The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, working together with Creative Associates and Counterpart International, organized a televised roundtable in Afghanistan in May, 2006. This program on civil society was broadcast to a national audience with tremendous success, according to NGO and community feedback. It was designed to raise awareness among viewers of the value and importance of civil society, the activities of the NGO sector and the accountability and transparency of the sector, as well as the new NGO law. The CEO of Afghanistan’s largest NGO umbrella group called the program “the first initiative in 25 years highlighting NGO activities as civil society actors.”
ICNL also completed a survey of the re-registration process that NGOs underwent following the enactment of the new NGO Law last year. Through focus group meetings with NGOs in Kabul, and the distribution of survey questionnaires, ICNL was able to solicit critical feedback on the registration process, as well as other implementation concerns.
In addition, ICNL worked again with Counterpart and local partners to conduct a seminar on the NGO Law and NGO Code of Conduct. Participants were notably diverse, including 14 members of the National Assembly, ministry officials, donors and NGO representatives. Encouragingly, the Head of the Economic Commission (National Assembly) pledged that the parliamentary review of the NGO Law would be transparent and invited inputs from ICNL and the NGO community. ICNL’s role in Afghanistan was remarked favorably upon by the Government speaker, Head of NGO Department, and the National Assembly member.
ICNL continues our innovative work in Afghanistan with further NGO Law training and lawyer training. Additionally, we will cooperate with local partners in the near future to create an “operational sourcebook for NGOs”, which will contain information on a variety of legal and operational issues, including employment, taxation, visa requirements, etc.
ICNL is operating in Afghanistan through the USAID-funded Initiative to Promote Afghan Civil Society (I-PACS), which is led by Counterpart International. ICNL wishes to express its gratitude to USAID and Counterpart for their tremendous support and cooperation. In addition, ICNL expresses its appreciation to all local partners.