The level of economic and social development in the rural parts of Afghanistan is very low. Conflicts, corruption, and mismanagement in the administration result in local communities enjoying extremely limited opportunities to effect change. People are powerless, geared to survive, and cannot claim their rights against authorities. They often find it difficult to carry out the measures they think are necessary.
Women and persons with disabilities are groups that have traditionally not been included in joint decision-making. It is therefore part of the SCA mission to strengthen these groups’ participation. Their representation in both self-help groups and community-based organizations (CBOs) is important as these bodies must reflect society at large. These CBOs provide the opportunity to influence and participate in decisions concerning the community’s future, for groups that are usually excluded too.
To achieve the required change, efforts have been coordinated in several areas. One of the main areas is providing support to CBOs to facilitate local development planning and service delivery. Capacity building support is provided in participatory development planning, targeting and selection, participatory monitoring, and social audits to improve CBO performance and delivery of services to target groups. In addition, SCA strengthens the capacity of CBOs to manage community conflicts that may arise because of social, cultural, and natural resource disputes. We also strengthen the capacity of CBOs to advocate for their legitimate needs and rights through capacity building of local change agents, creation, and sustenance of dialogue spaces, and build alliances and partnerships with other actors.