• HPG: Negotiating perceptions - Al-Shabaab & Taliban views of aid agencies, July 2014

    Part of the HPGs project 'Humanitarian negotiations with armed non-state actors', this paper explores how both of these armed groups perceive aid agencies and the implications on humanitarian response in those areas.  When their decisions to grant or deny access to populations in need, these are life-saving challenges. 

    PDF icon HPG Negotiating perceptions Al-Shabaab and Taliban Jul14.pdf
  • BAAG: Consolidated lessons learnt from donor conferences, June 2014

    BAAG is organising a large scale civil society conference ahead of the London Conference on Afghanistan which will take place in the UK towards the end of 2014, co-hosted by the UK and Afghan governments.  As part of our planning and consultation process, we contacted various organisations involved in previous donor conferences on Afghanistan, such as those held in London, Bonn and Tokyo.  This report captures their feedback on the challenges faced in ensuring Afghan civil society has a voice in such conferences, but also indicates how progressive improvements have been made in recent years. 

    PDF icon Consolidated lessons learnt re. donor conferences 210514.pdf
  • BAAG/LSE: Afghanistan in the British Print Media, June 2014

    BAAG commissioned student researchers from the London School of Economics to review the last 5 years of coverage of Afghanistan by the British print/online news media.  The findings confirmed our suspicions - only 4.3% of news articles focused on aid and development in the country, the majority were focused on the war, conflict and military intervention.  Moreover, many of those few articles regarding aid and development presented these in a negative light.  With the fear that interest and therefore funding to Afghanistan will wane with the withdrawal of international combat troops, BAAG's report looks at the role of the media in rebalancing the narrative about Afghanistan's future. 

    PDF icon BAAG Report Afg British Media Jun14.pdf
  • AREU: Politics and Governance in Afghanistan - the Case of Nangarhar Province, June 2014

    Afghanistan’s government is often described as fragmented and fragile. However, the fact that the central government fails to function effectively in many instances, particularly beyond the capital, does not mean that there is disorder at the regional or provincial level.The first of three case studies, this paper examines the policies and programs that seek to bring the international community’s ideas of governance and service provision into being through investigating their intersections – and at times collisions – with existing power.  Looking at Nangarhar province, this research aims to look at sub-national governance and access to public goods. It seeks to understand the power relations at play, attempting to separate how government functions in reality from narratives created by the international community about how governance systems should function. 

    PDF icon AREU Politics Governance in Afg the Case of Nangarhar Province.pdf
  • IWA: National Corruption Survey, May 2014

    Integrity Watch Afghanistan, an Afghan civil society organisation operating since 2005, releases their Corrption Survey every 2 years.  Their 2014 report shows that after insecurity, corruption has become the second biggest concern for Afghans.  It highlights a strong link between corruption and insecurity. Bribery, the most common form of corruption, has nearly doubled in last four years reaching close to $2billion. Judiciary and police are seen as most corruption institutions while Ministry of Education is ranked 3rd. In general, citizens’ access to public services has improved but in paying bribes the survey has found the financial burden of corruption on households has increased.

    PDF icon IWA national_corruption_survey_2014_english.pdf
  • Save the Children: State of the World's Mothers, May 2014

    2014 sees Afghanistan rising to 146/178 countries in terms of it's maternal health and support - this is a huge improvement on it's bottom ranking in both 2010 and 2011.  Save the Children's report highlights the plight of maternal healthcare in conflict-affected countries and reports on how Afghanistan looks set to achieve the Millenium Development Goal on maternal health. 

    PDF icon State of the Worlds Mothers 2014.pdf
  • AREU: The A to Z Guide to Assistance in Afghanistan 12th edition, May 2014

    The twelfth edition of the A to Z Guide. This seminal document provides 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.

    PDF icon AREU A to Z 2014.pdf
  • E-International Relations: Aid Rentierism & State Building in Afghanistan, May 2014

    PhD student Sarajuddin Isar provides analysis on how the Afghan government's dependence on international aid has adversely affected its state building efforts.

    PDF icon Sarajuddin, A Blessing or a Curse.pdf
  • IRC: What next for Afghanistan? April 2014

    IRC conducted indepth interviews with over 100 of their national Afghan staff to understand their perspectives, and those of the communities in which they live and work, regarding current and anticipated security and development issues.  Their comments form the basis of this detailed study of Afghanistan in 2014, as international troops withdraw, a new government is elected and as the international community takes stock of progress to date.  The report also provides practical recommendations for the international community, including: Make a long-term commitment to the people of Afghanistan; break the cycle of displacement and continue to offer refuge, resettlement and asylum to vulnerable Afghans who cannot yet safely return home; use limited resources effectively by coordinating and sharing information so that assistance is more targeted and reaches all in need. 

