On the ground in Afghanistan: How to overcome corruption and aid dependency

Devex global development reporter Michael Igoe sits down with Chemonics Chief of Party Danny Hill to discuss overcoming aid dependency in Afghanistan.

How can donors and implementers guard against the twin challenges of corruption and aid dependency in Afghanistan?

As the conflict-ridden nation transitions toward local and national ownership of the post-war reconstruction process and with a new president on the horizon, corruption threatens to derail much of the progress that has been made so far. At the same time, aid donors and implementers must do what they can to guard against creating parallel service delivery systems that local communities cannot sustain on their own after international assistance funding recedes and international organizations begin to fade from view.

We spoke with Danny Hill, chief of party for ChemonicsUSAID-funded RAMP UP-South project, which worked with municipalities in southern Afghanistan to improve service delivery and build trust between citizens and their local representatives, to learn how he directed his team to ensure they brought only sustainable solutions to the table.

Danny Hill discusses how implementers can work around issues of corruption in Afghanistan.

Hill also discussed the persistence of corruption throughout Afghanistan’s public sector and discussed ways his projects sought to move forward without falling prey to corrupt officials.

Danny Hill talks about the importance of working with municipalities to improve local service delivery in Afghanistan.

According to the Chemonics chief of party, working at the municipal level — as opposed to the district or provincial levels — is the right path forward for USAID and other donors, since mayors and provincial leaders are the ones providing local services to communities in need.

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See more:

Afghanistan post-2014: Humanitarian relief or long-term development?
How USAID 'pushed back' to quell Afghanistan oversight fears
SIGAR looks into 10 years of US aid to Afghanistan
Larry Sampler in USAID in Afghanistan
Afghanistan, Pakistan programs skew USAID's progress on 'local solutions'

About the author

  • Michael Igoe

    Michael Igoe is a Senior Reporter with Devex, based in Washington, D.C. He covers U.S. foreign aid, global health, climate change, and development finance. Prior to joining Devex, Michael researched water management and climate change adaptation in post-Soviet Central Asia, where he also wrote for EurasiaNet. Michael earned his bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College, where he majored in Russian, and his master’s degree from the University of Montana, where he studied international conservation and development.

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