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  • Team-Based Performance Management Systems: Lessons from Afghanistan

    Many global policy agreements on increased aid effectiveness have advocated for development partners to use and build the capacity of the aid recipient country’s institutions to achieve greater sustainability. However, experience from fragile and conflict-affected situation (FCS) countries shows that, despite substantial investment and good intentions to build capacity in state institutions, few strong examples have emerged. This Development Practice Note (DPN) outlines the lessons learned from the implementation of a team-based performance management system in the Afghan Ministry of Finance to build these capacities, and offers recommendations for improvements in Afghanistan and considerations for utilizing the system in other country contexts.

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  • Asset Maps

    Rooted in its experience and expertise in state institutions, ISE has developed asset maps as a reframed perspective in which a country’s assets and opportunities are recognized as tools of progress, not static demonstrations of value. By shifting the conversation, it recognizes internal actors and resources as critical catalysts for change and the foundational underpinning.. Read more

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  • Community-driven Development in Afghanistan: Inclusivity and the Citizens’ Charter

    Khyber Farahi, former senior adviser to the president on migration and social development, speaks with ISE on his experience working on community-driven development (CDD) in Afghanistan and the critical role of fostering community-ownership in the development process.

  • Participatory Development: The Case for Substantive Facilitation

    Afghanistan’s Citizens’ Charter program is national in scope, which means that the core model of facilitation must be able to adapt to a tremendously broad range of socioeconomic environments. This is particularly important as the program was designed with the explicit goal of pro-poor targeting and socially inclusive planning. This brief unpacks the black box of “community,” illustrates why facilitators matter and the implications of poor facilitation and lays out the substance of facilitation in the Citizens’ Charter and the follow up that is needed.

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  • Afghanistan’s Citizens’ Charter and Inclusive Development: Afghanistan’s Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Kuchi Population in the Citizens’ Charter

    Afghanistan’s nomadic and semi-nomadic populations are highly vulnerable and are generally excluded from development interventions. The Citizens’ Charter aims to work with this population to provide key services. This brief sets out key areas that must be considered in the design of a pastoralist program. These include assessing nomadic and semi-nomadic pastoralists’ economic potential, their vulnerabilities, pasture access regimes, socioeconomic differentiation, social and political organization, gender relations, and existing models of services provision. Each section draws on the available literature and points to next steps, and the brief concludes by summarizing the work ahead.

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  • The Citizens’ Charter: Contributions to Poverty Reduction

    This brief discusses various aspects of the Citizens’ Charter approach to poverty reduction. These include incorporating a deeper understanding of poverty dynamics into the program’s architecture, engaging provincial and district level authorities and programs, promoting the strategic use of poverty data to inform policymakers, and testing and then scaling up pro-poor initiatives.

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  • Performance and Policy-Based Budgeting How to Spot the Fakes

    In the allocation of scarce public resources, good budgeting is an art and a skill. It is a core function of government, and as such, it is fundamentally a political process with many competing objectives.
    But from a technical perspective, how do we know if a country’s budget system is actually any good?
    Andrew Laing, ISE’s Public Economics Practice Manager, analyzes the key components of performance and policy-based budgeting and how practitioners can test budget systems to spot the often fine lines between best practice and poor performance.

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