About MCG
. Posted Date: 01/17/2016

 

November 15, 2015

Maintenance Grants (Summary)

 

During the past decade there has been considerable investment in the infrastructural development of Afghanistan’s rural communities. NSP alone has completed over 72,000 infrastructure projects. Nearly half of these are irrigation systems and access roads, crucial for production and trade. However, there have been no systematic efforts to maintain this infrastructure and save this investment.

In this pilot,  the primary objective is to create short-term employment for the most needy households in rural communities and the secondary objective is to address communities’ existing maintenance problems through grants for essential infrastructure repairs in rural areas.  In the long-term, the objective of the maintenance grants will be to maintain essential infrastructure (if funding support is forthcoming). As such, this will be a pilot program with an initial USD 50 million that will cover roughly 4,700 communities.

These maintenance grants will be labor intensive projects with roughly 70 percent of the funds dedicated to labor and 30 percent to material inputs. It is expected that this will ease the high under-employment in rural communities and provide families that cannot meet their basic food requirements with the income to meet an additional two months of food provisions per year.

In this early phase, the resources available do not allow for nation-wide coverage of all communities, and MRRD has selected 12 provinces on a priority basis, that include Baghlan, Balkh, Farah, Faryab, Heart, Jawzjan, Kandahar, Khost, Kunarha, Kunduz, Laghman, Nangarhar.  These provinces have been identified on the basis of extent of underemployment, seasonality and access during the winter months, and security. Districts will be selected on the basis of seasonality/remoteness, security/access, number of villages that have successfully completed their 1st Block Grants. This way the program will have national coverage, ensure regional equity, and be able to be cost effective as staffing of social mobilizers and engineers will be clustered in these districts.

The funds will be channeled through CDCs, which govern development resources and processes in rural communities with transparency and accountability. These bodies have gained the technical know-how over the past decade and are the best institutions through which to channel development resources to villages. At the same time, annual grants to CDCs or Cluster CDCs (in the future) will ensure the legitimacy these institutions need to operate as development councils.

The operational management of the Maintenance Grants lies with NSP. The program has been working with rural communities, establishing CDCs, building their capacity in planning, implementation, and monitoring. NSP, a multi-sector program has the experience, knows communities’ capacities and dynamics, all of which are important for the successful implementation of this pilot.  Given the urgency of time and the need to reduce overhead costs, NSP will use its existing structures (PMUs), with some additional capacities (hiring social mobilizers and engineers), to complete this pilot with minimum running costs.  There will be a simple monitoring format for each community and NSP will conduct selected case studies to evaluate the success of the program.

 

 

 

December 2015

Maintenance Grants

A Program under the Jobs for Peace Initiative

 

The Maintenance Grants Program was launched by Minister Ahmad Nasir Durrani on 19 November, 2015. The Program forms part of the Government of Afghanistans Jobs for Peace Initiative,with the primary objective to create short-term employment for the most needy households in rural communities and a secondary objective to address communities existing maintenance problems through grants for essential infrastructure repairs in rural areas.  In the long-term, the objective of the maintenance grants will be to maintain essential infrastructure (if funding support is forthcoming). As such, this will be a pilot program with an initial USD 50 million that will cover roughly 4,700 communities. Several bilateral donors have expressed interest and are considering to provide additional resources for the program. 

These maintenance grants will be labor intensive projects with roughly 70 percent of the funds dedicated to labor and 30 percent to material inputs. It is expected that this will ease the high under-employment in rural communities and provide families that cannot meet their basic food requirements with the income to meet an additional two months of food provisions per year.

In this early phase, the resources available do not allow for nation-wide coverage of all communities, and MRRD has selected 12 provinces on a priority basis, that include Baghlan, Balkh, Farah, Faryab, Herat, Jawzjan, Kandahar, Khost, Kunarha, Kunduz, Laghman, Nangarhar.  These provinces have been identified on the basis of extent of underemployment, seasonality and access during the winter months, and security. Districts will be selected on the basis of seasonality/remoteness, security/access, number of villages that have successfully completed their 1st Block Grants. This way the program will have national coverage, ensure regional equity, and be able to be cost effective as staffing of social mobilizers and engineers will be clustered in these districts.

The funds will be channeled through CDCs, which govern development resources and processes in rural communities with transparency and accountability. These bodies have gained the technical know-how over the past decade and are the best institutions through which to channel development resources to villages. At the same time, annual grants to CDCs or Cluster CDCs (in the future) will ensure the legitimacy these institutions need to operate as development councils.

The operational management of the Maintenance Grants lies with NSP. The program has been working with rural communities, establishing CDCs, building their capacity in planning, implementation, and monitoring. NSP, a multi-sector program has the experience, knows communities capacities and dynamics, all of which are important for the successful implementation of this pilot.  Given the urgency of time and the need to reduce overhead costs, NSP will use its existing structures (PMUs), with some additional capacities (hiring social mobilizers and engineers), to complete this pilot with minimum running costs. There will be a simple monitoring format for each community and NSP will conduct selected case studies to evaluate the success of the program.