The UK's foreign policy approach to Afghanistan and Pakistan - Foreign Affairs Committee Contents


Written evidence from Oxfam GB

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1.  In Afghanistan and Pakistan, the UK has provided development support that has contributed to gains in spheres such as healthcare, education and livelihoods. In Afghanistan, the UK has improved its performance since the DFID review of 2008. It has provided long term support for the Afghan National Development Strategy, particularly on governance, rule of law, human rights and poverty reduction. In Pakistan, the UK supports programmes to improve access to better health and education, encourage growth and jobs for poor people, and make government more effective, among other activities.[10] It has also moved relatively quickly to provide substantial support for relief efforts as Pakistan struggles with enormous conflict-related and flood-related humanitarian emergencies.

2.  Nonetheless, it is clear that the challenges remain huge and the stated aims of the UK and its allies remain largely unmet. Security in both countries has deteriorated in recent years with a high cost to civilians. Social, economic and political development has been slow, fragile and limited. Humanitarian crises have hindered development in both countries, and in Afghanistan there have been repeated failures to meet the needs of crisis-affected communities. Endemic corruption and weaknesses in the rule of law have slowed progress and raised risks for vulnerable Afghans and Pakistanis.

3.  Meanwhile, failures in international coordination and political will, as well as some negative influences of stabilisation and counter-insurgency doctrines, have compromised the effectiveness and appropriateness of aid and development work in Afghanistan, amid concerns that Pakistan is now suffering a similar fate.

4.  There is more the UK can do to make sure its approach is as effective and appropriate as possible. It can do this by:

  1. 4.1  Ensuring that its efforts to promote humanitarian relief and development are driven by the needs of Afghan and Pakistani women and men, and not the UK's political or security-related aims - while recognising that relief and development work that meets people's needs can contribute to longer-term peace and stability both at local and international levels;
  2. 4.2  Adhering to and promoting international guidelines on humanitarian action and the use of military and civil defence assets, which stipulate that the participation of military actors and use of their assets in humanitarian and development activities should only be considered a last resort and for a transitional period;
  3. 4.3  Responding to crises in Afghanistan with dedicated humanitarian staff and resources, while employing a well-balanced diversity of funding mechanisms to ensure resources reach frontline aid agencies quickly in both Afghanistan and Pakistan;
  4. 4.4  Working with international and national partners to ensure that institutional transparency and accountability is enhanced and anti-corruption measures are enforced in both countries;
  5. 4.5  Placing coordinated international pressure on the Afghan and Pakistani governments to ensure they fully meet their obligations to end legal discrimination against women and minorities, with transparent and accountable judicial systems supported by effective civilian law enforcement agencies;
  6. 4.6  Working with and influencing international partners, especially the US, to ensure a coordinated and needs-based international approach to Afghanistan's development with effective monitoring, evaluation and adherence to agreed benchmarks;
  7. 4.7  Ensuring the UK and international partners appropriately balance support for strengthening transparent, democratic, civilian state institutions with greater support for civil society, including strong and independent media and women's rights groups, and non-governmental actors capable of holding authorities to account and responding to the needs of crisis-affected communities;
  8. 4.8  Working with international allies and Afghan security forces to ensure respect for International Humanitarian Law and non-combatants' rights to protection and assistance by UK and other forces, including relevant training for Afghan forces, and working with allies to ensure Pakistani military authorities minimise harm to civilians;
  9. 4.9  Ensuring that transparent and effective mechanisms for accountability and recompense are implemented by UK, international and national militaries for civilians who have been harmed or suffered losses in Afghanistan;
  10. 4.10  Supporting the development of accountable Afghan military and civilian law enforcement agencies, rather than promoting militias or community defence forces, whose lack of accountability and potential for violating human rights can worsen fragile local security situations;
  11. 4.11  Actively supporting the search for a lasting political settlement in Afghanistan between all main parties to the conflict. The peace process must involve ordinary men and women and guarantee their rights if peace is to be sustainable and just, with special attention to the rights of women and girls;
  12. 4.12  Working with the international community to ensure that all relevant regional actors are involved in negotiations and that their concerns are addressed in order to achieve a sustainable Afghan peace settlement.

