The name of the audit says it all, don’t you think?
“Promoting Gender Equity in National Priority Programs (Promote): USAID Needs to Assess This $216 Million Program’s Achievements and the Afghan Government’s Ability to Sustain Them”
There was so much excitement at the time of the program’s announcement by the then USAID’s Administrator at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), which I remember well. It was a grandiose $216 million project with the expectation that other international donors would contribute an additional $200 million in funds. SIGAR’s recommendations are three:
1. Conduct an overall assessment of Promote and use the results to adjust the program and measure future program performance….
2. Provide written guidance and training to contracting officer’s representatives on maintaining records in a consistent, accurate manner. …
3. Conduct a new sustainability analysis for the program.
Of the SIGAR recommendations to USAID above, I find #2 quite sad, because in my experience, record keeping has deteriorated to the point of oblivion. Institutional knowledge has waned in many organizations, whether they belong to the private sector or the public one.
Anyone involved in government contracting work ought to read this audit, because it highlights some major flaws in how we run (or not!) multi-million dollar taxpayer-funded programs.
You can read more about the audit at the Stars and Stripes.
Below is an illustration from a booklet published by IDLO a few years ago that was used by the Afghan Attorney General’s office to explain the Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women. It provides a glimpse of what was then the educational campaign needed to reach the many rural and remote provinces, communities and government officials who did not know about the laws affecting the rights of women.
The OECD has interesting statistics that show countries’ ranks in the world of violence against women (VAW). In 2014 Jamaica appears as the least violent country, while Guinea appears to have been last. The World Health Organization (WHO) produced an Ethical and and safety recommendations for intervention research on domestic violence against women, which focuses on “health-based interventions to address VAW…”. The WHO Infographics shows why VAW has health-based repercussions.
Keeping things in perspective, from an international development lens, it was not until 1994 that the U.S. Government enacted the Violence Against Women’s Act, and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) did not open until a year later.
Of note: Even though the U.S. Government has not ratified the UN’s 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), many U.S. Government funded Rule of Law programs incorporate CEDAW in their gender-based and VAW projects. By the way, Afghanistan ratified CEDAW on March 5th, 2003.