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Cablegate: Local Governance Strategic Workplan

VZCZCXRO0557
OO RUEHBW RUEHIK RUEHPW RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #1150/01 1320729
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 110729Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3833
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 001150

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/FO, SCA/A, S/CRS
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR AID/ANE, AID/DCHA/DG
NSC FOR JWOOD
OSD FOR SHIVERS
CG CJTF-82, POLAD, JICCENT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KDEM PGOV AF
SUBJECT: LOCAL GOVERNANCE STRATEGIC WORKPLAN

REF: A. 07 KABUL 3054
B. KABUL 829

1. (SBU) Summary: The Independent Directorate of Local
Governance (IDLG) on May 4 released its Five-Year Strategic
Work Plan, a roadmap for provincial, district, and municipal
governance. The plan focuses on four core functions: policy
development, institutional development, participatory
governance, and support. It is a reasonably well written and
thoughtful document, and should play an important role in
coordinating the previously scattershot approach to local
governance. The plan,s ambitious scope, however, will test
the limited capacity of the IDLG. Its estimated cost of $296
million over five years will have to be borne by the
international community. The June Paris Support Conference
is an opportune time to focus donors, attention on IDLG,s
efforts.

Strategic Plan Receives Presidential and UN Support
--------------------------------------------- ------
2. (SBU) At a May 4 ceremony at the Palace, the Independent
Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) unveiled its Five-Year
Strategic Work Plan before assembled diplomats and GIRoA
officials. Confirming his support for the directorate he
created by decree in August (Ref. A), President Karzai
described the plan as "well conceived, concise, and
understandable." Karzai underscored the importance of a
comprehensive plan to increase GIRoA outreach to the people,
while simplifying government procedures and reducing
corruption. UN SRSG, Kai Eide, credited IDLG for a solid
plan, and called upon the international community to support
its quick implementation. The Strategic Work Plan, drafted
with substantial support from the Asia Foundation, outlines
four "core functions" including policy development,
institutional development, broader governance, and other
support functions.

The Four Core Functions
-----------------------
3. (SBU) The Work Plan describes IDLG,s policy function as
the "development of a policy framework, rules and regulations
for sub-national governance." IDLG will execute that
function through "an inter-ministerial policy development
process." President Karzai will establish the process by
decree and entrust its leadership to one of his vice
presidents. The plan specifies a timetable for policy
development culminating in the drafting of local governance
laws. The inter-ministerial policy development process is
expected to cost approximately $4 million and will
undoubtedly be controversial.

4. (SBU) IDLG lists the strengthening of sub-national
governance institutions as its second core function.
According to the Work Plan, this task entails the design and
implementation of Public Administration Reform (PAR); the
development of a capacity-building strategy; the upgrading of
physical infrastructure for local institutions; support to
municipalities; tackling corruption; and mapping political
and administrative boundaries. IDLG estimates this function
will cost $126 million over five years, the bulk of which
goes to upgrading infrastructure and support for the
country,s 147 municipalities.

5. (SBU) IDLG,s third core function is its broader
governance responsibilities, namely "the creation and
provision of support for the participation of stakeholders
and citizens in sub-national governance processes." This
encompasses the directorate,s role in coordinating local
development activities, particularly in leading the
implementation of provincial development plans (PDPs) and
counter-narcotics policy. (Note: In conjunction with ANDS,
IDLG led the successful March 2008 PDP Consultations.)
Additionally, IDLG will focus on bridging the gap between the
people and the government by engaging with representative
bodies. The Afghan Social Outreach Program (Ref. B) is part
of this effort to develop outreach mechanisms to connect
government to often-alienated local populations.

6. (SBU) IDLG's final function is its role as a facilitator

KABUL 00001150 002 OF 002


in the implementation of national policies and programs at
the sub-national level. This includes supporting, and
coordinating the implementation of national initiatives like:
elections, civil registry, census, land administration,
disaster preparedness and response, and the promotion of
culture. IDLG will define the appropriate role of
sub-national institutions in these sectors, as well as
develop a detailed program of activities to support each of
these national activities.

IDLG Receives Wide Support
--------------------------
7. (SBU) Although only eight months old, ILDG has already had
a considerable impact on local governance. The Work Plan is
a logical next step, an overarching strategy to replace the
inchoate, uncoordinated and often conflicting approaches to
governance taken by the international community and the GIROA
over the last five years. Strikingly, the Work Plan's
ambition extends beyond core local governance elements to
include economic development and counter-narcotics. This
intrusion into other line ministries, territories will
attract scrutiny from powerful ministers and the National
Assembly and test IDLG's capacity to deliver.
WOOD

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