• BAAG: Aiding Fragile States, July 2015

    As part of their Media4Development programme, BAAG organised a policy-makers and development practitioners roundtable. It aimed to explore the challenges of development in Afghanistan and the relevance of the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States framework in the country.  Moreover, it raised the question of how the development community (donors & NGOs) and the media can improve public communications about the complexities (and sometimes failures) of development in fragile states.  The report presents the main discussion points and recommendations. 

    PDF icon BAAG_RoundtableReport_WEB.pdf
  • BAAG: Policy position paper on Good Governance, July 2015

    Following the General Election in May 2015, BAAG and its members prepared a briefing pack for MPs and ministers.  These covered the themes of Governance, Human Rights, Service Delivery, Women's Rights and Humanitarian.  They each present an overview of the progress and remaining challenges in each area, and priority recommendations for the British government to consider in its support to Afghanistan. 

    PDF icon Policy Position Paper - Good Governance final version 22Jul15.pdf
  • BAAG: Policy position paper on Service Delivery, July 2015

    Following the General Election in May 2015, BAAG and its members prepared a briefing pack for MPs and ministers.  These covered the themes of Governance, Human Rights, Service Delivery, Women's Rights and Humanitarian.  They each present an overview of the progress and remaining challenges in each area, and priority recommendations for the British government to consider in its support to Afghanistan. 

    PDF icon Policy Position Paper - Service Delivery final version 22July15.pdf
  • Afghanistan Transparency Forum: Policy recommendations to counter corruption & revenue loss, June 2015

    In March 2015, over 20 Afghan civil society organisations met for the first Afghanistan Transparency Forum. Building on their discussions, and with consultation with organisations such as Global Witness and Transparency International, this document was prepared for a meeting with President Ghani. In it civil society present their recommendations to address institutional corruption, procurement and contracting processes, public accountability, police reforms and extractives legislation and processes.  

    PDF icon CSOs Transparency Recommendations.pdf
  • Fund for Peace: Fragile States Index 2015, June 2015

    The Fragile States Index, produced by The Fund for Peace, is a critical tool in highlighting not only the normal pressures that all states experience, but also in identifying when those pressures are pushing a state towards the brink of failure.  It is an annual ranking of 178 nations based on their levels of stability and the pressures they face. Afghanistan remains a High Alert fragile state in 2015, with a worsening trend in the decade 2006-15.  However during 2014 specifically, it's state did not worsen significantly, and thus it is not reported on specifically within this report. 

    PDF icon fragilestatesindex-2015.pdf
  • AREU: Politics and Governance in Afghanistan - the Case of Kandahar, June 2015

    The second in a series of case studies undertaken by the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) , this research aims to look at subnational governance and access to public goods. Kandahar was chosen for research based on its economic, political and social importance, being only second to Kabul as a political seat of power. There is an old adage that whoever controls Kandahar controls Afghanistan. State institutions are only one of many key sources of authority, resources and legitimacy in Afghanistan. They are rarely the most important or the most powerful, particularly at the subnational level. Power is exercised in many forms, with patron–client networks that run through and extend beyond the state. In Kandahar, these relationship-based networks regulate nearly every aspect of political and social order, including access to justice, employment and participation in the economy.

    PDF icon AREU Politics and governance in Afghanistan The case of Kandahar.pdf
  • AREU: Mapping village variability in Afghanistan, May 2015

    This research and policy briefing focuses on the variability of village ‘behaviour’ and whether or not this can be characterised more systematically in order to guide programming according to context and to account for villages’ development experience.  Much of the programming in Afghanistan since 2001 is designed to bring about changes in village-level government. However, it has rarely, if ever, taken into account pre-existing structures used by villages to organize and manage their affairs. Rather, it has been assumed that there is a landscape of identical villages with few legacies from the past, and that new interventions to reorder village government would simply displace what was there before.

    PDF icon AREU Mapping village variability in Afghanistan.pdf, PDF icon AREU Taking village context into account in Afghanistan.pdf
  • Mercy Corps: Youth & Consequences - Unemployment, Injustice & Violence, April 2015

    Mercy Corps' report tackles some of the most persistent assumptions driving youth programming in fragile states. Drawing on interviews and surveys with youth in Afghanistan, Colombia and Somalia, the report finds the principal drivers of political violence are rooted not in poverty, but in experiences of injustice: discrimination, corruption and abuse by security forces.  In light of these findings, many familiar approaches — vocational training programmes, for instance, and civic engagement — are unlikely, in isolation, to have much effect on stability. A new approach is required, one that tackles the sources of instability, not just the symptoms.

