Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, April 18th, 2021

Why Youth Shall Be Engaged in Anti-Corruption

According to Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) Afghanistan was ranked 165 out of 180 countries. Based on this report, Afghanistan scored only 19 out of 100 points in terms of prohibiting corruption.
The persistence of political turmoil in Afghanistan has plagued its institutions including that of economic and financial agencies, economic crises and lack of expertise in the financial sector have led to mismanagement of financial aids flown straight into Afghanistan, which eventually gives birth to administrative corruption.
Wide spread corruption wasted most of the hundreds of millions of dollars of financial aids that have flown to Afghanistan for the rehabilitation of the country’s war-torn institutions. It also has wasted the internal incomes of the country too.
Although, over the last two decades’ efforts have been made by the government to chase off corruption and the war-torn financial agencies of Afghanistan have been somewhat rebuilt, still there is a dire need for proper Financial Management of the foreign funds flown into the country and internal income of Afghanistan.
How Youth Can Help to Tackle Corruption
Engaging youth is essential for success in curbing corruption; youth represent a significant portion of the population Afghanistan; About 47% of Afghanistan population is under 15 and about 20% is about 15-24 years. Such age composition has changed Afghanistan to one of the youngest countries in the world.
Youth are generally more open to social change and political transformation, since they may have less interest in maintaining the status quo. Government of Afghanistan should engage youth in a significant number of activities in anti-corruption. It can support youth to form an anti-corruption movement. They can take initiatives ranging
from Integrity Camps and Summer Schools to   work   within   schools   and   universities, training   teachers, developing curricula and setting up Integrity Clubs.  Many civil society organizations (CSOs) 
also can develop awareness-raising   campaigns   and   activities targeted at young people.
The government should note that engaging youth should not be a box-ticking exercise and many questions are raised regarding success and sustainability of youth engagement efforts.  Experience show generally, projects designed and led by young people, supported 
by CSOs, have been more successful with outreach and sustaining individual engagement.  Many CSOs working with youth have focused the initial phase of their work on education about the concepts, thus paving the   way   for   further   involvement.   Moreover, using   existing structures and integrating youth engagement activities into a broader context has proved to be an effective approach in many settings.
Furthermore, youth can be engaged in anti-corruption measures as policy makers. They can provide more realistic and practical policy option ions to tackle more effectively corruption. Afghan youth should be engaged in taking and leading initiatives that aim at contributing to controlling and preventing corruption in more innovative and efficient ways through social innovation, collective intelligence, and entrepreneurship.
It is necessary to take into account that many studies show that youth engagement initiatives that fail to grasp the fundamental differences that can exist between various groups will fail. It is thus important to acknowledge the individual traits of young people. Youth does not function as a homogenous group, and all young people do not think the same or are motivated by the same things. A consensual recommendation is to initiate any youth engagement project with the people who have a predisposition to the cause and appear like natural advocates, instead of targeting the mass of young people or the more difficult groups from the very beginning. This requires to identify the youth carefully and give full consideration to the environment they want to work.
Establishing collaborations with other NGOs, existing youth networks and formal institutions is often seen as a main factor to success. Using existing structures in which to integrate the topic of anti-corruption is a way to tap into already established and functioning systems, preventing an organization from starting outreach from zero.
Corruption is more dangerous than terrorist groups for Afghanistan. Millions of dollars of the international community funds and Afghanistan incomes have been wasted due corruption. Corrupt officials and weak justice system have made Afghanistan vulnerable to corruption. While Afghanistan government have developed some institutions and improved the financial management system of the relevant organizations, it is necessary to engage youth in anti-corruption measures in a systematic manner to tackle this phenomenon more effectively. However, in some contexts, encouraging youth to stand up against corruption without ensuring a safe environment can put the young people at danger.