The Kabul Conference revolutionized the three-sided relationship between Afghan leadership, the United Nations, and the International Community. Decisions taken here injected direction, focus and mutual accountability to the Afghan owned, Afghan led Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS), first presented at Paris in 2008. This new vigor came to be known as the Kabul Process. Building on previous conferences and concepts, the Kabul Process articulated and operationalized National Priority Programs (NPP) as integral to the Afghan National Development Strategy (ANDS). These NPP bring order, effectiveness, and assessment to Afghan strategies, aid management, and action plans to improve utilization of resources and achieve medium to long-term sustainability. Importantly, the NPP focus national priorities with limited resources and capabilities, 3-year implementation plans, costing and budget, identification of likely constraints and methods to resolve them. This approach builds on the rationalized policy frameworks of underlying sectors with three main components:
a) reforms needed.
b) institution building.
c) service delivery.
Twenty-two Afghan NPP promote socio-economic, governance, and security advances with mutual accountability, specified activities, and measurable goals to earn the confidence of the Afghan people. Within the socio-economic, governance, and security dynamics, each NPP connects to other NPP in identifiable clusters that create a network of shared strength and work. Clusters improve prioritization, coordination, program delivery, and reporting requirements. For example, Private Sector and Infrastructure Development clusters bring together relevant ministries to craft clear policy and regulatory environments required to attract investment. In addition to the two clusters above, which provide vital strategic economic thrust, four other clusters support the overarching strategy: Human Resource Development, Agriculture and Rural Development, Governance, and Security.
Just as NPP connect within clusters, the clusters as a whole rely on each other for shared success. If the economic drivers envisioned in Private Sector and Infrastructure developments are to succeed sustainably, Human Resource in terms of training, education, capacity, and health must advance social aspects. Moreover, this Afghan economic strategy correctly includes the overwhelming and critical role that Agriculture and Rural development must play. Further, socio-economic improvement will sputter and fail if Governance does not perform well in its role; six NPP comprise the Governance cluster. Finally, the Security Cluster emphasizes Afghan processes to invite, reconcile with, and reintegrate all Afghans willing to live at a known address within the Afghan Constitution and contribute to rebuilding their homeland, which is what the Kabul Process is designed to do.