    PDF icon IRC What next for Afghanistan.pdf
  • Chatham House: Electoral Turnout in Afghanistan, April 2014

    Reporting on the unexpectedly high turnout by Afghans for the presidential and provincial elections, Chatham House's briefing paper paints a positive picture of the enthusiasm for democracy.  However they comment that this enthusiam is not necessarily extended to any particular candidate.  The figures also demonstrate defiance in the face of Taliban security threats and activities.  Finally, the report presents suggested roles for the international community to support a peaceful transfer of power. 

    PDF icon Chatham House Electoral Turnout Apr14.pdf
  • ICAI: DFID's Bilateral Support to Growth & Livelihoods in Afghanistan, March 2014

    The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) reviewed 5 of DFID's growth and livelihoods programmes, totalling £97.8 million from 2006-2018.  Whilst their fieldwork indicated positive differences being made to beneficiaries, they were unclear how such impacts in the long term can be sustained.  Given the political, military and economic transitions of 2014, ICAI comment that 'DFID faces a challenge to ensure that its future growth and livelihoods portfolio is sufficiently coherent and flexible, given an increasingly uncertain future.'  These issues are faced by most international NGOs and donors and ICAI's recommendations are relevant to us all. 

    PDF icon ICAI-Report-DFID’s-Bilateral-Support-to-Growth-and-Livelihoods-in-Afghanistan.pdf
  • Islamic Relief: Afghanistan in Limbo, March 2014

    Islamic Relief's report raises their concerns that significant aid cuts - both those realised recently and anticipated - could derail the progress made in Afghanistan in the last decade.  The report points out that aid has fallen from $894 million in 2011 to $508 million in 2013, and less than a fifth of the UN’s humanitarian plan for 2014 has been funded so far. The UK’s contribution to the international aid effort has dropped from an average of $296m per year from 2009 to 2011, to a pledged $178m a year from 2012 to 2017.Islamic Relief argues that rather than cut aid, the international community should maintain aid levels and concentrate on improving aid effectiveness.

    PDF icon Afghanistan in Limbo Islamic Relief Mar14.pdf
  • BAAG: Understanding Gender Programming & Issues in Afghanistan, March 2014

    BAAG's briefing paper was drafted ahead of our Getting it Right Gender Conference, held in London on March 26th & 27th.  It summarises key points raised during BAAG's earlier gender programme activities, including discussions by 4 leading Gender specialists on programme successes and challenges (held in May 2013) and points raised  during a week of discussions on violence against women & girls (VAWG) by 3 leading Afghan women's rights activitists (held in July 2013).The paper includes comments on the increased need for men and boys to be included in women's rights programming, the need for experienced and specialist staff to design and run gender programmes and the dangers of inconsistent gender policies within the donor community. 

    PDF icon BAAG Briefing Note_Understanding Gender_FINAL.pdf
  • HPG: Humanitarian negotiations with armed non-state actors, March 2014

    Despite insurgents and armed groups increasingly targetting aid workers - including attacking them, looting their humanitarian supplies, extorting money or denying their access to regions or entire countries - the humanitarian sector has long recognised  the need to talk to such groups to increase their access to communities in need.However very little information regarding the groups is available to humanitarians, making it difficult for organisations to successfully engage with these actors to gain access to populations under their control.The Humanitarian Policy Group's brief highlights key lessons from a two-year research project on humanitarian negotiations with armed non-state actors (ANSAs) in Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan. It draws from over 500 interviews with aid workers, members of armed groups (including the Taliban, Al-Shabaab and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North) and others.

    PDF icon HPG Humanitarian negotiations Mar2014.pdf
  • Chatham House: Looking beyond 2014 - Elections in Afghanistan's evolving political context, February 2014

    Chatham House's briefing paper warns of the need for Afghans to look beyond the importance of selecting a successor to President Hamid Karzai, and to focus on issues such as the election process itself and the possible changes in patronage networks as politicians reposition themselves. 

    PDF icon Chatham House AfghanistanBeyond2014 Feb14.pdf