History: The NSP was created by the Government of Afghanistan in late 2002, and actual implementation started in May 2003. Known in Dari as “Hambastagi Milli” and in Pashtu as “Milli Paiwastoon”, NSP is based on the Afghan traditions of “Ashar” (i.e. community members working together on a volunteer basis to improve community infrastructure) and “Jirga” – councils comprised of respected members of the community. Islamic values of unity, equity and justice are also encouraged.
Objective: The NSP aims to build, strengthen and maintain Community Development Councils (CDCs) as effective institutions for local governance and socio-economic development.
Coverage: NSP aims to cover all rural communities in Afghanistan which is around 40,000. By September 2015, NSP aims to have established estimated 39,056 CDCs (excluding of communities located in where the NSP implementation is not possible), provided all 39,056 of them with a first round of block grants, and 11,844 of them with a second round of block grants.
Core Elements: NSP consists of four core elements:
• Establishment of CDCs in a democratic manner.
• Building the capacities of CDC and community members (both men and women) in a variety of areas, primarily in local-governance and in development.
• Providing direct block grant transfers to fund approved subprojects identified, prioritized and managed by the communities.
• Linking CDCs to government agencies, NGOs, and donors to improve access to services and resources.
Phases: The three phases of NSP to-date are briefly outlined below:
• Phase One (“NSP I”): May 2003 to March 2007. Coverage of around 17,223 communities for the first round of block grants.
• Phase Two (“NSP II”): April 2007 to September 2011: Coverage of an additional around 5,957 communities for the first round of block grants.
• Phase Three (“NSP III”): October 2010 to September 2015: Coverage of an additional around 15,876 communities for the first round of block grants, and coverage of a select 11,844 communities for a second round of block grants. More