Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Afghan government websites mostly moribund

Having tried unsuccessfully a couple of days ago to find an online copy of the Donor Financial Review on the the Afghan Ministry of Finance's website, I thought I should just do a quick check on other ministry websites to see how up-to-date they were. The findings are not very good.
The news section of the Wolesi Jirga (National Assemby) website is updated regularly and gives accurate information in English, Pashto and Dari. However, most of the other sections - links, archive, general information, biographies have either not been written or not updated for two or three years.
The website for the Meshrano Jirga - the Upper House - has clearly not been updated since its design in August 2007, despite a long introductory letter promising to keep it running.
The Ministry of the Interior site is completely moribund and appears not to have been finished when it was designed in 2008. There are no press releases, no links, no contact details.
The Ministry of Counter Narcotics has not been updated since December 2008.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock website was last updated in April 2009.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs website is live, but very basic.
The Ministry of Commerce was unavailable, as was the Ministry of Public Health .
The Ministry of Finance website has not been updated since mid-2007.
The Ministry of Women's Affairs website has not been updated since May 2009 and is unfinished.
The Ministry of Higher Education website is up-to-date, with a press statement from February 2010.
The Ministry of Education website was last updated in January. Its public discussion board contains no comments.
The Ministry of Information and Culture website has not been updated since July 2008.
The Ministry of Justice website is lively and up-to-date, but a bit thin on news.
The Ministry of Transport website has not been updated since November last year.
The Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled website has not been updated since July 2009.
The Ministry of Defence page says it has an English language page, but it does not. Not sure how up-to-date the Dari/Pashto pages are.
On the brighter side, the website of the President is regularly updated and tells you all you need to know about President Karzai's official activities.
In summary, the websites for only five ministries are working. The rest are either not functioning or they are so basic as to be useless. I wonder how many consultants were paid to design these rubbish websites and how much they received for their efforts?

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