INTRODUCTION TO OXFAM

5.  Oxfam has been in Afghanistan since 1982 and is currently working in 20 of the 34 provinces. Oxfam's partners are strong strategic organisations that, with contributions from other donors, cover all 34 provinces. Oxfam works directly with communities as well as with local partners to help Afghan people pull themselves out of poverty and improve life in their communities. Thematically, we work in the following areas: humanitarian assistance, disaster response and preparedness, rural development and livelihoods (including specific programmes for women), health and education, peace building, social and political participation, and policy and advocacy.

6.  Oxfam has been working in Pakistan since 1973 focusing on education, health, violence against women, livelihoods, and disaster responses. Oxfam and its local partners work across the country. Our programme focuses on land rights and economic opportunities; humanitarian response, disaster risk reduction and climate change; girls education and ending violence against women/gender. Oxfam and its partners also provide support to strengthen civil society voices and roles. An Internally Displaced Persons emergency team has focused on the plight of more than three million civilians affected by conflict since 2008. Oxfam is also one of the leading aid agencies responding to the current floods disaster, providing humanitarian and recovery assistance to more than 1.2 million people since July.

SECURITY AND CIVILIANS IN CONFLICT

7.  With more areas in Afghanistan and Pakistan experiencing increasing insecurity in recent years, the UK's aims of reducing the threat posed by armed insurgents and militant groups to stability and progress and supporting the two respective governments to tackle violent extremism have not been achieved.

8.  According to the UN, the number of security incidents in Afghanistan has increased by 69% on 2009. There were 386 deaths caused by pro-government forces in the first six months on 2010, a welcome decrease of 30%. The number of targeted killings of civilians by anti-government forces has increased to an average of three people per day, up from one per day this time last year. Overall, civilian casualties have increased by 259% since 2006.

9.  In Pakistan, more than three million adults and children have been displaced by conflict between Pakistani security forces and armed militant groups since mid-2008. Reliable data on civilian fatalities are hard to come by but it is believed that during 2009, military operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and the formerly named Northwest Frontier Province killed approximately 1,150 civilians, while militant attacks in those regions killed a further 825 civilians. The civilian death tolls reported in 2008 and 2009 are significantly higher than in previous years.[11]

10.  It is essential that all military actors, whether in Afghanistan or Pakistan, meet their legal obligations to minimise harm to non-combatants while conducting combat operations.

11.  With combat operations in both countries widely perceived to be tied to western political and security aims, the negative impact on civilian lives and livelihoods has inflamed much public opinion both in Afghanistan and in Pakistan against Western actors including the UK. This occurs even when harm or abuses affecting civilians are committed by national security forces.

12.  Civilian casualties in both countries have fostered negative attitudes towards the UK, often deemed guilty by association if not by direct involvement. This is one reason why other actors regarded as western in terms of character or influence, including humanitarian and development agencies such as Oxfam, face increased risks. Workers for international aid agencies have been targeted in both countries, leading aid organisations to lower their visibility, restricting their ability to counter rising negative perceptions. This, alongside other factors, has had a negative impact on aid actors' ability to ensure that crisis-affected people receive assistance and to support much needed development in both countries.

13.  The situation is exacerbated by the failure of the UK, the international community and the two national governments to ensure that transparent and effective mechanisms for accountability and recompense have been implemented to ensure civilians caught in conflict are appropriately protected and, if necessary, can achieve equitable redress.

14.  In Afghanistan, ISAF has recently taken significant steps to correct this by issuing a directive in June with guidelines for uniform investigation and compensation procedures for all troop-contributing countries. The UK should formally adopt these procedures and comply with them in all instances of allegations of civilian harm. The Afghan government has its own funds and procedures but these have proved ineffective.

15.  Moreover, the UK and the international community must pursue a transition process in Afghanistan that ensures that national security forces have effective mechanisms for accountability and redress for harm done to civilians; Afghan commanders and security forces must receive effective training and supervision from ISAF to safeguard non-combatants' rights.

