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Afghanistan

Public-Police Partnership Councils (AF0004)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Afghanistan Action Plan 2017-2019

Action Plan Cycle: 2017

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Interior

Support Institution(s): Local governance institutions, UNDP’s MoI & Police Development (MPD) project, Civil society organizations, international organizations, provincial councils

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, E-Government, Justice, Marginalized Communities, Public Participation, Public Service Delivery, Security, Subnational

IRM Review

IRM Report: Afghanistan Design Report 2017-2019

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

What is the public problem that the commitment will address?: In the present situation of the country, there is growing gap and mistrust between police and the public. People have limited collaboration with police in provision of security, public order and law enforcement, owing to lack of structures that can facilitate publicpolice partnership and police accountability. In order to address this challenge, MoI has established and operationalized 23 public-police partnership councils in 23 provinces of the country, which has increased public engagement in provision of security and public order, thereby decreasing gap between police and the public. Based on the lessons learned and as requested by CSOs during consultative meetings of Open Government Partnership-Afghanistan, MoI decided to expand public-police partnership councils to remaining 11 provinces of the country and operationalize them in these provinces. The functions of these councils in the 11 provinces will be expanded to ensure that the police forces are held accountable by the councils.; What is the commitment?: Public-police partnership councils are composed of tribal elders, influential persons, youth, women, university professors, religious scholars and university students. Membership in these councils is based on an elections procedure. Public-police partnership councils collaborate with police in the following areas: prioritizing security and safety challenges at provincial and district level; police reports made available to the councils on the progress made in addressing the security and safety challenges that have been prioritized; council members report on public complaints on police corruption and misconduct to the council and police take the necessary actions and report back to the council on the progress; dispute resolution and decreasing crimes at local level; and facilitating police-initiated awareness programs for citizens. Instead, police will provide information about how its services are delivered, to these councils, and through them, to citizens and demand their collaboration; How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem?: This commitment ensures public participation in prioritization of security and safety challenges in their localities. In addition, publicpolice partnership councils will provide appropriate, practical solutions to the security challenges and collaborate with security organs in implementing them. Also, expansion of these councils to remaining 11 provinces will enhance collaboration and joint decision making by public and police authorities. In consultation with these councils, security institutions will be able to identify timely challenges in the related areas and recover public trust in security forces through addressing them. Through this process the loop between the council and the police will be closed as the police will have to demonstrate in their progress reports and actions taken to address security challenges and complaints identified by the public through the council. The feedback received plays a critical role in identifying whether the police are taking appropriate actions or not. This in itself creates a body of documentation, which otherwise, does not exist which can be used as proof of the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the police. Implementation of this commitment is expected to improve security conditions in provinces and districts, resulting in enhanced public trust in national police through ensuring public engagement in delivering police-related services.; Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values?: This commitment is related to public partnership, accountability and transparency: on one hand, the public-police partnership scheme is designed with participation of the public. On the other hand, the general public will play an effective role in identifying local security challenges and implementing solutions to them by using joint decision-making mechanism involving police and security institutions. Moreover, the police reports to the council on the necessary actions taken to address security challenges and public compliant. The minutes of the council’s session will be made available to the public via MoI website.; Additional information: The necessary budget for developing public-police partnership councils will be provided by UNDP’s MoI & Police Development (MPD) project. This commitment has relevancy with Afghanistan Peace and Development Framework as well as national priorities of MoI.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

4. Developing Public-Police Partnership Councils

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:

“In the present situation of the country, there is growing gap and mistrust between police and the public. People have limited collaboration with police in provision of security, public order and law enforcement, owing to lack of structures that can facilitate public-police partnership and police accountability.

In order to address this challenge, MoI has established and operationalized 23 public-police partnership councils in 23 provinces of the country, which has increased public engagement in provision of security and public order, thereby decreasing gap between police and the public.

Based on the lessons learned and as requested by CSO’s during consultative meetings of Open Government Partnership-Afghanistan, MoI decided to expand public-police partnership councils to remaining 11 provinces of the country and operationalize them in these provinces. The functions of these councils in the 11 provinces will be expanded to ensure that the police forces are held accountable by the councils.

