International Anti-Corruption Day

“The fight against corruption in Afghanistan: Combining Civil Society and Government Efforts”

December 8, 2016

Kabul, Afghanistan

Administrative structure and performance of any government and its proper or improper functions result in the legitimacy or illegitimacy of its political system. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider recognizing the root causes of corruption in administration and help policy makers to think of and establish proper solutions to fight corruption. Corruption in any government system is an undeniable disease and must be cured.

After more than a decade of the international community’s intervention in rebuilding Afghanistan, it is abundantly clear that Afghanistan is marred in corruption and continues to be a significant and growing problem. Corruption undermined public trust in the government of Afghanistan and considerably reduced the legitimacy of the public institutions providing services as evidence in the various surveys. A 2015 survey by The Asia Foundation found “89.9% of Afghans say that corruption is a problem in their daily lives, the highest reported in a decade”, and Afghanistan consistently rank in the bottom of Transparency International annual corruption index. These reports have considerably reduced the trust of public in government and government officials.

Corruption is a serious problem that results serious risks, it undermines security and stability, promotes bureaucracy, destabilizes the values of democracy, hurts ethical and social values, slowdowns the country's sustainable economic growth and impairs rule of law and social justice. The civil society along with people and the government have a significant role in reducing corruption and can use different tools to fight it.  As impartial and independent organizations, the civil societies can play a signification role by conducting researches and studies about the fundamental causes of corruption in the country and develop or suggest effective mechanisms to the Government and people to remove the roots of corruption in the country.

AJO understands the importance of genuine fight against corruption in Afghanistan and has come up with recommendations aimed at the government, civil society and media to better organize efforts in fighting corruption in Afghanistan.

For the GIRoA:

- There is a lack of Political will amongst state actors to tackle corruption, therefore stronger political will is necessary to uproot the sources of corruption and target those which enable and benefit from the existence of corruption in Afghanistan.
- Afghans do not enjoy access to government services and offices due to lack of government presence, corruption, and bureaucracy which has in return widened the gap between the public and the government, therefore the GIRoA needs to ensure that all Afghans enjoy equal and easy access to its services and offices.
- The GIRoA must establish a new and fully independent anti-corruption commission to replace the current commissions to tackle the challenge of corruption in Afghanistan.
- Afghan Laws, policies and strategies are outdated and must be reviewed to reflect the changing scenario of corruption in Afghanistan. 
- Improve coordination both within, and amongst, the GIRoA ministries, commissions, and other bodies.


For the CSOs:

- Lack of public awareness on Afghan laws is a key source of corruption and to tackle corruption it becomes imperative to raise the public’s legal awareness so to enable them to act as responsible citizens, to this end CSO’s should continue to, and expand, its public awareness and outreach programs across Afghanistan in order to raise awareness on the sources and implications of corruption.
- Corruption effects all Afghans irrespective of ethnicity, language, religion, or gender, therefore CSO’s need to harness the support and mobilize a national movement against corruption that brings together Afghans from all walks of life as a means to put up a national united stance against corruption and to pressure the GIRoA to take a tougher stance in tackling corruption.
- There is a lack of empirical research identifying the sources, instances and benefactors of corruption, therefore CSO’s, should facilitate research initiatives that help map corruption in Afghanistan.
- CSO must adopt lessons learned from countries that have displayed success in fighting corruption as a means to identify and develop upon effective mechanism to tackle corruption.
- CSO’s must engage the GIRoA in the dialogue on fighting cooperation, therefore both stronger will and better mechanisms are required by CSO’s to improve coordination between civil society, media and the GIRoA.


Afghanistan Justice Organization invites members of the media to publish the message to inform and educate the public about the fight against corruption.

About Afghanistan Justice Organization (AJO)

The Afghanistan Justice Organization (AJO) is an Afghan-led, non-profit, and non-partisan organization promotes  democracy, governance and rule of law through project design and management, project performance and evaluation, training and capacity development, policy research and analysis, and public awareness campaigns and advocacy.


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