16.  Supporting the development of professional, accountable militaries and civilian law enforcement agencies is far preferable to promoting militias or community defence forces. Experience from around the world and from Afghanistan since the Soviet occupation indicates that any short-term political gains from community defence initiatives are likely to be outweighed by their potential for violating human rights. There is a risk of infiltration, exploitation or co-option by militants, warlords or criminal groups while steps to empower certain tribes, communities or power-holders could easily exacerbate already fragile security situations.

THE STATE OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT

17.  Although development gains have occurred in recent years in Afghanistan and Pakistan in areas such as healthcare, education and economic growth, insufficient progress has been made in addressing the underlying causes of chronic crises, or in alleviating severe poverty in rural areas in both countries.

18.  Many Afghans continue to live in dire poverty: up to 30% are unemployed and a third of Afghans are food insecure and extremely vulnerable to crises. Just 27% of Afghans have access to safe drinking water and only 5% have access to improved sanitation. In the largely insecure south, an estimated half a million Afghans lack access to even basic healthcare services.

19.  In areas where Afghans have seen progress, such as healthcare and education, these gains are being rapidly eroded due to insecurity, corruption and lack of long-term donor commitment. An estimated 70% of schools in Helmand are closed, not only because of security-related factors but also owing to a lack of qualified teachers. This last point hints at a typical problem seen in Afghanistan: the emphasis on short-term visible results, often linked to a "heart and minds" approach that neglects the longer-term work that is needed to make development sustainable.

20.  Attacks on Afghan schools and other challenges are beginning to erode progress made in the education sector. Although the Afghan Ministry of Education reports that three million girls are enrolled in schools, experts estimate the figure is rapidly decreasing and may be as low as 1.5 million.

21.  The weakness of Afghan state institutions - characterised by a lack of qualified human resources, a dominant patron-client tradition, the continued power exerted by warlords, political bargaining, and corruption - has been a brake on development progress.

22.  The situation has been compounded by the approach of the international community in Afghanistan, which has lacked coordination and coherence and generally failed - despite a series of international conferences - to address the concerns of ordinary Afghans on the basis of a shared needs-based analysis and strategy.

23.  The Kabul conference and the 23 national priority programmes presented by the government there represented a renewed attempt to form a cohesive national development strategy and to reorganize the government ministries into clusters. However, the programmes seemingly failed to acknowledge the mistakes of the past, and less than three months later, that attempt is already faltering.

24.  State-building objectives have tended to result in highly centralised, top down government that lacks responsiveness and accountability to Afghans across the country. At the same time, the role of Provincial Reconstruction Teams in conducting development activities (which should properly be carried out by national or local state institutions and their civil society partners) has, in general, contributed to the undermining of the state's role and perceptions of its legitimacy.

25.  In both countries, sustainable progress both in making state institutions more capable and responsive and in pursuing development more generally must involve a strong civil society (including an effective, independent media) - one that is capable of monitoring and evaluating the performance of the state and other service providers, and able to hold authorities to account. Unfortunately, the international community has long neglected this obvious truth.

26.  In Pakistan, approximately 23% of people remain below the official poverty line,[12] and 55% of Pakistanis are illiterate - for women the illiteracy rate is 65%. In the FATA region, female literacy is a shameful 3%. Pakistan has the fifth highest number of deaths of children under five years, and the sixth highest number of maternal deaths in the world. Land issues - relating to inequitable access and control of land and resources - have trapped millions of rural Pakistanis in poverty.[13] Modest development gains made with respect to economic growth, poverty, health, education, food security and other areas have been dealt severe blows by the major recent humanitarian crises caused by conflict and floods.

27.  Additionally, development progress in Pakistan has long been compromised by the historic lack of international support for democratic, civilian institutions and civil society (as distinct from the often substantial support for the Pakistani military). This has contributed to Pakistan's civilian institutions having insufficient capacity to respond effectively to the needs of its citizens. Hence, although the increase in the education budget in recent years is a welcome move, the state has struggled to spend the extra money, while problems such as the lack of trained teachers, inequitable school access, and curriculum issues persist.