Milestone activities and verifiable deliverables
  • Establishing general directorates of community-based police (police mardumi) in 11 provinces of Afghanistan (Laghman, Nimroz, Ghor, Nuristan, Badghis, Kunar, Uruzgan, Baghlan, Ghazni, Logar and Paktika)
  • Organizing 11 awareness conferences in 11 mentioned provinces, and holding councils’ elections based on the existing electoral procedure
  • Holding 11 training programs on behalf of community-based police for the elected members of the councils in the 11 target provinces
  • Formulating and organizing monthly sessions for public-police partnership councils on their functions.
  • Publicize the minutes of councils monthly sessions via MoI website.”

Start Date: January 2018

End Date: August 2019

Editorial Note: This is a partial version of the commitment text. For the full commitment text from the Afghanistan National Action Plan see:  https://www.opengovpartnership.org/commitment/04-public-police-partnership-councils

Context and Objectives

Afghanistan has never had a strong and effective civilian police force. [32] Various donors have been involved in the Afghan Police force training, in particular Germany and the United States. Since 2007 the European Union established the EU Police Mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL). [33] As part of the EUPOL’s mission, community policing began in Afghanistan in 2009 with the launch of a cost-free 119 helpline through which the public can notify the police if they observe suspicious activities or otherwise in moments of emergency need. [34] Following this initiative, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) established and operationalized 23 public-police partnership councils in 23 provinces, with the aim to engage the public in the provision of security and public order and increase trust between police and the public. The councils are composed of community representatives (sometimes they can also be members of local CSO’s) at the district and provincial level as well as the local police. [35]

The objective of this commitment is to expand the Public-Police Partnership Councils to the remaining 11 provinces, where at both provincial and district levels the public are invited to information sessions about the Councils, and elect representatives to those Councils. The suggested 11 councils will be established following the same procedures as the ones before them, and will be joined by several follow-on activities (i.e. training sessions, monthly meetings, and publication of official Council meeting minutes). However, this initiative, introduced initially by the donor communities, continues to remain relatively new in the country. [36]

This commitment corresponds to the OGP value of civic participation because the public is invited to directly partner with the police in an effort to increase trust between them and to enhance public security. The public will have a chance to voice their concerns, collaborate with the police and be consulted. The commitment is also relevant to the OGP value of access to information because it aims to publish the Councils’ meetings’ minutes on the MoI website.

The activities specified under this commitment are all concrete and verifiable, despite some limitations. For example, the commitment is vague as to who comprises the targeted population for the awareness raising conferences and whether the government will organize these conferences alone or in collaboration with local CSOs.

The potential impact of this commitment—which would expand the number of provinces with public-police partnerships by roughly one-third is minor. In Afghanistan there is little collaboration between citizens and the police in provision of security, public order and law enforcement, owing to lack of structures that can facilitate public-police partnership and police accountability. [37] The government representative interviewed by the IRM Researcher expressed that despite numerous challenges, on many occasions the public have been helpful in notifying the police about suspicious activities. [38] It thus may lead to better collaboration between the public and the police. However, there is no evidence beyond anecdotal validation to establish a direct correlation between the two.

Next steps

The IRM Researcher suggests that this commitment be carried on to the next action plan. To this end, the IRM Researcher recommends the following:

  • Civil society partner organizations could undertake a research project to demonstrate the impact of the already established public-police partnership councils, and to identify its challenges and ways forward. The next OGP action plan could benefit from the findings of such research by incorporating lessons learned.
  • Afghanistan has a police law in four chapters and 34 articles, published in 2005. This law does not mention the concept of community police or specify a role for CSOs. [39] The next action plan could consider an amendment to the law based on new practices. Doing so will legally cement the community policing practices described under the current commitment.
  • MoI has already an advisory board where it includes a number of CSO representatives, media and a human rights commissioner. [40] They could take more concrete steps to also include and link up with local CSOs in provinces who are engaged in the public-police partnership councils. As an example, representatives from provinces can be invited to some of the OGP-A meetings related to this commitment where they will have an opportunity to express their concerns and views first hand with the OGP-A.
  • Relatedly, there is need for more training and awareness among public officials and civil society on the notion and practice of community policing, as it is still considered a novelty, especially in the new territories where they will be established. [41] IRM Researcher suggests that training sessions be organized by experts for public officials and CSOs, combined with exposure trips to observe good practices in other countries.

