Transition and Non-Government Organizations in Afghanistan: An Assessment and Prospects

Report
from British & Irish Agencies Afghanistan Group
Published on 31 Jan 2014 View Original

Report launch: Transition and Non-Government Organizations in Afghanistan

Much has been written about the importance of 2014 in Afghanistan. Since President Obama’s December 2009 announcement of a gradual withdrawal of troops from mid 2011 onwards, attention has been focused on the time that Afghanistan would be expected – at least militarily – to stand on its own feet. That time will be the end of this year – a year that also sees another major milestone in Afghanistan’s journey, the Presidential elections due in April.

The world’s press, and the people of Afghanistan themselves, are actively debating these security and political ‘transitions’. However, another group are equally concerned about these events. The humanitarian and development community in Afghanistan are grappling with the various questions these transitions raise. In addition, the economic impact of these transitions, and its implications for the humanitarian needs of the country, is a further debate they seek to raise. How might these interconnected issues affect their ability to continue critical operations in an already difficult context?

In mid 2013 BAAG, with ENNA (the European Network of NGOs in Afghanistan), committed to raising the concerns and recommendations of their various members on this important subject of Transition. They commissioned Kabul-based research agency APPRO to conduct a survey, and today we are pleased to launch the findings of that work. ‘Transition and Non-Government Organizations in Afghanistan: An Assessment and Prospects’ provides an important insight to the challenges already faced by national and international NGOs in Afghanistan. Moreover, it presents their opinions on how various Transition-related scenarios – increased insecurity, diminished funding, changing local power structures etc – could impact their work.

Overall the report presents a positive message. None of the interviewed organisations are currently considering a closure of their programmes. However, they are forced to consider programme delivery adaptations. Many of these are complex and dependent on an increased level of donor flexibility. "I/NGOs are strongly committed to keep improving the life of Afghan people but they are facing increasing challenges and risks, as the report shows” comments ENNA Director, Fabio Pompetti. “Donors need to stay committed to Afghanistan, not only with funding, but with a hands-on approach".

This report has helped humanitarian and development actors raise legitimate concerns. It also proposes recommendations, aimed primarily at donors but also for their own community. As BAAG’s Director Jawed Nader states, “One key aim of the research was to know what NGOs believe the international donors should do to minimise the harm that the 'transitions' may have for the Afghan population.”

The report can be found in the BAAG Reports section of our Resources page.