Italian Contribution to National Solidarity Programme
Italian Contribution to
National Solidarity Programme
The Importance of Being a Protagonist
First published in August 2011 by Italian Development Cooperation Office ‐ Italian
Embassy, Kabul, Afghanistan.
We would like to thank the Public Communication Department of the National Solidarity
Programme of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development for its support.
MESSAGE FROM ALBERTO BORTOLAN, DIRECTOR OF ITALIAN
DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION OFFICE
Director of Italian Development Cooperation
Herat, Farah, Wardak, Kabul, Logar, Badghis and Bamyan. This year we have accom‐
plished an extensive monitoring of subprojects in 130 communities and we had
the chance to talk with beneficiaries and collect voices from the field. Some of
them are reported in this booklet and tell stories of success , meaningful improve‐
ments in daily life to be considered as a result of the integrated and untiring com‐
mitment to NSP from Italian and Afghan people.
Despite common efforts of Afghan government
and international community, path towards de‐
velopment is still a long. Among implemented
actions, National Solidarity Programme is an
example of success able to generate a virtuous
mechanism to respond to necessities of rural
communities: a system that involves villagers
since the needs identification process and
makes them promoters and protagonists of
their own development. People come first, this
is the heart of NSP strategy supported and
shared by Italy, as a donor. Italian Develop‐
ment Cooperation has been financing more
than 1500 subprojects in 1200 communities in
MESSAGE FROM MOHAMMAD TARIQ ISMATI, EXECUTIVE
have promoted productive partnership for supporting rural communities through
the Italian Development Cooperation Office. The NSP and the people of Afghani‐
stan would like to express their sincere gratitude to the government and people of
Italy for their generous support. Through the partnership with international com‐
munity, the NSP has not only improved the living standards of the rural people, but
also developed a governance mechanism through the establishment of Community
Development Councils (CDCs). The programme’s key achievements are building so‐
cial capital, physical infrastructure, and institutional capacity of rural communities
leading to the nationwide socio‐economic development. The NSP makes continuous
effort to strengthen rural development and local governance through CDCs. It is
also sure that CDCs significantly contribute to the promotion of peace and stability
in Afghanistan, which is our common goal.
The National Solidarity Programme
of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilita‐
tion and Development (MRRD/NSP)
is a successful community‐driven de‐
velopment programme which is be‐
ing implemented in partnership with
various international partners includ‐
ing the Government of Italy.
The NSP and the Italian Government
Mohammad Tariq Ismati
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Italian Development Cooperation in Afghanistan..…..…..6
NSP at a glance.…………………………………………….……..………7
Voices from the field……...……………….………………………..….9
Focus on Herat province…..….………………………………...….12
Herat: Spots of the best practices…….….……………………..14
ITALIAN DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION IN AFGHANISTAN
Italian Development Cooperation strives
to realize effective interventions to con‐
tribute to the fragile stabilization process
of Afghanistan, with a perspective of ca‐
pacity building aimed at sustainable de‐
velopment and Afghan ownership.
From the end of 2001 to date, more than
500 million euros have been committed
to multilateral and bilateral initiatives.
First cooperation interventions were
emergency projects to which develop‐
ment initiatives have been added during
Currently, August 2011, there are 49 on‐
going projects for a total amount of 217
million euros in the following sectors of
Gender and social protection
Agriculture and rural development
Good governance and security.
Photo: Luca Formentini
NSP at a Glance
Inaugurated in 2003 by the Ministry of Rural
Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD)
with the financial support of the World
Bank, the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust
Fund (ARTF) and other bilateral donors. The
NSP has become the government’s flagship
programme for reconstruction and develop‐
ment of Afghanistan’s villages.
The key objective of NSP is to build,
strengthen and maintain Community Devel‐
opment Councils (CDCs) as effective institu‐
tions for local governance and social‐
Since 2003, the NSP has established 27,887
CDCs in all of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces and
has financed over 57,718 development pro‐
jects, selected by CDCs, like karez (irrigation
canal) rehabilitation, bridge construction,
power line supply, etc. (as per August 9th
To mobilize capacity for implementation,
NSP has engaged 28 international/national
NGOs and one UN agency as Facilitating
Partners (FPs). Most FPs also focus on con‐
flict resolution and prevention skills during
the early phase of community mobilization,
and many villagers have approved the im‐
portance of such activities in the war‐torn
Photo: Luca Formentini
NSP Phase III: What is new?
Completion of the roll out of initial
CDC block grants to the remaining
estimated 16,000 communities so to
cover all rural communities in Af-
A second round of grants provided
to around 12,000 CDCs that have
successfully used their initial block
Focus on women empowerment and
2003 – 2006: NSP Phase I
2007‐2010 : NSP Phase II
Abdul wanted safe water for
Jawed a street to reach the
Lailuma wished to learn
how to read and write.
Their community helped
We just gave them the
possibility to do it.
