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“Listen to the voice of the people”: Afghan perspectives on legislative bodies, access to information, and protecting women's rights

Report | November 21, 2019

“I would tell them (the Members of Parliament) to listen to the voice of people and they
should not focus on their personal interest alone” Older man, Kabul.

The Afghan experience with parliamentary democracy has been brief and turbulent. The process of creating an entirely new parliamentary body in a conflict-ridden country with few people with any legislative knowledge or experience was extremely challenging. Beyond citizen’s relationship to parliament itself, the body confronts many contentious issues, including access to information and women’s rights. 

Consequently, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) instituted a series of legislative strengthening programs, culminating, with the Assistance to Legislative Bodies (ALBA) Program, administered by Development Alternatives Incorporated (DAI). Work under ALBA is designed to “support the development of the Afghan Parliament to enable it to operate as an effective legislative, representative and oversight body.”

In order to explore perceptions of parliament and the provincial councils, as well public opinion toward these laws so that it could be taken into account by the Parliament, Charney Research conducted 12 focus groups and 12 in-depth interviews (IDIs) in Afghanistan in 2015 for DAI.

Download full report here: Report – Listen to the Voice of the People – Afghan ALBA Focus Group study

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