Strengthening civil society to improve the quality of life is a central goal of the AKDN. Civil society is increasingly recognised globally as a building block for democracy and economic development. AKDN understands civil society in the broadest sense of civic institutions working for the public good. A strong civil society can enhance social cohesion and pluralism, advance meritocracy, ethics and standards of quality, act as a bulwark against volatility in times of crisis and protect communities against state failure. It is important to keep in mind that civil society includes a diversity of opinion and action.
As Afghanistan struggles to rebuild a society which can supply its people’s needs after years of conflict, one of the most widespread and persistent complaints is of corruption and the lack of accountability in government. Social audits, which are carried out with the agreement of the community development council and the community, allow local people to "audit" how funds are used, pose questions about the progress of a development project and ask about staffing and maintenance costs. More