ABOUT ITALIAN CONTRIBUTION TO NSP
Italian Development Cooperation has been supporting the National Solidarity
Programme since 2008 with 20 million Euros grant for the provinces of Herat,
Farah, Wardak, Kabul, Logar, Badghis and Bamyan. More than 1500 subpro‐
jects have been financed or co‐financed in 1200 communities by Italian funds.
Photo: Laura Salvinelli
VOICES FROM THE FIELD
Location: Village of Haji Mirza Abdul Baqi, in Injil district of Herat province.
Project sector: Water supply and sanitation.
Before the extension of the National Solidarity
Programme to this village, families had been
suffering from numerous waterborne diseases
like dysentery, and gastritis. Moreover, they
had to spend a lot of time fetching water.
The CDC members in close consultation with
the villagers gave top priority to the construc‐
tion of a safe drinking water supply network
that has been funded by the Italian contribu‐
The people elected a hard‐working Community
Development Council (CDC) through an open
and democratic election process which really
witnessed the participation of both male and
female community members.
Italy’s support to NSP by sectors
The CDC cashier: "People are very proud of
their choice. Since the water supply network
installation, families have become more com‐
fortable with their daily life. They have easy
access to safe potable water and do not have
to worry about waterborne diseases."
Location: Qala‐e‐Sidiq village, Baraki Barak district of Logar province.
Project sector: Water supply and sanitation.
Facts and figures
Herat is the province that re-
ceives the majority of Italian
Transport is the main sector of
Mohammad Karim, one of the villagers said: "Prior to the implementation of the
safe water projects by the NSP, there wasn't any potable water in the area and
women used to bring water from a remote village, located about 2‐3 kilometers
away. Now, there is a well in front of each cluster of 10‐15 families. Hence, all in‐
habitants of Qala‐e‐Sidiq village are extremely grateful to the NSP, especially to Italy
for its help in terms of provision of safe drinking water for them."
There are 146 families in this village.
Most of its residents earn their living
from agriculture and livestock.
The CDC members came together and
after considerable discussion, they
decided to excavate a number of
drinking water wells because access
to healthy water was a prerequisite of
Location: Sar Aab village, Karukh district of Herat province.
Project sector: Power.
One member of the CDC: "The project has contributed to the improvement in liveli‐
hood and income of the villagers, because families do not have to spend money to
purchase fuel, they save it and reinvest it in their activities".
Bismillah, as many other inhabitants of the village, benefited from the construction
of the micro‐hydro power plant. Since there was no need to use money for fuel, he
could increase his herd with positive effects for his life and his family. As he tells:
“Before implementation of the project I had 40 goats and sheep. Now, I have 70 of
them and I am really thankful for the Italian contribution to the National Solidarity
FOCUS ON HERAT PROVINCE
A look at implemented projects
Main sector of intervention is water supply network construction with 209 projects.
Irrigation and transport are also top areas with high numbers of implemented pro‐
jects by communities, as shown in the following chart.
Commitment to districts in Herat province
Herat province is the hub of the Italian Cooperation activities in the Western Re‐
gion and it is also considered to be one of the high priority provinces, together with
Farah and Badghis, for Italian commitment to NSP.
Since 2008, approximately 773 subprojects have been implemented in almost all 15
districts of the province.
Number of subprojects per sector financed by Italian grant in Herat province
Herat: Spots of the best practices
How do our funded projects affect communities?
The NSP has received the World Bank’s Annual ‘People First’ award for its vari-
ous achievements against its stated objectives, in March 2011.
Provinces of Afghanistan where the National Solidarity Programme is supported by Italy.
Afghanistan by numbers
Surface: 652,230 KM²
Population: about 32 million
Principal ethnic groups: 42% Pashtuns; 27% Tajiks;
9% Hazaras; 8% Uzbeks; 14% others
Population living in rural areas: 74%
within the 1st year of life: 129/1000 born alive
within the 5th year of life: 158/1000 born alive
Maternal mortality: 1.600 out of 100.000 born ali-
Children per woman: 6.3
Life expectancy: 43 years
Literacy rate: 26% (the fourth lowest in the world)
Human Development Index: 0,349 (174° out of
Allotment of Italian grant to each district in the Western Region (US dollars).
Number of projects funded by Italy in each district of the Western Region.
Allotment of Italian grant to the provinces of Kabul, Wardak, Logar and Bamyan (US
Our Partners in the field
Italy cooperates with 10 NGOs and one UN agency
in order to facilitate implementing actions of NSP
Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance
Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN)
Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee
Danish Committee for Aid to Afghan Refu-
Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA)
Sanayee Development Organization (SDO)
Norwegian Project Office/ Rural Rehabilita-
tion Association for Afghanistan NPO/RRAA
International Rescue Committee (IRC)
Number of projects funded by Italy in the provinces of Kabul, Wardak, Logar and Bamyan.