EU-funded Capacity Development Project

European Union Supported Project for Institutional Capacity and Organization Development:

The European Union has provided over USD 8.7 Million for the Institutional and Organizational Development of Afghanistan Railway Authority under the Transport Sector Support being executed through ADB.The EU-ADB Project has been providing support under different areas of the implementation of the Afghanistan National Railway Plan in building the railway entry points with the neighboring countries through progressive organizational effectiveness of Afghanistan Railway Authority, which has adopted the larger vision of the Transport Development for Afghanistan. The business process focus on railway development – especially in augmenting the capabilities of the operational corridors are being managed, operated, and maintained within the overall ambit of the policies in synergy with overall strategic vision of the Organization as delineated under ANRP The organizational performance, resources and budgetary commitments of the Government of Afghanistan are in conjunction with the development of missing links, railway nodes such as the Dry Ports, and Multimodal hubs and related logistical services- which complements with the support of ADB. The EU-ADB Support has been broadly divided under following seven broader categories and the progress made in realizing the overall objective of the TA are being reported periodically on monthly and quarterly basis.

  1. Human Resources Deployment and organizational performance
  2. Goods & Services Procurement Plan & progression
  3. Financial Management and performance progress
  4. Institutional Capacity Development plan and organizational effectiveness
  5. Railway Engineering, Policies, Management, Regulation, Operations & Maintenance
  6. Technological Advancement ICT pan and level of execution
  7. Other Cross- Cutting Areas of Capacity Development as per the mandate of EU-ADB Institutional Capacity Development Plan

To accomplish the above broader goals with the financial and technical support of ADB, ARA has also entered into numerous memorandum of technical cooperation agreement and protocols for Institutional and Human Capacity Development with different countries such as Iran, India, Russia, China, Uzbekistan, China, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Pakistan etc. The leadership of ARA and its Team are tirelessly working to accomplish the goal of its connectivity with the neighboring countries.

Significant Accomplishments under EU-Capacity Development Project:

The significant contributions- tangible and intangible - made with such support provide an overview, however that are not limited but far beyond in shaping this fledgling organization. The various broader areas of support have contributed significantly in stabilizing the Organizational Processes:

A. COMMON & CROSS CUTTING ARESA OF SUPPORT TO ARA UNDER EU-ADB PROJECT:

The EU-ADB support has been chiefly and solely steering the entire HRM. HRD, Financial Management, Procurement Management – key result areas of Organization. The following are few significant accomplishments:

  1. Recruitment of international and national individual consultants for ARA’s capacity building and procurement of goods and operations services for ARA central and provincial offices. Presently there are 28 National Consultants under the project and seven more are to be hired soon. There are three international advisors including one team leader and 3 positions have been advertised for hiring the International Experts in different mainstream and engineering areas of ARA. The HR Policy and Administrative Manual has been developed and delivered for the review of the ARA Management.
  2. The EU-ADB Staff are developing framework on transition plan for gradual O&M for the Hairatan–Mazar-e-Sharif Line has been given and incremental action through the capacity creation of the required human resources (HR) underway
  3. The training needs assessment and several baseline studies and documents were developed, such as the brief on the Strategic Plan, Institutional Capacity Development Plan, Training Needs in different areas and several protocols of cooperation and memorandum of studies were finalized with the regional countries and with international organizations. Such plans are work in progress with the help of the ADB-EU Project Staff
  4. ARA with the support of EU-ADB Project staff has developed an organizational structure on devolution of different functions by way of having different joint stock companies for Infrastructure, Regulation, Operations, and Maintenance, as the subsidiaries of ARA, and the government is taking a view on the approach.
  5. The work-in-progress on the Strategic Plan for 2017–22, the Institutional and Human Capacity Development Plan for 2017–22 and other such critical documents required for the sustainable functioning of ARA are under preparation and many of them have been shared with the government and other stakeholders and enough visibility about the emergence of Railways as a system has been generated within the country and globally.
  6. To develop a systematic Institutional Memory, the archival of Documents have been initiated and data capture has commenced for different studies, approach papers, study reports etc. The ICT department has developed several MIS tools and templates, managing the IT based solution for the different verticals of ARA Organizational Departments.
  7. The support of EU-ADB Consultants provides technical assistance chiefly in areas such as railway engineering, project management, financial management, procurement and contract administration, HR management, administration, information technology, media and marketing, institutional capacity development, railway survey and design, translation support, legal and regulatory department, railway operations and maintenance, railway evaluation department, and GIS.
B. OTHER TECHNICAL AREA TO ARA –AN ON GOING EFFORTS (ENGINEERING, MANAGEMENT, OPERATION, MAINTENACE AND INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT ETC.)
  1. ARA with the aid of the EU-ADB Project Staff has accomplished and operationalized Afghanistan’s two Railway Freight Corridors between Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan which have created visibility and improved communication among the different stakeholders in the country and in the region.
  2. There has been indirect contribution of EU –ADB Project for ARA in making the Aqina Freight Corridor with Turkmenistan operational, which has spurred the transit and traffic of freight operations between and beyond the countries.
  3. Over 10 regional cooperation understandings were arrived at for the integrated development of railway infrastructure under the different Railway-Related Regional Cooperation, which are being monitored and steered by the RECCA Secretariat at MOFA and MOF. ARA regularly updates these ministries. The EU-ADB national and international staff under the guidance of the senior management assist in development of such cooperation agreements.
  4. EU-ADB staff contributed for ARA in development of different concept notes for ANRP and for bilateral and Multi-Lateral Cooperation’s with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, China, India, Russia, China and Tajikistan etc.
  5. Different regulatory instruments, policies, manuals and guidelines have been developed including the Policy on PPP, Railway Work Force Development across the proposed railway tracks, including the Reintegration of IDPs/Returnee Refugees in the railway men development interventions in collaboration and independently with TVETs.
  6. Railway Authority staff are mentored and trained on the job by the national and international technical advisors. The proposed institutional separation of administering the Railway functions will create an enabling environment for the faster implementation of Railway projects that have triple benefits, Improved Regional Trade, Transit, and Tariff as an aid in generating jobs for Afghan Nationals. ARA has encouraged the Human Capital with close ties with the Afghanistan Polytechnic University, Kabul, including International Perspective Technical Collaboration with different countries in the region and beyond, such as with India, Iran, Uzbekistan, Russia, and Pakistan.