12.04.2007 - Article
Afghanistan: SDC support for police-force rebuilding
Over 60,000 policemen have been recruited to maintain law and order in their country – no easy job in a politically sensitive and unstable environment. The SDC contribution is a computer system – a gigantic technological leap forward - which will ensure policemen receive their salaries transparently and reliably.The scene is the Afghan Ministry of Interior in Kabul. Rubble-strewn stairs and corridors lead down to the basement where, in a windowless back room, a good two dozen men hunch over computer screens. They have just completed a 20-day introductory electronic data processing (EDP) course and are now broadening their skills.
The course participants are just some of the 262 policemen nationwide receiving computer training to enable them to process their colleagues' salary payments electronically. Thirty-two of Afghan's 34 provinces have now introduced the "Electronic Payroll System". The project is part of LOTFA (see box below) and is being funded by the SDC. In the past, the Ministry of Interior recorded staff salary payments and personal data in what was by western standards an archaic system, with hand-written lists – a complicated, bureaucratic approach that was also open to corruption. Explaining the SDC's commitment, Christoph Graf, Head of the South Asia Division, said "Corruption is a huge problem in Afghanistan where state structures are still weak. The computer system funded by us promotes transparency in the Ministry of Interior's financial affairs." SDC support for LOTFA also includes a donor-country coordination contribution: "Switzerland is providing a small but significant building block in the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA). With EDP and the focus on women's issues, it is financing key police rebuilding projects. At the same time, the Swiss contribution is not just disappearing into a big "police reform" pot but remains clearly visible and identifiable", Christoph Graf adds.
The police payroll computer system has been designed as a model that can be applied in other Ministries, like the Ministry of Education which, with its schools and teaching staff, is just as strongly represented nationwide as the Ministry of Interior with its police stations.
|LOTFA (Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan) is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in cooperation with the Afghan Ministry of Interior. The government attaches high priority to rebuilding a professional police force. The major donors are the USA and the EU. Under the LOTFA umbrella, the SDC is funding the police electronic payroll system and supporting women's issues, such as training policewomen and setting up reporting centres for women victims of violence.|
Additional Information and Documents
The SDC has been working to support the people of Afghanistan for more than 30 years. Since the over...