The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) of Afghanistan has adopted the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) as a tool to measure and manage performance in delivery of a Basic Package of Health Services. Based on results from the 2004 baseline round, the MOPH identified eight of the 29 indicators on the BSC as priority areas for improvement. Like the 2004 round, the 2005 and 2006 BSCs involved a random selection of more than 600 health facilities, 1700 health workers and 5800 patient-provider interactions. The 2005 and 2006 BSCs demonstrated substantial improvements in all eight of the priority areas compared to 2004 baseline levels, with increases in median provincial scores for presence of active village health councils, availability of essential drugs, functional laboratories, provider knowledge, health worker training, use of clinical guidelines, monitoring of tuberculosis treatment, and provision of delivery care. For three of the priority indicators—drug availability, health worker training and provider knowledge—scores remained unchanged or decreased between 2005 and 2006. This highlights the need to ensure that early gains achieved in establishment of health services in Afghanistan are maintained over time. The use of a coherent and balanced monitoring framework to identify priority areas for improvement and measure performance over time reflects an objectives-based approach to management of health services that is proving to be effective in a difficult environment. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.