This summary explores attitudes to governance in Afghanistan as revealed by in-depth interviews conducted in six of the country's provinces. Participants do not feel that the Afghan government listens to them. There is a perception that those in power only look after their own interests. The mechanisms of accountability in Afghanistan are perceived to be nascent, corrupt or under the influence of the powerful. The number of media outlets in Afghanistan has increased markedly, but they have not as yet taken on the role of watchdog. Voting as a concept is generally understood but it is perceived to fail in delivering change. Political parties were perceived only to look to their own interests. Corruption is seen as a considerable barrier to Afghans accessing services. Participants’ actual experience of corruption, such as bribery, needing an intermediary, or nepotism, meant that they were unable to access government services. This, in turn, created a barrier that separated the government from its citizens, which led to an avoidance of the government as much as possible.
BBC Media Action. Research Summary. Accountability in Afghanistan. BBC Media Action, UK (2013) 2 pp.