Afghanistan.
Rule of law – Afghanistan – Government policy.
Corporate Body Counterpart International.
Initiative to Promote Afghan Civil Society (I-PACS).
Web Address (accessed 28 April 2010)
Accession Number 13019, 13020
Language English
Language Code E
Copies 2
Record Number 11578