Abdul Baqi Popal

General Director of Municipal Affairs,
Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG)
Focus Area(s): 
Civil Service
Critical Tasks: 
Short route accountability
Rushda Majeed
Country of Reform: 
Date of Interview: 
Saturday, November 2, 2013

In this interview, Abdul Baqi Popal discusses his role in designing and implementing the National Solidarity Program (NSP), a rural development program in Afghanistan, as an employee of UN-Habitat. He elaborates on how the roots of the NSP program lay in the Community Fora initiative utilized in Afghanistan in the mid to late 1990s. Popal outlines the basic mechanisms and function of the NSP program, the initial government and UN oversight that took place, and challenging conditions that the team confronted in early stages of the project. Specifically, he discusses winning community trust, changing rural perceptions on voting with the creation of the Community Development Councils (CDCs), and encouraging inclusive consultation procedures in villages. Popal also discusses how the team involved in the NSP program confronted the issue of continuing to function under Taliban rule. Moreover, he addresses prescient modern issues in the NSP program, including how the involvement of various stakeholders in the NSP program, many of which have different goals, has created inefficiencies. Finally, Popal envisions modifications he believes will be necessary in the NSP program moving forward.

Case Study:  Building Trust in Government: Afghanistan's National Solidarity Program, 2002-2013

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Terms of Use
Abdul Baqi Popal
National Solidarity Program
community trust
Community Fora