• Government of Afghanistan: Self-reliance through Mutual Accountability Framework, September 2015

    At the Senior Officials Meeting in Kabul on September 5th, the Afghan government and international community agreed a new partnership framework, the SMAF.  This replaces the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework, agreed and adopted in July 2012.  The SMAF poses the activities and developments for both parties in Afghanistan's journey to stability and self-reliance. Six areas of attention are posed: 1: Improving Security and Political Stability; 2: Anti-corruption, Governance, Rule of Law, and human rights; 3: Restoring Fiscal Sustainability & Integrity of Public Finance and Commercial Banking; 4: Reforming Development Planning and Management & Ensuring Citizen’s Development Rights; 5: Private Sector Development and Inclusive growth and development; 6: Development Partnerships and Aid Effectiveness

    PDF icon SMAF MAIN with annex 3 sep 2015.pdf
  • AREU: The Politicisation of Afghanistan’s High Schools, July 2015

    Despite a formal ban on political activities issued by the Ministry of Education, this report finds a high degree of politicisation in Afghanistan’s high schools. Across 18 provinces and 136 schools, 403 students and 28 teachers were interviewed. An anti-system sentiment is spreading, whilst the political parties are also actively trying to recruit high school students. It finds little indication of student groups organising themselves autonomously from existing political parties and organisations.

    PDF icon AREU The Politicisation of High Schools in Afghanistan.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
  • 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
  • UNAMA: Justice through the Eyes of Afghan Women, April 2015

    UNAMA and UNOHCHR jointly report on the reality for Afghan women seeking redress for violent crimes against them. Exploring the cases of 110 women, they find that 65% women opt, or are forced, to use mediation services rather than the criminal prosecution service.  Reasons for this include lack of trust in the latter and concerns over household income if a perpetrator is imprisoned. In at least 6 mediation cases, the women were excluded from the sessions, raising human rights concerns.  And in over 50% of mediation cases, the perpetrators failed to honour the agreement, and in some cases reoffended. The report presents various recommendations to the Afghan government and the international community, including accreditation and regulatory frameworks for mediators and providing women with additional civil remedies such as restraint & protection orders. 

    PDF icon Justice_through_eyes_of_Afghan_women_UNAMA OHCRH.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: 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
  • Government of Afghanistan: Realizing Self Reliance - Commitments to Reforms & Renewed Partnership, December 2014

    President Ashraf Ghani presents his government's vision for reform and international cooperation ahead of his jointly co-hosted London Conference on Afghanistan (4th December 2014).  The Government lays out four key challenges facing Afghanistan and matches these with a series of commitments ‘intended to give credibility to the claims through immediate and near-term actions, and to trigger a longer process of reform’. 

  • Samuel Hall:Social Protection System - An Afghan case study, December 2014

    UNICEF is considering the development of a social protection programme with a specific focus on children, within the already existing framework developed by the World Bank and MoLSAMD (Ministry of Labour Social Affairs, Martyrs, and Disabled). In order to support the design of this programme, and a proposed pilot, UNICEF commissioned Samuel Hall Consulting to conduct formative research in five districts to be targeted by UNICEF.  This research aims to 1. Build knowledge on child poverty and vulnerability, 2. Map existing social protection mechanisms, 3. Assess the state and vitality of zakat and awqaf institutions and 4. Develop a set of recommendations on the most appropriate modalities of interventions.

    PDF icon SH UNICEF-Social-Protection_Final.pdf
  • CSJWG: Position Paper for London Conference, November 2014

    Ahead of the London Conference on Afghanistan, the Civil Society Joint Working Group (CSJWG), a membership network of local, community and grass-roots Afghan civil society organisations, prepared the paper below.  It highlights their review of the current situation, past achievements and future needs in the following thematic sections: Democratic reform; Governance, Rule of law and Human Rights; Government revenues, Budget execution and Sub-national Governance; Economic growth and Development; Continued partnership and Aid effectiveness; the Role of civil society.  

    PDF icon Civil-society-position-paper-london-conf-23Nov2014.pdf
  • ACBAR: Transforming development beyond Transition, October 2014

    BAAG's partner in Afghanistan, ACBAR, have produced 4 thematic and 1 summary position paper for the London Conference on Afghanistan, on 4th December.  These papers reflect the progress made since their previous papers for the Tokyo conference in 2012, and highlight the continuing needs, challenges and recommendations.  Their papers are on Women's Rights, Aid Effectiveness, Service Delivery and Governance.  

    PDF icon Transforming Development Beyond Transition in Afghanistan AID EFFECTIVENESS.pdf, PDF icon Transforming Development Beyond Transition in Afghanistan GOVERNANCE.pdf, PDF icon Transforming Development Beyond Transition in Afghanistan SERVICE.pdf, PDF icon Transforming Development Beyond Transition in Afghanistan Womens Rights.pdf, PDF icon Transforming Development Beyond Transition in Afghanistan SUMMARY.pdf
  • Global Witness: Letter to President of Afghanistan regarding natural resources, October 2014

    Global Witness have long campaigned for stronger governance of Afghanistan's natural resources - seen by many as a key to the country's financial development but equally posing threats to corruption and continued insecurity.  Ahead of the London Conference on Afghanistan (4th December 2014), they wrote letters to the co-hosts, President Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister David Cameron.  These letters explain the issues that could arise from current legislation and asks for commitment to the reform of these.  

    File 20141016 Tokyo CSO letter draft to President Ghani.docx
  • Global Witness: Letter to NATO Secretary General regarding Afghanistan's natural resources governance, August 2014

    Global Witness and a coalition of Afghan and international civil society organisations, including BAAG, have written to the NATO Secretary General calling for a focus on natural resources governance in the upcoming September NATO summit.  With the international community placing high hopes on natural resources extraction to improve Afghanistan's economy, there are concerns that the current law, approved this month by President Karzai, does not go far enough to ensure accountability and transparency, and such ommissions may provide opportunities for increased insurgent activity in the sector. 

    PDF icon Global Witness CSO NATO Letter 20140821.pdf
  • Chatham House: Rebooting a Political Settlement, July 2014

    As part of their Afghanistan: Opportunity in Crisis programme, Chatham House review how the political reconciliation and peace-building process in Afghanistan is faltering.  Events of the last year - the Taliban office opening in Doha, the prisoner exchange between US soldier Bowe Bergdahl and 5 Talib inmates of Guantanamo Bay - have progressed the cause, but not to their full potential.  Meanwhile, the tactics of the international government involvement come under scrutiny. 

    PDF icon CH Rebooting a political settlement Jul14.pdf
  • USIP: Women's Access to Justice in Afghanistan, July 2014

    This report maps how Afghan women seek justice when their rights are violated and the barriers women face in pursuing justice or receiving a fair outcome, whether in the formal system, in community-based mechanisms, or at home. Part of ongoing research and programming by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) on how community-based approaches can improve women’s access to justice, this report is based on a time-limited ethnographic study of women’s disputes in five provinces of Afghanistan between March 2011 and January 2012.

    PDF icon USIP_Women's-Access-to-Justice-in-Afghanistan.pdf