In 2003 Afghanistan developed its National Solidarity Program (NSP) with its international partners including the World Bank. This program was modeled after the PNPM development program in Indonesia. In the first phase of NSP, over 17,000 communities were reached as experts contextualized the resources to the needs of the various communities. In 2007, the NSP underwent a nationalization process in which the international management structure transitioned to the oversight of local and government officials. Rusha Majeed’s interview with Ghulam Rasoul Rasouli in November of 2013 discussed this transitional process for NSP including the challenges associated with development activities at the local level. Among these challenges included managing donor relations and intergovernmental interactions, overseeing the six regional offices and thirty-four provincial offices, and ensuring an efficient disbursement process of funds. Furthermore, this program relied on its facilitating partners including NGOs to assist with implementation of projects at the village level. Part of this nationalization process included designating more authority to the provincial teams with regards to difficult financial decisions. Throughout this process, due-diligence, accountability and transparency have remained paramount aspects of designing and implementing projects at the village level. Additionally, the interview details the three phases of NSP that took place prior to 2013 including the expansion into new communities, given security restraints, and the maintenance of relations in communities that have already received previous NSP grants.
In November of 2013 Mr. Ghulam Rasoul Rasouli was the Director of Operations for Afghanistan’s National Solidarity Program (NSP). Previously, he worked as a reporting officer for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) functioning in the capacity of political, security and development assistance. During his time with UNAMA, in 2005 he had been working frequently with NSP program officials addressing and responding to community needs. After initial reservations, he decided to leave his career with UNAMA to pursue a government career with NSP in order to best serve communities throughout Afghanistan. During his time at NSP he has worked in the capacity of overseeing donor relations prior to becoming Director of Operations.