This paper reviews and analyzes the achievements and challenges of the merit-based recruitment process in Afghanistan. The research is basically a library (qualitative) and historical research in nature that includes other reports published and researches conducted during the period 2006 to 2018. The conclusion is withdrawn from analyzing the findings of those research articles and reports. The findings of this research show that the efforts to improve the merit-based recruitment of personnel in the government especially of high-ranking posts were vigorous, and to some extent notable progress has been made over the last few years though there still exists dissatisfaction and criticism over the role and functioning of the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC). Nearly 24 percent of the labour force is unemployed while there are still thousands of posts vacant in the government. Among the employed, only 13 percent of the working population of Afghanistan can be considered to have decent employment. The rest are either unemployed, underemployed (in need of more work), or vulnerably employed (low job security, poor working conditions etc.). To generate jobs, and employ people into the civil services the Afghan government needs to undertake comprehensive economic and administrative reforms. Political interventions, especially in senior civil service appointments, have made the merit-based recruitment’s credibility under question. The politically destabilized environment and weak security conditions have paved the path for the practice of favoritism, nepotism and patronage system in recruitment. Hence the merit-based recruitment is lacking transparency and consistency. There are still incidences of recruitment through personal network ties. And thus the commission (IARCSC) responsible for the recruitment and monitoring of civil services is unable to achieve its objectives of merit-based appointments, especially for the high-level positions. In addition, weak institutional capacity, and lack of authority in spending the funds provided by the international donors are other obstacles that have hampered the performance of the commission (IARCSC).
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