~~UNDP Making Budgets & Aid Work (MBAW) project provides the essential support to the Ministry of Finance to strengthen budget planning, implementation and monitoring processes. In addition, the project promotes the effective use of the national budget as a tool for coordination of international development assistance to the government of Afghanistan through implementing various ac tivities that build on the outputs and outcomes of the project in line with the ANDS and UNDAF.
The Afghan National Development Strategy (ANDS) provides the direction and foundation for development activities in Afghanistan. In July 2009, the Government reviewed its first year of implementation and found that progress was limited in the absence of clearly defined priorities. It was realised that there was need for prioritization of ANDS in view of the limited resources and implementation capacity with the government.
The Government outlined its ANDS prioritization plan at the London Conference through a framework to “cluster” ministries in the same or related sectors and development of National Priority Programs. The goal of the Cluster mechanism is to increase collaboration between Ministries, remove over-lapping and duplication and to develop and implement a clear, prioritized agenda aimed at addressing the key development challenges of the sector. The Clusters are: (1) Agriculture and Rural Development Cluster; (2) Human Resource Development Cluster; (3) Economic and Infrastructure Development Cluster; (4) Private Sector Development Cluster, (5) Governance, Rule of Law and Human Rights Cluster; and (6) Security Cluster. Each cluster is having a certain number of National Priority Programs (NPPs). The Kabul Conference approved the concepts of these NPPs and directed the Government to develop full-blown proposals for each NPP with the 3-year implementation plan, costing and constraints.
The development of NPPs and their implementation was the most important development intervention by the government. The ministries needed to develop their own National Priority Programs based on the concept notes approved in the Kabul Conference. 22 NPPs were prepared out of which 21 were endorsed by donors. The development, implementation and financing of the NPPs remains a complicated process and the ministries need assistance in this regard. The Ministry of Finance also needs to coordinate the development of NPPs their implementation and financing.
The Tokyo Conference in July 2012 was also a turning event for the Government. International Community announced a commitment of USD 16 billion to the development efforts of Afghanistan based on NPPs. Both Government of Afghanistan and IC introduced their commitments in the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework (TMAF) as annex to Tokyo Declaration. Accordingly, a Concept for the Implementation of TMAF was prepared by Policy Department as per the Cabinet decision. Both IC and Government need to plan delivery of TMAF commitments and monitor those plans on regular basis.
The new government after taking power in September 2014 presented its reform plan at the London Conference in December 2014 through the “Realizing Self-Reliance: Commitments to Reforms and Renewed Partnerships”. The implementation of the reform package is the top-most priority of the government and based on the London paper refreshed TMAF is being prepared. Government is trying to have flexibility in financing and programming so that its national priorities can be implemented. These activites therefore remain the main priority of the Policy department of the Ministry of Finance