Grievance Redress Mechanism

Digital CASA Afghanistan Project

Digital CASA (Central Asia South Asia) is a World Bank funded regional program that includes projects in Afghanistan and some Central Asian countries. The overall aim of the program is to connect Central Asia to South Asia via Afghanistan through OFC (Optical Fibber Cable).

Digital CASA Afghanistan Project: Digital CASA Afghanistan project will be implemented by Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) in Afghanistan. The project will be completed in five years. The PPG (Project Preparation Grant) phase of Digital CASA Afghanistan concluded on December 31, 2018 and the actual Digital CASA project has started on January 1, 2019.

The aim of this project is to:

  • Increase access to more affordable internet
  • Crowed-in private investment in the ICT sector
  • Improve government capacity to deliver digital government services in Afghanistan
  • Contributing to the development of a regionally integrated digital infrastructure and a regionally harmonized enabling environment.

Grievance Redress Mechanism:

 Grievance redress mechanisms (GRMs) are institutions, instruments, methods, and processes by which a resolution to a grievance is sought and provided. In order to ensure transparency and accountability, MoCIT will establish a grievance redress mechanism (GRM) with a clear set of goals and objectives and a well-defined scope for its interventions and a set of procedures for receiving, recording, and handling complaints during implementation of any activity under Digital CASA.

Objective of the Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) The objective of the Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) /complaint handling system is to ensure that the views and concerns of Digital CASA beneficiaries and of those affected by the construction and activities are heard and acted upon in a timely, effective and transparent manner.

Grievance Procedure

The affected communities, groups, individuals, workers and employees have the right to raise their concerns and complaints about the project activities.

  • The affected communities, groups, individuals, workers, employees and other stakeholder who raises a grievance will be offered the opportunity to discuss their complaint and their views will be sought on how they would like the matter to be taken forward. They will be kept informed of the progress of the grievance.
  • Decision makers will ensure that decisions are taken objectively, are non-discriminatory and pay due regard to the evidence available and the circumstances of the case.
  • Matters will be dealt with promptly, but with sufficient thoroughness.
  • The complainants will be given explanations of and have the right to appeal against the decision made on their grievance.
  • The outcomes of grievances will be actively managed to assist all concerned to move forward positively.
  • The grievance redress process must not impose any cost to those raising the complaint (i.e., the complainants);
  • Participation in the grievance redress process must not preclude the pursuit of legal remedies under the laws of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

The GRM ensures that complaints received are promptly reviewed to address project-related concerns. Project affected communities and individuals may submit their complaint to the project independent Inspection Panel which determines whether harm occurred or could occur. Complaints may be submitted at any time after concerns have been brought directly to the GRC’s attention, and GRC will be given an opportunity to respond to the complaints.

Grievance Redressal Committees (GRCs)

Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) for Digital CASA project designed to ensure transparency and accountability in the design and implementation of the project/subprojects. It also will be responsible to the view and concerns of those affected during the project activities and implementation which are heard and handled upon in a timely, effective and transparent manner. None of the members of the Committee should have a conflict of interest involving any complaint lodged. To ensure that GRM is easily accessible to all the affected communities, individuals, groups, employees and workers, the MCIT and contractors will establish Grievance Redress Committees (GRCs) at the following levels.

Grievance Redress Committees (GRCs)



Subproject level GRC

  • ESM Focal Points/Site Supervisor/Project Manager
  • Local community representative
  • Contractor/subcontractor representative
  • District/Provincial Government representative
  • Complainants or their representative
  • Other line institutions representative, if required.

Project Level GRC

  • Project Director
  • ESM Unit
  • Gender Unit
  • HR Department
  • M&E Unit

Ministry Level GRC

  • Minister of MCIT (head)
  • Project Director
  • M&E Director
  • ATRA’s representative
  • Plan & Policy Director
  • Other line office representative

Grievance Handling Procedure:

Delay in grievances resolution could constitutes another grievance or could result in mistrust which could damage the project image and willingness to resolve complaints. Grievances will be handled promptly within the specified period. The following table provides steps with responsibilities of grievances relating to the project activities. The key purpose of this exercise is to present GRM process in an effective & user-friendly manner.

Grievance Redress Committees (GRCs) Responsibilities



GRC/GRM Focal Officer functions


Subproject or community level GRC

The Affected Person/complainant (or his/her representative) may submit his/her complaint in several ways e.g. by written letter, phone, SMS messages and email to the GRC or, alternatively, raise his/her voice in a public or individual meeting with project staff.


Submission of complaint to the subproject or community level GRC


Conduct public information sessions among the affected communities to use grievance service

Registering a grievance in the project logbook and grievance database

Segregate/sort and process

Acknowledge and follow up on grievance

Verify investigate, and act

Provide written response to the complainants


7- 14 days


Project Level GRC

If resolution at subproject/community level is unsuccessful, the Affected Person (AP)/complainant can take his or her complaint to a Project level GRC.


Submission of grievance to the Project level GRC through one of the channels


Conduct coordination meeting among project level GRC including ESM specialist to find out what exactly a complainant needs attention regarding the received grievance through any channel.

10 days


Ministry level GRC

In case the compliant is not resolved within 10 days of its receipt or it is unattended, the complainant can approach the ministry level GRC or directly to the Minister- of MCIT in Kabul. Ministry-GRC and/or minister will then examine the complaint and address the complaint within 20 days.


Complainant can refer the compliant to the ministry level GRC or directly to the minister office of MCIT


Conduct coordination meeting/ resolution session between complainant relevant administrations and Investigate the complaints

Provide written response to the complainant

20 days


Grievances Uptake Channels

Various channels are used, and each uptake channel has its own merits and demerits and needs to be fixed with different situation that is best suited. It needs attention that channels should be convenient, maintain confidentiality and does not cost to grievant. The complainants can submit their grievances regarding any element of the Digital CASA project without any restriction through a variety of means as listed below:

  • Grievance Boxes: Will be located in a visible place in each subproject site District and Provincial Office, and at the Ministry in Kabul.
  • Personal Visit: Complainants can personally submit their grievances to one of the relevant Grievances Redressal Committees.
  • Telephone Hotline: The complainant can report his/her grievance verbally through (0744784100) on all working days from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
  • Telephone Message: Complainant can send text massage of his/her grievance to the dedicated phone number.
  • Petition: Complainant can submit his/her written petition directly to one of the grievance handling committees (subproject level/community GRC, project/provincial level GRC, Ministry level GRC)
  • Email: Those complainants who have access to the internet can send their grievances to emails address (
  • Web Portal& Social Media: An online web page will be under MCIT main website. Where, a form needs to be completed to register in an online grievance. Facebook page of the project will be developed and there will be more information regarding the GRM procedures and receiving complaints from citizens. Also the ESM unit will provide information regarding using WhatsApp and Viber applications to address their complaints through these channels as well.
  • Anonymous complaints: are also accepted, where the identity of the complainants is not necessarily required- particularly complaints at workplace conditions. However, anonymous complaints are not always accepted where specific incidents are investigated, and a complainant’s identity can be crucial during the investigation. A complainants’ identity may also be required at the end of an investigation if the complainant is needed to testify at an adversarial hearing.

Anonymous complaints will be accepted through any means and in any forms and all possible channels will be used to give feedback and privacy respected to prevent recommendation. The feedback for anonymous complaint will be provided on the project website or social media page. Information regarding the complaints up taking channels, will be publicly disclose on communication materials.