28.  Development progress in Pakistan in recent years has also been hampered by the recent global economic crisis, militant violence, political instability, and humanitarian disasters. Budgetary priorities have shifted from social sector interventions to security to address growing instability. Pakistan's complex and insecure political landscape has also meant its leaders have spent considerable energy in domestic political battles that might otherwise have been directed towards tackling the country's development needs.

HUMANITARIAN NEEDS AND RESPONSES

29.  Humanitarian needs in Afghanistan, whether arising from conflict-related displacement or natural hazards, have been largely unmet - particularly in the south and east. An estimated nine million Afghans now live in conflict areas, often in desperate conditions with little support while donors and many aid organizations have failed to adjust their programming or establish access to insecure areas to ensure that these individuals receive humanitarian aid.

30.  DFID does not have anyone in Afghanistan solely dedicated to humanitarian issues and does not have a specific budget line for humanitarian activities. This gap has prevented the UK from fully using its influence, for example, to encourage UN agencies to perform more effectively. DFID did commission a humanitarian assessment in 2008, recognising the crises affecting Afghans, but no visible action was taken to act upon the findings of this assessment or adjust programming to address some of its concerns, despite a subsequent budget increase. Although DFID should be commended for its recently renewed commitment to meeting humanitarian needs, it is still unclear what this will entail.

31.  In Pakistan, conflict caused more than three million people to flee their homes in the north and west in 2008-09 before unprecedented floods swept much of the country this year, affecting over 20 million people. The UK's support for humanitarian responses has been relatively substantial and timely. DFID and other UK departments have also played a positive advocacy role among the international donor community.

32.  However, DFID's preference for supporting Pakistani government capacity and its reliance on cumbersome UN-managed processes for disbursing funds have often led to frontline aid agencies struggling for resources that would enable them to respond with the speed and agility, which is normally their comparative advantage.

UK POLICY AND INSTRUMENTALISED AID

33.  International aid and security objectives have often been intertwined, notably during the Cold War. However, particularly after the 9/11 attacks, the belief has grown in western political circles that weak and fragile states, characterised by poor governance, poverty and conflict, pose a serious security threat. This has led to an increasing trend of using aid to secure political and security aims.

34.  This trend is based on certain assumptions, notably that poverty and illiteracy are major drivers of conflict and extremism, and that western aid can not only "win hearts and minds" but also promote stability and thus reduce security threat levels. Such beliefs have heavily influenced stabilisation, counterterrorism and counter-insurgency polices of western states under US leadership, as well as the flow and allocation of overseas aid.[14]

35.  However, although evidence suggests that tackling fundamental issues such as poverty and injustice can contribute to improved security and stability in the long-term, there is scant evidence to support the notion that using aid for short-term counter-insurgency objectives, force protection, or to win hearts and minds is actually effective.

36.  In Afghanistan, politics, rather than the needs and aspirations of Afghans, have too often dictated UK policies. DFID can be commended for having a longer-term focus and devoting approximately 80% of their funds to much-needed projects outside Helmand. However, Oxfam is concerned that the FCO and others are increasingly prioritising funding for short-term security activities in Helmand. Oxfam is also concerned that funds such as the Conflict Pool - for which DFID provides the majority of funding - are increasingly being used for activities that do not qualify as Overseas Development Assistance, such as equipment for the Afghan national police force,[15] or for short-term stabilisation objectives rather than longer-term conflict prevention.[16]

37.  The UK government's approach to Afghanistan is increasingly focused on state-building and counterinsurgency. However, the effectiveness and appropriateness of using aid mainly to achieve short-term stability and win hearts and minds as part of a counter-insurgency approach is highly questionable; indeed, a growing body of research indicates that aid does not contribute to these short-term security objectives. Aid used this way tends to be spent inefficiently and fails to bring real benefits to recipient communities. This short-term, politicised focus also means that less UK aid money is being spent on programmes that meet Afghan needs and in ways that can sustainably alleviate poverty and address the underlying causes of chronic crises.

