Afghanistan—Strong Hubs for Afghan Hope and Resilience (SHAHAR)

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2014-2020

Region: Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Country: Afghanistan

Solutions: Governance Fragile States

SHAHAR is helping create well-governed, fiscally sustainable Afghan municipalities capable of meeting the needs of growing urban populations. Targeted support to municipal governments, as well as to the Deputy Ministry of Municipalities (DMM) and Municipal Advisory Boards, will aim to improve municipal financial management, urban service delivery, and citizen consultation.

Sample Activities

  • Assist the DMM in organizing national, regional, and district municipal conferences for sharing best practices and lessons learned.
  • Provide technical assistance to each municipality to increase revenue and manage expenses so that they can maintain a healthy, balanced budget.
  • Prepare and implement capacity building plans for municipal officials.

Select Results

  • With SHAHAR assistance, four regional hub municipalities increased their fixed revenue between 17 percent and 137 percent—the key to budget stability.
  • Municipalities successfully bid out and completed 39 projects worth more than $2 million; projects included building bus terminals, renovating parks and sports fields, and improving drainage.
  • Operationalized Citizen Service Centers in 10 municipalities, which provide one-stop service for paying taxes and fees, registering properties and businesses, and asking questions.
  • Instituted Integrated Financial Management Systems in 20 municipalities.
  • Employed nearly 450 interns in the municipalities, in DMM and in the SHAHAR offices to train the next cadre of municipal officials and provide necessary employment opportunities for recent graduates.
  • Established Municipal Advisory Boards of citizens in 20 partner municipalities.
  • Piloted a street addressing and house-numbering project in district four of the city of Herat Herat and district six of the city of Mazar-e-Sharif, making neighborhoods safer and more professional.


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