Afghan people and culture

  • Afghanistan Update; United Kingdom

    Dear Colleagues, The developments in Afghanistan over the last few weeks have been extremely difficult to witness. We know many of you, like thousands of people around the country, have been closely involved in working to make Afghanistan a better place over the last two decades and have a deep connection with the country and its people. Yesterday’s callous attacks on innocent people outside Kabul airport brought into stark relief the fragility of the situation in Afghanistan. It was also a terrible reminder of the challenges we face both in getting people to safety now and supporting the country in the long-term. Our thoughts are with the families of all those who lost their lives, including several US service personnel and many Afghan civilians. As you know, in line with US military deadlines and our operational objectives, the UK evacuation effort at Kabul airport, Operation PITTING is concluding. We wanted to update you on the end of our current process and what follows next, including the return of nearly 1,000 HMG personnel over the coming days. We have worked at unprecedented pace to facilitate the largest and most complex evacuation in living memory. The Armed Forces, MoD, FCDO and Home Office staff have worked incredibly hard in very difficult circumstances to bring out over 13,000 people over the last two weeks. This number includes British nationals and their dependants, Afghans who worked for the UK government and military and their dependants, and other Afghans who are at particularly high risk. We have also supported our allies and partners to help their nationals to safety wherever possible. This has only been possible thanks to the extraordinary efforts of UK troops and government officials on the ground, who put themselves in harm’s way and worked around the clock to evacuate as many people as possible. We are grateful for all your efforts to direct those in need of support towards assistance. Our consular teams have been able to reach many in need thanks to your help. A whole of government effort will support and integrate our Afghan friends into UK society through this traumatic period...PLEASE CLICK ON THE ATTACHED DOCUMENT TO READ THE FULL STATEMENT.

    PDF icon 20210827 Afghanistan Update Dear Colleague letter.pdf
  • A House Divided: Can Afghan Elites resolve their differences in the pursuit of peace?

    This report examines the range of views held by key members of the Afghan political elite about future prospects for peace, how these views compare to those held by civil society and women rights activists, and how they might be consolidated into a coherent platform in order to enable a common voice in negotiations with the Taliban. The report draws on 20 qualitative, semi-structured, in-depth interviews with representative from across the political spectrum and civil society in Afghanistan (six of whom were women) carried out in Kabul between mid-December 2019 and mid-February 2020.

    PDF icon A HOUSE DIVIDED - AWEC 2020.pdf
  • Asia Foundation: Survey of the Afghan People 2018

    The longest-running barometer of Afghan opinion, the Survey of the Afghan People is a map of social change over time, presenting a clear picture of the gains and gaps that Afghans perceive in a rapidly transforming nation

    PDF icon Asia Foundation Survey of The Afghan People 2018.pdf
  • Asia Foundation: Survey of the Afghan People 2017

    The Asia Foundation's Survey of the Afghan People is Afghanistan’s broadest and longest-running public opinion poll. 

    PDF icon 2017_AfghanSurvey_report.pdf
  • Asia Foundation: Survey of the Afghan People, December 2016

    The 2016 Survey of the Afghan People polled 12,658 Afghan respondents from 16 ethnic groups across all 34 provinces, including insecure and physically challenging environments. The annual survey is the longest-running and broadest nationwide survey of Afghan attitudes and opinions. Since 2004, the Survey has gathered the opinions of more than 87,000 Afghan men and women, providing a unique longitudinal portrait of evolving public perceptions of security, the economy, governance and government services, elections, media, women’s issues, and migration. This year's edition finds a continued downward trajectory in national mood, with a record low 29.3% of Afghans saying that the country is moving in the right direction.

    PDF icon TAF 2016_Survey-of-the-Afghan-People.pdf
  • Government of Afghanistan: State of Afghan Cities report 2015, February 2016

    The population of Afghan cities is expected to double within the next 15 years and by 2060, one in every two Afghans will be living in cities. In order to manage such a transition accurate data and information is essential.This report provides the first-ever assessment of the conditions in all of Afghanistan’s 34 Provincial Capitals, home to over 8 million people. It shows that Afghan cities are a driving force of social and economic development, state-building and peace-building, yet their full potential has been constrained by the absence of an effective urban policy and regulatory framework, insufficient and poorly coordinated investment, and weak municipal governance and land management.Volume One is a narrative report highlighting key issues including municipal governance, the urban economy, access to land and housing and the urban environment. Volume Two contains maps and data for all 34 Provincial Capitals.