38.  In Pakistan, Oxfam is concerned that the UK is increasingly considering and advocating similar stabilisation approaches. Much of Pakistan, not only the long neglected FATA and Balochistan regions, is in urgent need of greater and more equitable social, economic and political development (as well as substantial humanitarian relief and reconstruction assistance in relation to its overlapping conflict and flood-related crises). However, the focus on stabilisation objectives risks fostering a blinkered view that ignores numerous factors driving poverty, injustice, militancy, and instability.

AID EFFECTIVENESS

39.  The planned 40% increase in UK aid for Afghanistan is a welcome move that can help meet Afghan people's humanitarian and development needs - provided that it is used appropriately and effectively. UK aid should be directed towards not only national but sub-national levels, and prioritise the strengthening of Afghan civil society roles, livelihoods in the neglected rural sector, as well as promoting the rights of women. Building the capacity of Afghan institutions is essential.

40.  Although the DFID strategy focuses on support to the Afghan National Development Strategy (ANDS), this support has been characterised by insufficient monitoring and evaluation. The UK strategy emphasises a "hard hitting" approach with "clear and realistic objectives with clear metrics of success," but this has rarely been the case in practice. Donors, including the UK, have all but abandoned meeting the benchmarks set out in the ANDS and the Afghan Ministry of Finance cannot even measure progress against them owing to a lack of data from donors.[17]

41.  Recent decisions by the UK to provide more support for civil society development in Afghanistan are very late but welcome. A strong civil society (including an effective, independent media) has a critical role to play monitoring the state's performance of the state and holding authorities to account. However, such investments will take time to yield results and must be implemented as soon as possible, in coordination with other major donors.

42.  DFID should be commended for recent moves to improve its consultative engagement with aid and development organisations working in Afghanistan.

43.  Provincial Reconstruction Team aid projects (including those involving British PRTs) delivered to meet short-term security objectives in Afghanistan have in many cases been poorly-targeted, expensive and unsustainable.

44.  The role and presence of pro-government military actors in PRT projects also inadvertently labels communities and aid workers who are associated with such activities as targets for attack by anti-government forces. Further transfers of development and relief activities to PRTs, the Military Stabilisation Support Group, or new PRT-type civil-military units will exacerbate these problems.

45.  Existing international guidelines, as well as those specifically agreed by ISAF, must continue to apply to UK aid, ensuring that military actors and assets should only deliver humanitarian aid as a last resort, in the absence of any civilian alternative. When military actors are required to perform relief work, such activities must be transferred to civilian hands as soon as possible. Development activities should remain civilian-led and civilian-delivered whenever possible; military contributions should be limited to providing a secure environment for communities and aid workers.

46.  In Pakistan, DFID's strategies have been reasonably well-aligned to national poverty strategies. However, the welcome emphasis on budget support, accounting for just over half of its Pakistan spending in recent years, should be balanced and complemented by stronger support for non-governmental organisations and civil society actors, which have an important role to play in areas such as budget monitoring. Civil society organisations are better placed to address urgent needs more quickly but have been left under-resourced at the critical, early phase of emergencies. Such organisations also have a crucial role to play with respect to Pakistan's flood reconstruction programmes, as well as monitoring the implementation of existing social protection schemes.[18] The UK needs to find the right balance of support for governmental and non-governmental actors.

CORRUPTION AND RULE OF LAW

47.  Corruption in Afghanistan is getting worse: Afghanistan ranked 117 of 159 countries on Transparency International's Corruption Index in 2008 but had fallen to second to last place by 2009. Current efforts at improving governance have largely failed to deliver and weak or corrupt governance has fuelled public distrust and anger. Yet not a single high level official has been investigated and successfully tried for corruption and a law that would enable the prosecution of government ministers exists in draft form only.

