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Afghanistan Economic Growth and Governance Initiative

2009-2014 || U.S. Agency for International Development

Abstract

The Afghanistan Economic Growth and Governance Initiative (EGGI) project strengthens the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s (GIRoA’s) capacity to develop and implement public financial management (revenue and expenditures) economic and regulatory policy. Deloitte advisors are working directly with the Ministry of Finance and other government institutions to implement national budgeting and tax administration reforms. The vision of the EGGI project is to enhance GIRoA’s capacity to develop and sustain a market environment that supports responsible economic management and fiscal sustainability. Ultimately, EGGI’s efforts to promote sound public financial management seek to build a strong platform for encouraging private sector-driven growth, investment promotion, and job creation.

The Challenge

After two decades of civil strife and six years of Taliban rule, Afghanistan in 2001-2002 was a devastated country. Its physical infrastructure, institutions of government, and human capital were in ruins. Women were denied the opportunity to work, access to education, and stripped of basic human rights. As in much of the developing world, gender equality is undermined by historical imbalances in political participation and access to resources and rights. Women are still widely under-represented in decision-making from the household to the public sphere.

How We Helped

Deloitte’s approach responds to each of the capacity development challenges faced by select economic Ministries in the government of Afghanistan. Guided by a broad conceptual framework for promoting economic growth and governance in conflict-affected settings, Deloitte offers specific activities for executing each component of the EGGI program while working in both the capital and the provinces, focusing on implementation while building human and institutional capital.

National and Regional Economic Policy: Deloitte advisors work closely with senior economic policy makers (the President’s Chief Economic Advisor and the Minister of Finance) providing ongoing policy advice, while helping to improve organizational structures and building capacity within select counterpart Ministries and agencies to bolster fiscal sustainability. Focus areas to build a strengthened fiscal policy include improved tax administration and budget execution capabilities across the government. On the revenue side, Deloitte advisors are working to increase tax revenue collections and rationalize non-tax revenues around the country while on the expenditure side they are working to improve budget development and execution, with a particular focus on program and provincial budgeting across the government.

Financial Sector and Central Bank Operations: Deloitte advisors have worked with Da Afghanistan Bank (Central Bank) executive and line management teams to develop the Strategic Plan, strengthen human and institutional capacity, improve accounting systems, payment systems and operations and expand the use of macroeconomic strategies and tools for monetary policy development and implementation.

Business Enabling Environment: Deloitte advisors have provided leadership in the promulgation and implementation of the important commercial laws in Afghanistan. In addressing the objective of improving the business enabling environment to attract investment and spur economic growth, Deloitte advisors have also supported the creation of a transparent regulatory framework, streamlined regulatory processes and procedures, a commercial dispute resolution mechanism and the establishment of commercial business registration offices in specific economic centers across the country.

Gender Equality and Female Empowerment: Women’s empowerment is strongly linked to economic growth and the overall achievement of development objectives and political stability and continues to be a priority of the project. Furthermore, as part of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) and Millennium Development Goal benchmarks, GIRoA is required to raise the number of female employees from 20% to at least 30% by 2013. In support of this goal, Deloitte launched the Women in Government (WIG) internship program to build women’s capacity for fully participating in Afghan society by providing internships to recent female university graduates. These opportunities, historically unavailable to Afghan women, are provided with the goal of transitioning women into full-time positions in the public and private sectors. Following completion of the internship, interns should have developed essential skills, experience, and working relationships enabling them to start their professional lives. To supplement on-the-job training, Deloitte provides skills-building workshops to further empower interns in their GIRoA assignments and in becoming more marketable for full-time employment.

 

Solution

Deloitte works directly with the Afghan Government to provide technical assistance and help implement reforms in support of achieving the project’s overarching vision. As a means of capturing the spectrum of opportunities for economic growth and sustainability, Deloitte has also implemented gender programming for the promotion of female capacity building and empowerment throughout the life of the project. Our team has concentrated on providing training and on-the-job assistance to enable GIRoA counterparts to continue reforms catalyzed by EGGI assistance, helping to build sustainable human and institutional capacity across economic Ministries.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP, which provides strategy, operations, technology, and human capital consulting services, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP, which provides financial advisory services, and Deloitte & Touche LLP which provides governance and risk oversight and reporting advisory services. These entities are separate subsidiaries of Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

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