    PDF icon GIROA State of Afghan Cities 2015 Volume_1.pdf, PDF icon GIROA State of Afghan Cities 2015 Volume_2.pdf
  • Asia Foundation: Survey of the Afghan People, November 2015

    The Asia Foundation's Survey of the Afghan People is Afghanistan’s broadest and longest-running public opinion poll. After the first full year of Afghanistan’s National Unity Government, 9,586 Afghans from all 34 provinces share what they think about corruption, security, the economy, women’s rights, the Taliban. Some key findings include that a majority (82.3%) of respondents owned one or more mobile phones in their household, up from 41.5 percent in 2007. One-fifth of respondents nationwide report having someone in their household who has access to the internet. Nationwide, 36.7% nationwide say the country is moving in the right direction, down from 54.7% in 2014. 89.9% say that corruption is a problem in their daily lives, the highest percentage reported in a decade. Since 2011 the survey has asked respondents if they would leave Afghanistan, given the opportunity: this year, 39.9% of Afghans say yes, an increase from 33.8% in 2011; 57.9% say no. 

    PDF icon TAF Survey of the Afghan People Nov. 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
  • 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
  • Development Initiatives: An Act of Faith - humanitarian financing & Zakat, March 2015

    Discussions abound regarding the increasing scale of humanitarian crises and the financing gaps these face. One potentially significant area of charitable giving that has received relatively little attention in discussions on the current humanitarian financing crisis is faith-based giving, and Islamic financing in particular. An Act of Faith explores the purpose, scale and potential of Zakat – one of the main tools of Islamic social financing – for financing humanitarian response. It provides a basis on which to open up discussions around how that potential might be maximised – both by increasing the overall volume of Zakat collected (rather than redirecting existing funds) and improving the mechanisms available to channel Zakat to the humanitarian response.

    PDF icon DevInt-Zakat_report_V9a.pdf, PDF icon Zakat beneficiaries.pdf
  • Asia Foundation: Survey of the Afghan People, October 2014

    The 10th survey by The Asia Foundation was conducted between 22 June and 8 July 2014, shortly after the presidential run-off elections.  9,271 Afghans from across all provinces were interviewed, 49.9% of whom were women.  The overall mood of the country was cautious optimism, though fewer felt the country was moving in the right direction compared to 2013 (54.7% down from 57.2%).  The biggest concerns nationally were insecurity, corruption and unemployment.  65.4% reported feeling fearful for their own or their family's safety at some point, continuing an upward trend since 2006. 

    PDF icon TAF Survey of the Afghan People 2014.pdf
  • USIP: Youth Mobilization and Political Constraints in Afghanistan, January 2014

    In this Special Report from The United Stated Institute of Peace (USIP) - a nonpartisan organisation developing and disseminating research and analysis on international conflicts - the authors investigate youth activism in Afghanistan today.  Drawing on over 100 interviews, the report examines the role and space for youth participation in Afghan politics.  Read the report here. 

    PDF icon Youth_Mobilization_and_Political_Constraints_in_Afghanistan.pdf
  • Cooperation for Peace & Development: 19 Days of Activism for Children & Youth, November 2013

    The Afghan civil society organisation Cooperation for Peace and Development (CPD), in coordination with Women's World Summit Foundation (WWSF), arranged 19 days of activism to highlight the role of youth in Afghanistan's development.  Events included awareness raising sessions in schools, cricket matches, e-banners and largescale online campaign.  The culmination was a 4 page resolution, outlining the key issues faced by children and youth in Afghanistan and their recommendations for addressing them.Read the resolution here.  A Dari version is also available in the Reports in Dari section.  

    PDF icon CPD 19 Days of Activism Youth in Afghanistan - English.pdf
  • AAN: The Social Wandering of the Afghan Kuchis, November 2013

    This report, by the Afghanistan Analysts Network, highlights a number of social and political changes being faced by approximately 2.5 million nomadic Afghans.  Whilst some have felt forced to forgo their migratory culture due to insecurity, prolonged drought and economic conditions, others who maintain the nomidic lifestyle face rising dangers in the face of the prolonged insurgency.  Both groups face both perceptional problems and varying degrees of economic, security or environmental issues.  Read the report in full here.  Audio of an interview with author Fabrizio Foschini can also be found in our Media section. 

    PDF icon The Social Wanderings of the Afghan Kuchis.pdf
  • Asia Foundation: Survey of the Afghan People 2013

    The 2013 survey has seen an increase in overall optimism about the direction in which Afghanistan is moving (57% of those surveyed).  However, whilst 24% of those cited improved security as a reason, 24% of those who were pessimistic about the direction cited insecurity as their main reason.  Afghanistan must be seen from a regional perspective, and insecurity has increased in some areas in the last 12 months.  More than half of Afghans polled say that the outcome of the 2014 election will make a positive difference in their lives, but 81% were concerned about election-day security.The survey captured the mood and opinions of 9,260 Afghan men and women from all 34 provinces during July 2013.  Read the full report and the Key findings here. 

    PDF icon Survey Afghan People 2013 report.pdf, PDF icon Survey Afghan People 2013 Key Findings.pdf