ADVOCACY ACTIVITIES- Herat province
Afghan Civil Society Forum organization is an advocacy and coordination based body. Since its establishment ACSFo has been working on advocacy in different provinces of Afghanistan. All these advocacy activities were carried out either under the project or beyond project work plan. Its thematic area mostly covers on youth, disability, good governance, transparency and accountability, environment and natural resource protection, human rights and gender. Advocacy makes an essential framework for the organization, therefore, several strategic approaches and participatory methods are employed to attain achievements in advocacy.
During the month of September ACSFos’ provincial advocacy team conducted several advocacy activities and advocated for citizen’s issues in order to build a strong and sustainable trust among people and encourage citizens to participate in civil society activities.
Advocacy for imprisoned Abdul Waheed DadShani:
- When Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was in Heart and was giving speech in the Herat mosque, a person named Abdul Waheed threw a shoe on him. He was arrested and tortured by Hekmatyar’s security officials and later on was handed over to NDS forces. The Herat Civil Society Organization Network wrote a letter to the governor and organized an advocacy campaign in front of governor’s office which ultimately led to Waheed’s release.
- On 8th of July, Urban Shura meeting was organized to discuss the re-election of the new Shura’a chairman. The meeting was facilitated by Mr. Ashraf Sadat from ACSFo. The mayor of Herat province announced the name of first nominees who candidate themselves for the election. Then this list was referred to the relevant government bodies for the security clearance. After when the clearance took place the candidates agreed to accept the election results.
- On 12th July a press conference was jointly organized by the Civil Society Network to advocate for the restart of Afghanistan Ring Road work which was left unfinished 15 years back due to some reasons given by contractors. The importance of the ring road was emphasized by both Herat Civil Society Network and civil society activists from Badghis and they urged the government to re-begin the construction of the ring road.
- On 16th July the advocacy team attended Urban Council Special Meeting which aimed to advocate for the people of semi-urban areas who were not benefitted in 1396 developmental programs. The meeting had participants from UN Habitat and Citizen’s Charter program.
- On 17th July the Herat advocacy team attended two day consultation, brainstorming, and advocacy workshop in presence of Law Enforcement Institute of Ministry of Justice Chief, ministries advisors, civil society and Herat University lecturers. The main agenda of the meeting was to advocate for changes in Family law.
- On 1st September advocacy team attended a meeting to plan advocacy for resolving the water supply problems in Herat province. Water supply chief, Urban Council, local people and civil society activists jointly organized this meeting at the Herat Urban Council conference room.
- On 6th September the advocacy team attended the first urban council meeting which was chaired by new secretary. The new agenda of the council was prepared and presented based on citizenry values and needs, as per update in year 1395-96, the aim of the meeting was about 57 million US dollars have been allocated to the Heart Developmental plan which will be led by Urban Council and District level.
- On 7th September the advocacy team attended the meeting organized at the Herat Urban Council office. The aim of this meeting was to elect the President, Secretary and deputy for each committee. After the discussion 5 committees’ president, secretary and deputy was elected for one year. Herat Urban Council have 5 committees which have specific roles and responsibilities allocated to each committee so that they can play effective role in their committees.
- On 15th of September Herat advocacy team attended in the meeting was organized to discuss the complains registered to Civil Society Anti-corruption network, claiming that citizen charter program is playing selective role in project classification in Herat province, for the purpose of hearing and resolving the raised concerns citizen charter program responsible representatives were invite to overcome the problem.
Other advocacy activities
On 17th September, ACSFo organized two capacity building programs on good governance and research for 60 civil society individuals and the certificates were awarded to them by French embassy in Kabul.