Kabul Citizens Vote to Strengthen Democracy and Reform, Despite Lacking Trust in the Process: AREU Research Finds
KABUL, October 18 2018: In a study conducted through interviews and focus group discussions (FGDs), the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) found that many Kabul citizens plan to take part in the upcoming elections despite their general distrust of the electoral process and the Independent Election Commission (IEC), pessimism toward former MPs and political parties and the overall deteriorating security situation.
During a recent field research on informal credit mechanisms in Pashtun Zarghon District, in the western Afghan province of Herat, the interviewees reported that the majority of rural families prefer to have more girls than boys.
An Afghan Think-Tank Study Finds that Southwest Bare Land has Become Home to Up to 2.2 Million People
Kabul, 20 May 2018: The result of a study conducted by the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) with the financial support of the European Union indicates that the deserts of southwest Afghanistan have changed dramatically over the last two decades. The study has found out that the largely unsettled, bare land at the beginning of the 21st century had become home to up to 2.2 million people in 2016.
I returned on 2nd February 2018, after one year, to two villages in Herat province to interview the families that were part of the Phase II of the Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium (SLRC) program. These are low income communities, where men are still the only breadwinners within households. The main income-generating activity remains farming, alongside stream digging and cleaning, and daily wages are at their lowest, approximately 250 AFN per day. During the wheat harvest in summertime, households are given enough wheat to last for 7 to 9 months in return for labor.
The goal of the Helmand Food Zone (HFZ) was to bring about a rapid and significant reduction in opium poppy cultivation. It was funded directly by the UK and US governments to the tune of between US$12 and $18 million per year between the autumn of 2008 and 2012.
There are a number of organisations that have sought to map government control in Afghanistan. However, given the frequency it is cited in the media and official reports, this paper offers a critique of the current way that North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) and US Forces in Afghanistan (USFOR-A) measure government influence and control in Afghanistan. It describes the limits of the current approach within the confines of what is currently known about the methodology.
In December 2016, the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) launched a European Union-funded project, ‘A three-pronged research effort into essential areas of Natural Resource Management (NRM), Food Zone policy, ground water, and the shifting interests of stakeholders in the conflict opposing sedentary and nomad populations,’ that includes a component about nomad-farmer conflict. The project will unfold over a period of three years and is organised in stages.
The Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF), developed by the World Bank in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organisation, International Fund for Agricultural Development, International Food Policy Research Institute, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat), the African Union, and numerous bilateral partners, is a diagnostic tool to assess the status of land governance at a country level using a participatory process that systematically draws on existing evidence and local expertise as opposed to the knowledge of outsiders.
Reducing ‘gender’ to ‘women’ is problematic
Transitional justice, as the “range of processes and mechanisms associated with society’s attempts to come to terms with the legacy of large-scale abuses to ensure accountability, serve justice, and achieve reconciliation” is a vehicle that renews the trust between the population and the state. Based on various findings, a policy note entitled “Perceptions of Peace and Justice from the Field -- Eleven Years after ‘A Call for Justice’” authored by Aruni Jayakody, Chona R.
The Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU),after four years of publishing on how best to deal with the painful past, is releasing another issues paper entitled “Transitional Justice: Views from the Ground on How Afghanistan Fares.”Transitional justice, as the range of processes and mechanisms associated with society’s attempts to come to terms with the legacy of large-scale abuses to ensure accountability, serve justice, and achieve reconciliation is a vehicle that renews the trust between the population and the state. This publication is authored by Chona R.
After almost 15 years since the fall of the Taliban, the policy discussion on counternarcotics remains uncertain of which way to proceed. In large part, this is because policy discussion is shaped by a superficial or misguided understanding of opium poppy and its role in rural livelihoods.
Nicole Birtsch and Ahmad Sulieman Hedayat
The aim of this issue paper is to take stock of the conceptual setting and the current level of Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) implementation in Afghanistan. It provides an overview of GRB as an internationally applied, gender-mainstreaming strategy and as an approach to financing gender equality commitments. It considers the challenges and constraints of implementing GRB and identifies strategic entry points that promise to stimulate and influence discussions and practices at the national and subnational policy levels.
During the period of transition (2001-14), Afghanistan made great progress in terms of development. The 2001 Bonn Conference set in motion a chain of policy frameworks, with the establishment of a more effective civil service being one of the government’s priorities. In December 2014, based on the Kabul and London Conferences on Afghanistan, the Afghan National Unity Government (NUG) released its reform programme known as “Realizing Self-Reliance,” thus marking the beginning of the so-called “decade of transformation” (2014–25).
August 2016, Author: Orzala A. Nemat, Karin Werner
The overall purpose of the research is to achieve an in-depth understanding of different notions of being a man in Afghanistan and how they contribute to gender inequality. This report is the result of a collaborative research project by the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) and the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) that is designed to inform both policy and practice in how to address gender inequalities vis-à-vis notions of masculinities in Afghanistan.
A short film is also made based on the key findings of this study, available on the following link:
New research from Afghanistan Research and Evaluation - a “Watching Brief” - examines the evidence behind recent speculation in the media and among policy makers that opium poppy cultivation will rise in 2016.
Javed Noorani and Lien De Brouckere
AREU’s latest briefing note on opium cultivation in Kandahar, “Briefing Note on Fieldwork in Kandahar Province, December 2015 – January 2016: Opium Poppy and Rural Livelihoods” by Paul Fishstein, illustrates the significant difference that factors such as geography, location, water/land resources and particularly local political conditions and history play on opium poppy cultivation.