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Afghanistan Civil Service Support (ACSS)

2007-2012 || U.S. Agency for International Development

Abstract

The Afghanistan Civil Service Support  project (ACSS) was a broad capacity building initiative designed to enhance coordination and promote uniform approaches across multiple Ministries, build the capacity of organizations to attract and maintain competent staff, and develop a critical mass of skilled professional’s to allow public sector organizations to achieve their objectives and become the foundation of a new Afghanistan. ACSS supported the strategic objective of facilitating a better educated, healthier population, as well as promoting an effective democratic government. Deloitte advisors worked with the public sector and the International Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC) across four key areas: Strategy, Policy, and Planning; Financial and Expenditure Management; Organizational and Process Improvement; and Training Institution Support.

The Challenge

At the time this project was launched, the key challenge to almost all sectors of the Afghanistan government was the lack of management, administrative, and technical skills and basic human and institutional capacity to be effective. Specifically, the Afghan institutions faced a shortage of skills in strategic planning, budgeting, business development, financial reporting, public administration, procurement transparency, and human resource management. The ACSS program was designed to implement technical assistance and human and institutional capacity building programs focused on strengthening common, cross-cutting competencies that most government institutions and the civil service need in order to be effective.

How We Helped

Deloitte advisors worked with key counterparts in the Civil Service Commission to enhance their capacities in strategic planning, project planning and design, monitoring and evaluation, policy analysis, and strategic communications. Accordingly, the ACSS project structured its Deloitte advisory teams around four primary themes.

Note: Prior to deployment of our advisors, Deloitte developed and implemented a security framework whereby individual advisors were under the physical protection of trained security professionals. Our security operations integrated with our security providers to assess local conditions, plan travel routes, alter travel routes based on current intelligence information, and protect our advisors while they met with critical Afghani counterparts.

Strategy, Policy, and Planning: Enhanced strategy, planning, and policy analysis in ‘umbrella’ counterparts and building evaluation capacities for Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) implementing agencies. This initiative’s role was to help build counterpart capacities in strategic planning, project planning and design, monitoring and evaluation, and strategic communications within key counterparts, as well as coordinate the institutional assessments of 11 Ministries.

Financial and Expenditure Management: Took steps to determine/confirm transparent accounting, internal audit, program budgeting, budget execution, financial management, and procurement systems were being institutionalized in counterparts. Combined, these financial management capabilities were designed to promote efficiency and transparency within government. These financial control capabilities are critically important for government agencies to help meet the requirements for USAID host country agreements.

Organizational and Process Improvement: Strengthened human resources structures, systems and skills within the Civil Service Commission, its Ministry and agency counterparts, its Provincial Affairs Directorates, and the training capacities at the Afghanistan Civil Service Institute. There was also a focus on activities aimed at developing capacities in Sub –National Government offices generally, and for activities specifically aimed at building the Independent Directorate of Local Governance’s organizational capacities in their sub-national office and provincial representation structures.

Training Institution Support:  Supported training development and delivery and “Training Institution Support” as critical focus areas for building sustainable human capacity development. The ACSS team of advisors focused on building a foundation package of administrative, management, and strategy skills needed for solid public administration at both the national and provincial levels of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA).

Solution

Deloitte’s assistance constituted a broad package that promoted efficiency and transparency within the GIRoA, through human and institutional capacity building, clear policy formulation and strategy execution, and the institution of effective public finance systems.

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