48.  Rule of law in Afghanistan remains weak and progress on building the capacity of the informal justice system has been slow. The formal justice system remains weak and inaccessible, and many traditional dispute resolution mechanisms, upon which the majority of Afghans rely, have been overlooked. Although the government, in wide consultation with human rights groups, the international community and civil society, successfully agreed upon a policy on informal justice in November 2009, it was never implemented and efforts were abandoned soon after the arrival of a new Minister of Justice.

49.  Corruption in Pakistan also appears to be worsening. Transparency International ranked Pakistan 139th among 180 countries in its 2009 Corruption Perception Index. Corruption has had a detrimental effect on economic growth, according to the World Bank, and threatens political stability, with most Pakistanis seeing the previous military-led regime as less corrupt than today's civilian counterpart.[19] Nonetheless, the UK and its international partners have put insufficient effort into making sure that institutional transparency is enhanced and anti-corruption measures are enforced.

50.  In Pakistan, the clarity and predictability of the rule of law is undermined by the tensions between secular law and courts, religious law and judicial mechanisms, and tribal traditions. Additionally, the Pakistani constitution still does not apply to people in FATA. The region has been subject to rules derived from the Frontier Crimes Regulation: a highly repressive set of laws drawn up by the British Raj in 1848 (with minor modifications since then). The federal government has moved to repeal the FCR but the process remains incomplete. Across Pakistan, police forces are widely seen as corrupt and prone to committing abuses.

51.  In both countries, laws that discriminate against women in particular remain a serious concern. In Afghanistan, moves to pass highly discriminatory laws that violate women's human rights have raised concerns that the rights of women will be ignored in future peace negotiations.[20] This risk increases the importance for the UK and others to ensure that ordinary Afghan men and women's voices are effectively represented in such negotiations - and that any future political settlement guarantees their rights.

52.  In Pakistan, legal discrimination against women and religious minorities both reflects historic and cultural prejudices and continues to sustain them. Violence against women - including incidents such as abduction, murder rape, "honour" killings, sexual assault, stove burning, and acid throwing - is rife. Sectarian strife has increased in recent years with different religious minorities suffering numerous attacks on places of worship and gatherings. In the first week of September 2010, at least 110 people were reported killed and over 440 injured in five attacks. Four attacks were against Shia Muslims; the fifth targeted the Ahmediya sect.

PEACE AND REINTEGRATION IN AFGHANISTAN

53.  It is now widely accepted that there can be no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. The UK government should therefore more actively support the search for a political settlement involving all the main parties to the conflict and relevant regional actors. Additionally, any framework for peace must guarantee the rights of women, men and children, and the freedoms Afghans regained after the fall of the Taliban. Ordinary Afghan men and women must have an effective voice in peace processes, e.g. through meaningful consultation with representative members of civil society.

54.  At the London Conference earlier this year, over $100 million was pledged to a reintegration trust fund targeting insurgents and a reintegration program has been approved (the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program, APRP). However, without a political process that involves and is accepted by all parties to the conflict, such initiatives are likely to have little impact and may even exacerbate the violence.

55.  Current plans for a reintegration of insurgents and reconciliation ignore the need for a broader peace deal tackling the underlying causes of the conflict, and are unlikely to be successful. Oxfam has serious concerns about the protection and human rights implications of the plans. Not all insurgents are hard-line ideologues, and many are motivated by genuine grievances, such as corruption, lack of access to justice and civilian casualties. Yet, current reintegration plans make little mention of how these grievances, or grievances within communities, will be addressed - a flaw that has undermined many previous reintegration schemes. Previous schemes have failed, in part, because they were not part of a broader political process to engage the leadership of anti-government factions and regional actors. No such political process currently exists.

56.  In addition, the proposal to use the National Solidarity Programme as the main mechanism for local ex-insurgent reintegration risks politicising what is one of the most successful development efforts in Afghanistan and making it a target for insurgent attacks. A number of NGOs, who are implementing agencies in the NSP, may feel obliged to withdraw from the programme.

