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  • 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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  • 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.

  • 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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  • Budget Reforms in Afghanistan— A Practitioner’s Perspective

    Facing critical challenges to its public financial management system, the Government of Afghanistan seized a window of opportunity to successfully craft a new budget process that prioritized reform sequencing, transparency, and public engagement, and laid the structural foundation for future budgets to adhere to international best practices. In this Development Practice Note, Former Afghan Deputy Minister of Finance Khalid Payenda offers insight on how practitioners can better write, adopt, and utilize budgets as the key tool for policymaking.

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  • Towards a Future Research Agenda in Fragile Contexts

    The challenge of addressing conditions of fragility remains central from the perspectives of development and security. Fragility is a shared problem for the research, policy, and implementation communities, but too often researchers fail to produce actionable insights for policymakers. In this paper, ISE proposes a renewed research agenda in fragile environments that focuses on the.. Read more

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