    PDF icon MercyCorps_YouthConsequencesReport_2015.pdf
  • Centre for American Progress: Tackling Corruption in Afghanistan, March 2015

    After the insecurity problem in Afghanistan, many experts see corruption as the next biggest issue for the new Afghan government to overcome. According to this report, the two issues are interwoven.  The issue brief surveys the key factors driving corruption in Afghanistan and their harmful impact on Afghanistan’s security and economic development. It also offers a set of recommendations and tools for combating corruption that should be prioritized by Afghan officials and supported by the United States and other donors.

    PDF icon Cen American Progress Tackling AfghanistanCorruption.pdf
  • UNAMA: The Stolen Lands of Afghanistan & its People, March 2015

    The second in a series of three reports UNAMA's report focuses on how state lands are distributed. This paper is the result of a desktop review and joint research by the UNAMA Rule of Law Unit (RoL) and the Civil Affairs Unit (CAU) in seven provinces—Kabul, Nangarhar, Kunduz, Balkh, Herat, Gardez, and Kandahar.This report identifies, assesses, and compares the legal framework and existing land distribution practices, and proposes specific recommendations to address overarching challenges to this system.

    PDF icon UNAMA_State_Land_Distribution_System_March15.pdf
  • BAAG: Fulfilling Afghan Futures - civil society priorities post-2014, March 2015

    On 3rd December 2014, BAAG hosted the Ayenda Conference, the civil society associated event of the London Conference on Afghanistan. 250 attendees, including 53 Afghan civil society representatives, discussed development and rights priorities & recommendations for the new Afghan government and international donors.  This report captures the messages of that day, along with those from preliminary discussions and various position papers prepared by Afghan and international civil society. It aims to disseminate Afghan-focused development and humanitarian expertise to an international audience of practitioners, policy makers and donors and inform both future national and international policy related to Afghanistan and future civil society programming and initiatives.

    PDF icon BAAG_Ayenda Fulfilling Afghan Futures Mar15.pdf
  • AREU: Separation of Powers under the Afghan Constitution, March 2015

    As part of an AREU project to evaluate the Afghan Constitution, their latest paper examines the issue of the separation of powers under the current Constitution and finds that it suffers from flaws both on paper and in practice.Using the case study of Parliament’s no-confidence vote practices against several ministers, the paper discusses the ambiguities in the Constitution as well as the inherent weaknesses in the way each branch of government operates.This publication, through extensive literature review as well as interviews with experts, illustrates how under the current Constitution the President has significant power to enact laws and control how appointments are made to all levels of the judiciary. This has undermined both the separation and balance of power under the Constitution. The paper also points out that the judiciary has struggled to establish itself as an independent branch, both because of a weak constitutional architecture as well as a historical lack of institutional capacity within the judiciary. 

    PDF icon AREU Seperation of Powers Under the Afghan Constitution- Mar2015.pdf
  • HRW: Today we shall all die, March 2015

    Human Rights Watch's report details a culture of impunity that the group says flourished after the fall of the Taliban, driven by the desire for immediate control of security at almost any price. The report focuses on 8 commanders & officials across Afghanistan, some among the country’s most powerful men, and key allies for foreign troops. Some are accused of personally inflicting violence, others of having responsibility for militias or government forces that committed the crimes. HRW call for the Afghan government to prosecute those guilty of such crimes, and for the international community to apply pressure on this. 

    PDF icon HRW Today we shall all die Mar15.pdf
  • AREU: The A to Z Guide to Assistance in Afghanistan 13th edition, March 2015

    AREU's annual A to Z Guide aims to 'enhance understanding of the dizzying array of actors,  structures and  government processes related to aid and reconstruction efforts in the country.'  The guide provide an extensive glossary of assistance terms, an overview of Afghanistan’s system of government, key primary documents, and an extensive contact directory that includes government agencies, NGOs, donors and international actors. The new edition offers: new entries on  research organisations and libraries; political overview of all 34 provinces presenting key figures such as seats in Parliament, number of districts and their population; an extensive contacts directory that includes government agencies, NGOs, and international agencies.

    PDF icon AREU A to Z Guide to Assistance in Afghanistan 2015.pdf
  • Mercy Corps: Does youth employment build stability?, January 2015

    Mercy Corp's INVEST programme (Introducing New Vocational Education and Skills Training) in Helmand provided a valuable opportunity to explore the economic reasons that may lead to a propensity towards political violence and insurgency.  Though not an original hypothesis of the programme, this quasi-experimental, mixed methodology impact evaluation contributes to research on the relationship between employment and stability. 

    PDF icon MercyCorps_youth employment stability Jan15.pdf