57.  Dialogue is critical to bringing about peace, but current "reconciliation" initiatives are far from the genuine peace process many Afghans long for. If ordinary Afghans are not involved in the process and do not have confidence in it, it is unlikely to be sustainable because they must ultimately live with the outcome. If it does not have their backing or reflect their aspirations, the process will not only be illegitimate but could lead to greater conflict.

LESSONS FOR THE UK'S FUTURE FOREIGN POLICY APPROACH TO INSECURE STATES

58.  Although inter-departmental coordination can improve UK action to remove obstacles to development, cross-Whitehall integration of MOD/FCO/DFID activities and the oversight of the National Security Council may increase the risk of aid in fragile states being allocated according to security priorities, rather than where it can tackle severe poverty and humanitarian need. Allocating aid according to national security objectives risks undermining the overall poverty-reduction results of UK aid. It may also limit the extent to which UK aid may help reduce future instability "upstream", concentrating aid instead on current strategic priority countries, which tend to be where states and societies are already weak, and violence is already endemic.

59.  PRT aid projects delivered for short-term security objectives in Afghanistan, have in many cases been poorly targeted, expensive and unsustainable, while also putting communities and aid workers associated with such activities at risk of attack by anti-government forces. This reinforces the point that, whenever possible and in accordance with international guidelines, relief and development activities should be carried out by civilian aid actors, who have relevant experience and expertise.

60.  Experience in Afghanistan and Pakistan shows that support to the police and judiciary alone cannot deliver security and justice to women while their rights, security from violence and access to justice are blocked by discrimination reflected in illiteracy, lack of income, legal discrimination, lack of legal representation, and long-standing social and cultural attitudes. Tackling these complex issues should involve supporting civil society, and reforming security and justice institutions, at the local as well as the national level. Results indicators for this work must reflect not just the institutional performance of formal state institutions, but their accountability and responsiveness to citizens' needs, their relationship to civil society, and the experience and capability of citizens in holding them to account.

61.  Working in fragile states can take time to deliver results. Therefore, the UK should be prepared to commit to programmes that may show slower results for a given spend than in other settings. Value-for-money should not mean that capacity-building, governance and civil society support lose out against the faster or more easily measurable results that infrastructure and basic services projects can show.

7 October 2010



10   The task of assessing the effectiveness and appropriateness of UK polices is made difficult by a lack of comprehensive, accessible information about how the various elements of the UK state have conducted themselves and allocated resources. This appears at least partly a result of complexities (and perhaps institutional territorial behaviour) arising from the tri-departmental approach. Back

11   According to the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies, there was a total of 12,600 violent deaths across the country in 2009, 14 times more than in 2006. Back

12   Poverty estimates vary. The poverty line is the minimum level of income deemed necessary to achieve an adequate standard of living. In Pakistan, this was calculated at US$16 approx per adult per month in 2009 (Source: UNDP). Back

13   The Sindh government's land distribution programme, prioritising women peasants, is the kind of approach that should be more systematically applied across Pakistan to begin reducing poverty and bringing about wider social changes in rural areas.  Back

14   Afghanistan and Pakistan are projected to be the first and second largest recipients of US foreign aid in the world according to the US FY2011 Budget Request. Back

15   UK FCO, Human Rights Report 2009, p.33. Back

16   House of Lords, Written Ministerial Statements, 25 March 2010. Of the £178.5 million allocated to the Conflict Pool in 2010-11, £82 million was for activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan: by far the largest regional allocation. Back

17   The UK has performed well in submitting expenditure data to the Afghan Ministry of Finance but somewhat less so on reporting against agreed benchmarks. Back

18   The Benazir Bhutto Income Support Programme can be a key social security scheme to alleviate poverty but effective monitoring by civil society organisations is required to ensure its success. Back

19   Corruption Perception Survey (NCPS) 2010 by Transparency International. Back

20   After international pressure, President Hamid Karzai amended a draft Shia Personal Status Law in 2009 that would have legalised marital rape. However, the amended version retained many repressive and inhumane articles, such as giving a husband the right to withdraw basic maintenance from his wife, including food, if she refused to obey his sexual demands. Back


 
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