- What we do
What we do
Our Vision is to contribute to an environment where Afghans can take control of their own development and bring about a just and peaceful society.
We seek to put our vision into practice by:
- Bringing member agencies and the wider relief and development community together to advocate continued international commitment to the development of Afghanistan;
- Sharing of information and knowledge to improve policy debate and decision making processes with a particular emphasis on ensuring that those processes reflect the views, needs and aspirations of the Afghan people.
- Enhancing the abilities of Afghan civil society in influencing national and international policies on Afghanistan.
Why is BAAG necessary?
BAAG has been operating since 1987. It was established to highlight the plight of millions of Afghans suffering the severe repercussions of the Soviet occupation and the mujahedeen’s armed response.
BAAG is just as essential and relevant now as it was three decades ago. Afghanistan has seen enormous changes during the last 30 years. But some things have remained constant, primarily as a result of the ongoing conflict. Poverty kills significantly more Afghans than the conflict, with the country languishing in 169th of 187 positions in the 2014 UN Human Development Index. The violation of human and women’s rights, corruption, lack of good governance, poor service delivery – these and many other issues continue to hinder the country’s development and prevent many of its people from living productive, healthy, secure and meaningful lives.
BAAG is essential. It is more than the sum of its members. Its reach, reputation and insight have enabled critical messages to influence policy decisions. Governments seek its expertise. Partners seek its collaboration. As a network organisation it allows members to speak up on issues they could not raise in isolation. As an organisation outside of Afghanistan’s in-country politics it is seen as a neutral body, able to cast a critical eye. These factors make BAAG an unique and valued organisation.
At the height of the Cold War, a small group of British and Irish aid agencies began meeting to discuss ways of changing international perceptions about Afghanistan. We knew it was going to be an uphill task.
It was the mid 1980s. With tens of thousands of Soviet troops still based on Afghan soil, the outside world regarded the country purely as a pawn in the Cold War. The Western media focused almost exclusively on the Afghan mujaheddin’s efforts to expel Soviet forces from their homeland.
No attention was given to civilians caught in the crossfire.
But we worked there, and could see how desperate the needs of the Afghan people were.
We wanted to break through the political propaganda and Cold War rhetoric to ensure their voices were heard, preferably directly. We were determined to make Afghans' views known to foreign governments making decisions that would affect their lives.
Those meetings led to the foundation of BAAG in 1987. Its first publication, a booklet called 'The Afghan Tragedy', attempted to paint an accurate picture of Afghan life, highlighting humanitarian and development needs.
Many things have changed since then.
Afghanistan has had governments of very different political persuasions. Globalisation allows Afghans more access to the outside world and more contact with the international policy makers and donors.
Click on the documents to read our latest and previous financial reports.
BAAG is just as essential and relevant now as it was three decades ago