 

[32] Wilder, A. (2007). Cops or Robbers? The Struggle to Reform the Afghan National Police (Issues Paper Series). AREU, Kabul. Retrieved November 21, 2018, from https://areu.org.af/wp-content/uploads/2007/01/717E-Cops-or-Robbers-IP-print.pdf
[33] Suroush, Q. (2018). Assessing EUPOL Impact on Afghan Police Reform (2007-2016) (EUNPACK Working Paper). AREU, Kabul. Retrieved November 21, 2018, from https://areu.org.af/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/1807E-Assessing-EUPOL-Impact-on-Afghan-Police-Reform-2007-2016.pdf
[34] Personal interview, Director of Policy and Planning, Ministry of Interior, 26 November 2018, Kabul.
[35] Personal interview, Director of Policy and Planning, Ministry of Interior, 26 November 2018, Kabul.
[36] Ibid.
[37] National Action Plan, Open Government Partnership Afghanistan (OGPA), 2018-2019. Accessed on January 22, 2019, from https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Afghanistan_Action-Plan_2017-2019_EN_UPDATED.pdf
[38] Personal interview, Director of Policy and Planning, Ministry of Interior, 26 November 2018, Kabul.
[39] IRoA Ministry of Justice. (2005). The Police Law. http://moi.gov.af/Content/files/PoliceLawOG_0862.pdf
[40] IRoA, Ministry of Interior. (n.d). Names and Resumes of the MoI’s Advisory Board Members. Retrieved November 21, 2018 from http://moi.gov.af/fa/page/5718/9138
[41] Personal interview, Director of Policy and Planning, Ministry of Interior, 26 November 2018, Kabul.

Commitments

  1. Revise Law on Recruitment and Authority of Attorneys General

    AF0014, 2019, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  2. Revise Law on Local Government

    AF0015, 2019, Legislation & Regulation

  3. Establish Anti-Corruption Commitment

    AF0016, 2019, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  4. Draft Beneficial Ownership Legislation

    AF0017, 2019, Beneficial Ownership

  5. Portal for Processing Legislative Documents

    AF0018, 2019, Capacity Building

  6. CSO Monitoring of Education

    AF0019, 2019, E-Government

  7. Develop Electronic Complaint System for Local Government

    AF0020, 2019, Capacity Building

  8. Reform and Strengthen Education Data

    AF0021, 2019, E-Government

  9. Participation in Local Budgeting

    AF0022, 2019, Participation in Budget Processes

  10. Electronic Revenue Collection System

    AF0023, 2019, Capacity Building

  11. Co-Create University Curriculum

    AF0024, 2019, Education

  12. Reform Promotion System for Police Officers

    AF0025, 2019, E-Government

  13. Monitoring Framework for Medicine Wholesalers

    AF0026, 2019, E-Government

  14. Monitoring of Private and Public Health Centers

    AF0027, 2019, E-Government

  15. Participation in National Budget

    AF0028, 2019, Participation in Budget Processes

  16. Open Justice for Anti-Corruption

    AF0029, 2019, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  17. Women's Empowerment Plan

    AF0030, 2019, Gender

  18. Establishment of Women Grand Council

    AF0031, 2019, Gender

  19. Mechanism of Public Partnership in Inspection Process

    AF0001, 2017, Capacity Building

  20. Law on Processing, Publishing and Enforcing Legislative Documents

    AF0002, 2017, Legislation & Regulation

  21. Courts to Address Violence Against Women

    AF0003, 2017, Gender

  22. Public-Police Partnership Councils

    AF0004, 2017, Capacity Building

  23. Registering Assets of Government Officials

    AF0005, 2017, Asset Disclosure

  24. Scheme for Establishing Health Service Accreditation Entity

    AF0006, 2017, Capacity Building

  25. Urban Improvement National Policy

    AF0007, 2017, Infrastructure & Transport

  26. Protection Policy for Women Under Conflict and Emergency Situations

    AF0008, 2017, Gender

  27. Civil Society Monitoring Plan for Education and Higher Education

    AF0009, 2017, Education

  28. Plan for the Establishment of a Joint Committee Overseeing the Implementation of the Anti-Corruption Strategy

    AF0010, 2017, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  29. Strengthen the Information Mechanism in 60 Governmental Agencies

    AF0011, 2017, Capacity Building

  30. Implementing Open Contracting

    AF0012, 2017, E-Government

  31. Public Participation in Road Network Projects

    AF0013, 2017, Infrastructure & Transport

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