Keep­ing track of de­vel­op­ment projects

Southasia - - BRIEFING -

Since its troops swept into Afghanistan 12 years ago, the United States has dis­patched hun­dreds of state depart­ment em­ploy­ees to keep track of the mas­sive Amer­i­can in­vest­ment in de­vel­op­ing the coun­try. It seems though that this is now end­ing. The Amer­i­cans have tried to nur­ture the lo­cal ad­min­is­tra­tion to pro­vide sta­bil­ity af­ter US troops leave but some US of­fi­cials say they were re­moved from their re­gional posts while they were still iden­ti­fy­ing im­por­tant prob­lems of cor­rup­tion and abuse.

Now ways are be­ing de­vised to mon­i­tor US-funded projects. For this, the Amer­i­cans may hire pri­vate firms that will sub­mit pho­tos with time and lo­ca­tion stamps to prove they vis­ited the sites. Firms in Kabul might call prov­inces by phone to ask vil­lagers about ed­u­ca­tion and nu­tri­tion. Con­trac­tors might also as­sess the progress of dams or roads by fly­ing over­head and cap­tur­ing aerial im­ages. In re­cent years US of­fi­cials ad­vised the lo­cal govern­ment to im­prove mon­i­tor­ing of de­vel­op­ment projects which have a his­tory of wastage.

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