To Maintain and Strengthen Civil Service Capacity, TAGHIR Replaces CBR

Kabul, 03 December 2018

Given the coming termination of the Capacity-Building for Results (CBR) programme, the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC) will initiate the Tackling Afghanistan’s Government HRM and Institutional Reforms (TAGHIR) programme with a view to sustaining and developing the public administration and its capacity. The three-year programme is financed by the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF).

CBR is due to terminate by end-December 2018. It commenced implementation in 2012 and through it 1,500 people were recruited by 2017. However, only 160 people were employed in the civil service system through CBR by 2016. This means that 75 per cent of CBR budget was transferred to other development projects of the state. After CBR was merged with the IARCSC, the new IARCSC leadership could complete the recruitment ceiling under the programme.

The IARCSC says, “TAGHIR replaces CBR in order to improve human resource planning, recruit staff for key positions on the basis of competence and aptitude as well as maintain and strengthen the capacity of the government ministries and agencies.”

Due to budgetary restrictions and following negotiations with the donors and the decision of the cabinet, it was decided that the limited allocated budget of TAGHIR would be focused on 16 key, revenue-generating and priority line ministries and agencies. To maintain their capacity, the salary pays of those civil servants covered by CBR but not incorporated under TAGHIR will be transferred from a project basis to the official budgets of the relevant government ministries and agencies.

The IARCSC will bi-annually assess the performance of staff recruited through TAGHIR. Failure to meet the commitments will result in a loss in percentage of a line ministry and agency’s new staffing allocation and/or discontinuation of project financing of a percentage of its existing positions. Similarly, if a line ministry and agency does not complete development and approval of its strategic staffing plan for targeted capacity ‘surge’ by agreed dates, it will begin to lose a percentage of its initially allocated positions to the 10 per cent pool. The IARCSC will develop a mechanism for this purpose ahead of project implementation.

TAGHIR will implement creative solutions (enabled by the amended Civil Servants Law), including a hard quota of 10% for women of all new recruitments for each priority line ministry and agency. This is intended to help ensure that at least 10% or aggregate 150 positions of all newly recruited and retained positions under the project are held by women. In addition, civil service positions already held by women under CBR will be sustained by TAGHIR.